By Kate Nateras
Job, responsibilities, social life, or simply your lifestyle are just excuses to adopt habits that, instead of improving your health, could actually be damaging it. You might be wondering why you’re gaining weight when you’re doing your best not to go over your daily caloric intake, or maybe why your favorite jeans aren’t fitting you properly. But have you thought that perhaps your habits are to blame?
Sometimes it’s impossible to have perfect control over everything you do on a daily basis. For instance, somedays you might find it difficult to go to bed early; others you find yourself eating too fast, so you can attend an important meeting. However, it’s important to be aware that everything we do, as minor as it might look, has an impact on our weight and overall health. Having a healthy body depends almost a hundred percent on having a healthy lifestyle. It’s not only about exercising or following a strict diet: it also has to do with our habits and let me tell you, but some of these might also be doing more harm than you thought.
1. Not having breakfast
We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s absolutely true. Not having it could be one of the worst things you can do to your body. It’s important for us to activate our metabolism during the first moments of the day because not doing it might be making it slower, making you gain weight. A good, healthy breakfast must include protein, good fats, and carbohydrates. In other words, a balanced meal to give the body what you need to start the day and boost your energy.
2. Dining right before going to bed
You should eat your last meal 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep, so that your body can process and digest the food properly. If you go to sleep right away, the digestive process gets interrupted, so the body doesn't really process and administer the nutrients.
3. Eating while distracted
The best thing to do while eating is to forget about your phone, TV, newspaper, or anything that distracts you from actually eating. Here’s why. Being distracted while eating can make you eat more than you should or your body needs (yes, even if it’s measured). According to a study made by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who tend to get distracted while eating can eat up to 50% more of the calories required.
4. Eating too fast
The digestive process starts the moment you put the first bite in your mouth. So, the more you chew the more time you give your body to properly digest it. It’s important to take our time when eating, so we give our body the chance to process everything. Our body is a really advanced machine that processes everything in its own time, so if you give it more than it can process in a short lapse of time, it will only take longer for it to give you the signal that you’re full. Of course, the more you eat the more energy you’re giving your body and the more extra pounds you’re noticing.
5. Staying up late
Not sleeping the right amount of time our body needs can unleash a hormonal disorder affecting also those hormones in charge of telling your body you’re hungry. This is the same hormone that makes you feel full every time you eat, so altering it can lead you to actually eat more and more. Not only that, it can also make you wake up feeling extremely hungry and, naturally, gain weight.
6. Not having dinner
We tend to believe that eating less can help us lose weight or prevent gaining it. But skipping a meal can actually do quite the opposite. By not having dinner, the very last meal of the day, you let your stomach work while being empty. That makes it save more fat in your organism to keep up with the production of energy. So, not having dinner is the opposite of avoiding saving calories. The best thing you can do is have something light for dinner and to do it hours before going to sleep as we already saw.
Now you know, there are habits we take for granted that could be harming our bodies and making us gain some unnecessary and unwanted extra pounds.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
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