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These Unknown Bad Eating Habits Are Making You Gain Weight

These Unknown Bad Eating Habits Are Making You Gain Weight

Changing lifestyles and busy schedules have been having a huge impact on our eating habits. The increased stress levels involved in both study and our working lives have brought about a drastic change in the eating and sleeping patterns of many people. This has been one of the main causes of what is known as the “obesity epidemic.”

We are so busy in a day that we often fail to realize whether we skip meals or eat a lot more than needed. Insufficient amounts of sleep, the skipping of meals or overeating are the aftereffects of stress. They are contributing reasons why a person would gain weight too. Apart from these, there are many other common habits that can be proven to be bad and make one gain weight. Let us see these bad eating habits one by one.

1. A low-fat diet.

This is the most common myth that people follow. There is no doubt that a low-fat diet will reduce the amount of fat being consumed. But foods that are marketed as “low-fat” are manufactured using sugars and all kinds of chemicals to replace the flavor and texture of fat. This can be even worse than consuming fat.

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2. Taking big bites.

This is a common scenario when you’re at work or college. You need to rush for a meeting or a lecture and don’t have enough time to munch your food properly. This makes you take bigger bites that help you finish faster. Seldom do we realize that this later develops into a habit and is a big cause of obesity. Studies have reported that people who take bigger bites consume 52% more calories than the ones who take smaller bites and chew slowly.

3. Poor combinations of foods.

A lot of tasty new stuff gets introduced in the food industry. Companies try out various recipes where they add two or more ingredients to make the food look more tempting and taste different. Since childhood we have heard that we should choose a balanced diet. Combining foods not knowing whether they will work well together could be risky for the digestive system. The simpler the food, the easier it will be for digestion.

4. Eating food while you are distracted.

The only free time that most of us have during the day is when we are eating food. I have observed many people struggling to utilize this time too. People prefer reading newspapers or watching television while eating. They think this can be a time to catch up on the happenings of the day or enjoy their favorite program. Eating food while being distracted this way causes us to eat more than is actually needed.

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5. Eating bag to mouth.

On days when we have a full schedule, we tend to grab those fancy snack packets that contain high amounts of preservative-laden foods. It is advisable to measure out a portion onto a plate and then eat. This will let you know how much the packet actually contains and you can control your consumption rather than finishing the entire thing.

6. Going hungry for meals.

Planned an outing with friends? If you know you will be going out for dinner, don’t walk up to the dinner table starving. An empty stomach tends to ask for more. Snack on a few carrots, cucumbers or even almonds before you arrive. This will help you fill your stomach with something healthy, leaving less room for you to overeat.

7. Eating under stressful conditions.

This is the most common scenario experienced by professionals. Eating while you are stressed will make you eat more. We often fail to realize the amount of food that is consumed when we are stressed or depressed. At such times, it’s best to make note of everything we eat and thus avoid the heavy foods that may cause obesity. Another solution to this would be to indulge yourself in fun activities that will keep you stress free and involved in something else.

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8. Eating while you work.

We have already seen how eating while watching television or reading a newspaper can lead to overeating. Eating at your desk can result in overeating too. While at work you are busy as well as under stress. This makes you eat more. If you can, pack your food in a way that will help sort it according to the time it will be consumed. This takes some advanced planning so you can pack some healthy stuff rather than purchasing unhealthy, fat-laden food at the last moment.

9. Posture while eating.

We usually tend to snack on something or other that’s handy when we are moving about in the kitchen. We don’t tend to notice it, but people usually eat directly from the cupboard or straight from the refrigerator. This makes us unaware of what and how much we have eaten. Thus, standing and eating all that we can get our hands on is a bad habit! Simply serve yourself on a plate. Include little of everything that you wish to have and sit down to eat.

10. Eating too quickly.

A busy life and working schedule force us to eat faster. There are days when we don’t even have time to sit still and spend a few minutes eating peacefully. It is said that it takes almost 20 minutes for the stomach to inform the brain that it is full. Thus, it is important that we eat slowly and take at least 20 minutes to have a meal. This will aid in better digestion too. Follow the rule that says that a single bite should be chewed a minimum of 20 times.

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Breaking the habits.

There you have them—a few main habits that may result in serious weight gain. Avoiding these behaviors can help prevent weight gain and help you lead a healthy life. A few solutions that can help to avoid the above points are:

  • Planning your meals and strictly following that plan.
  • Don’t set yourself unachievable targets that will leave you craving more.
  • Participate in some stress management programs that will help you deal with all your stressful situations with ease.
  • Take a break and concentrate on the food you are eating.
  • Don’t expect a drastic change in your eating habits. It takes about a month to get used to a specific plan.
  • Eat three proper meals with about two snacks per day.

These tips will help you in better planning and prevent the addition of those extra calories. You’ll still be able to eat everything that you like, but you need to make sure you eat it in limited quantities. Avoiding these bad habits and implementing a better diet plan that doesn’t include overeating or starving will help in controlling the process of weight gain and keep you healthy and fit.

Featured photo credit: Bad Eating Habit via photopin.com

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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