As an experienced nutritionist with many years of helping people achieve their weight loss goals, I’ve seen numerous bad habits that can hinder progress. In this article, we’ll explore 15 bad habits for weight loss that you should be mindful of.
Weight Loss Bad Habits
Some of these points and negative habits below can cross into each other, but are worth being watchful of, for faster weight loss.
- Not Being Aware of Food Portion Size
One common mistakes people make is underestimating portion sizes. Bigger portions can mean more calories.
Even healthy foods can lead to weight gain if consumed in excessive amounts.
(As an example olive oil and avocados are healthy, but contain a lot of calories. So limit portion sizes.)
Avoid the upsizing and a second serving.
Get familiar with portion control by using smaller plates, measuring your food, and being mindful of serving sizes.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sufficient sleep can disrupt your body’s hormones, leading to increased hunger and decreased satiety. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your weight loss efforts.
Getting a good night’s sleep also sets you up for healthy choices and good habits for the day. As an example, it is easier to start the day off with a walk or run when you wake up refreshed.
- Drinking Sodas and Energy Drinks
Sodas and energy drinks are loaded with added sugars and empty calories. These beverages can quickly sabotage your weight loss goals and negatively impact your overall health.
Some energy drinks and sodas have as many calories in them as a meal. So opt for water, herbal teas, diet, or sugar free alternative flavored drinks instead.
- Wrong Food Choices
Unhealthy food choices, such as fried and processed foods, are high in calories and unhealthy fats.
Replace these with nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Protein helps you stay fuller and helps retain muscle mass when dieting. For protein ideas, check out – High Protein Foods To Buy
- Not Being Aware of Calories You Eat
Weight loss largely depends on the balance between calories consumed and calories burned. (It can be referred to as CICO “calories in, calories out.”)
Mindlessly eating without tracking your intake can lead to overeating and hinder your progress.
While calorie counting isn’t for everyone, or generally sustainable long term. However, getting educated in the amount of calories in food is a good habit to know.
When you have some packaged food, turn the pack over and look at the nutritional panel. Take note of the calories per serving and calories per 100 grams.
There are plenty of fitness / nutrition apps like My Fitness Pal that can easily help you track your calories consumed.
Be aware of your calories eaten for knowledge and power.
Understanding the energy balance concept will help you understand how diets work. For more information, click on – What Is Energy Balance In Weight Loss?
- Dining Out and Too Much Take-Away
Restaurant meals and take-out dishes are often higher in calories compared to homemade options.
While it’s okay to enjoy dining out occasionally, making it a regular habit can thwart your weight loss efforts.
- Boredom Eating
Eating out of boredom or emotional reasons can lead to unnecessary calorie intake.
Find alternative activities to cope with boredom, such as going for a walk, taking the dog for a walk, reading a book, or engaging in a hobby.
- Not Drinking Enough Water
Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can aid in weight loss. Sometimes, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking.
Keep a water bottle handy and aim to drink at least 6 cups of water per day, or more if hot and exercising.
Weight Loss Tip – Start your day with one or two glasses of water to help you stay hydrated for a start.
Negative self-talk and setting unrealistic goals can lead to self-sabotage. Celebrate small victories and be kind to yourself during the weight loss journey.
If you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up, just re-set and move on.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcoholic drinks are high in empty calories and can lower inhibitions, leading to poor food choices. You are more likely to eat high calorie foods in excess as well. As an example, it is hard to just have one spicy fried buffalo wing and a couple of crisps with some beers.
Limit your alcohol consumption or opt for healthier alternatives like light beer or dry wine. Or better still, have the majority of the week alcohol free days.
- Not Planning and Meal Prep
Failing to plan your meals can lead to last-minute unhealthy choices.
Take some time each week to plan your meals and prepare them in advance to avoid impulsive, unhealthy eating.
Meal planning and meal prep are some great tools to work into your diet and it helps save money as well.
For more tips and information, visit – Meal Prep for Beginners
- Not Eating Enough Fiber
Fiber-rich foods help you stay full for longer and aid in digestion.
Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your diet to ensure adequate fiber intake.
For ways to add more fiber, check out – How To Easily Add More Vegetables To Your Diet
- Watching TV and Snacking
Okay I’m guilty of this one, watching Netflix and snacking.
This one is similar to boredom eating and can become a bad habit for weight loss.
Mindlessly snacking while watching TV is a common habit that can add extra calories without even realizing it. Avoid eating in front of the TV and focus on your meals mindfully.
- Snacking on Wrong Foods
Opt for healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, or fruit instead of reaching for sugary or processed snacks. Having a variety of healthy options readily available will help you make better choices.
For some low calorie ideas and foods, click on – 100 Calorie Snack Ideas
- Not Having an Exercise Routine
A sedentary lifestyle can hinder weight loss progress. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, such as walking, jogging, treadmill, cycling, or any activity you enjoy.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slowly and don’t overdo it.
Weight training is a great tool for weight loss, as it helps build / maintain muscle mass when dieting.
Depending on your fitness levels and available time, you might do weights 3 to 4 times a week. And some type of aerobic exercise 2 – 3 times a week.
Being mindful of these bad habits for weight loss and making positive changes can significantly contribute to your success.
Focus on building healthy habits, staying consistent, and seeking support when needed.
Remember that every small step towards a healthier lifestyle counts and can lead to significant long-term results.
Resources And Extra Information