Weight loss and weight gain are all about your habits. No doubt, there are many exceptions. Perhaps you just gave birth to a baby or your hormones are all messed up and you need a real treatment. However, in most cases your weight gain is nothing more than a cumulative effect of poor eating habits practiced over a long period of time. Similarly, changing your destructive habits or adopting new healthy habits will promote weight loss.
If you think about it, it makes a perfect sense. You didn’t become overweight overnight, did you? You gained weight gradually over time. It didn’t seem like a big deal at first and you thought you could lose it easily if you wanted to. Then you gained a little more and then some. Then one day you came to realization that you have at least 20 pounds of extra weight.
Sneaking food. Instead of having planned meals you make a beeline to refrigerator for a slice of cheese or a hot dog. You are a type who never cooks, because you are too busy or because you have more interesting things to do with your life. You are never sure what you are going to eat TODAY, because planning and preparing meals is not your thing. It feels like you are eating very little and you are totally clueless on why you are gaining weight.
What you don’t realize is that it’s hard to keep track of these calories. You end up feeling hungry (psychological effect, because you never actually sit at the table having a “normal” meal) and overweight.
Eating in front of the TV. You get home from work and switch on the TV. You’ve been eating in front of the TV since your childhood. Just like Pavlov’s dog, you are conditioned to associate a TV show with food. Once the TV is on, you begin to salivate. By the time the show is over, you have no idea how much you ate.
Mindless munching. You eat potato chips while sitting in front of the computer or while reading a book. It’s not that you enjoy it, but you consume all these extra calories anyway!
One grab-size bag of potato chips contains only about 280 calories, but if you do that habitually it all adds up. If you eat just one bag of potato chips three times per week, it will add up to 43,680 annual caloric cost. The potential weight gain from just this one habit is 12 pounds per year!
Eating candies and cakes as a matter of habit. These foods taste great and should be eaten on special occasions. But if you eat this type of foods habitually you are likely to have problems with weight. Consider this: if you eat just one glazed doughnut every day during your coffee break, you consume 78,000 additional calories per year. The potential weight gain in this case is whopping 22 pounds per year!
One regular soda per day will contribute 52,400 extra calories per year, which equals to 15 pounds of fat. The examples are plenty. Of course you don’t think about it THAT way when you reach for that bag of potato chips. All you know it’s only 280 calories. The picture becomes more clear when you actually start paying attention or, better yet, keeping a food diary.
When you track your calories it’s easy to see your mistakes and work out a solution. Research shows that keeping a food diary is the best weight loss strategy. Calories are just like money. If you want to be rich, you need to keep track of your income and expenses. If you want to be slim, track your calories!