6 Shocking Reasons You're Overweight

Jan 18 2016
It can be challenging enough to reset those habits we know are bad for our weight goals. (Looking at you, morning pastries in the break room!) But what about the sneaky habits we don't even realize are bad news?! In today's "Small Changes, Big Results," we're calling out six shocking behaviors keeping you from that goal weight...

1. Multitasking

We get it; you're busy. Aren't we all? But when it comes to eating, it's in your best interest to take a break from everything else. Studies have shown that eating while performing other tasks means we're not paying attention to how much we're eating... which can lead you to extra calorie intake! Boo all around.

The Fix: Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Step away from your computer. Eat dinner at the table. Take your time eating, and enjoy it! Facebook can wait...

2. Working out (without working out the math)

An intense workout is a huge accomplishment, but you might be sabotaging your efforts. First of all, there's a chance you're overestimating your calorie burn. Your gym may promise that spin class burns 500 calories, but every person is different; you might only burn 300. And even if you calculate that calorie burn correctly, you might give yourself permission to enjoy a little too much food later in the day. Either way, you could very well be taking in more calories than you're burning... which can lead to weight gain.

The Fix: Get yourself a fitness tracker to monitor your personal calorie burn -- our beloved FitBit will do the work for you! And while it's a good idea to replenish yourself after a workout, don't go overboard: Click here for some healthy post-exercise snacks, and pay attention to those calorie counts!

3. Your daily smoothie/protein shake/green juice

Fruit rules, but when it's blended, you're likely to consume a lot more of it than you would if you chomped on whole fruit. And at the end of the day, calories count. Plus, blended drinks often contain sneaky calories: sugary syrup, juice, and full-fat dairy products are some common offenders. As for those green drinks? They often contain a lot of sugar to make them taste better.

The Fix: DIY with low-calorie ingredients like frozen fruit (no sugar added), unsweetened almond milk, and natural no-calorie sweeteners. Don't forget to measure everything out! If you're grabbing a drink from your local shop, see if nutritional info is available, and ask for an ingredient breakdown.

4. Resolving never to eat any *fill in the blank*

It's a new year, and you've probably solemnly sworn not to eat at least one diet-busting food that's always your downfall. Let's say it's French fries. But is that deprivation tactic honestly realistic? Cut to January 20th, and you snap: You eat a ton of greasy French fries; they taste amazing, but you're instantly riddled with guilt. You end your diet all around. End scene. People: You can't stop fries from being delicious! Knowing that a specific food is off-limits can make you want it more. Don't make deprivation the cornerstone of your diet.

The Fix: First, find swaps. If French fries are your forever love, try baked veggie fries. If you crave ice cream, look for low-calorie, portion-controlled frozen treats, like the protein-packed bars by Enlightened. And second: Cut yourself some slack. The occasional indulgence won’t undo all your weight-loss efforts; an all-or-nothing attitude might.

5. Not eating enough during the day

The fact is if you deprive yourself, it'll catch up with you one way or another. If you're "being good" all day long, and not consuming enough calories, you'll be ravenous when you get home. And in the spirit of "I was so good all day!", you may eat everything in sight -- taking in more calories than you would have if you'd just kept yourself balanced all day!

The Fix: Prioritize! Make sure you enjoy a satisfying breakfast and a filling midday meal. (Even if you have a big event in the evening... In fact, especially then!) If lack of time is the problem, check out these make-ahead breakfasts and these on-the-go lunches. And don't forget your emergency snacks!

6. Filling your diet with "healthy" foods

While we're all about eating cleaner, we also know that the numbers count. The label on the back matters way more than the one on the front. Those packaged kale chips may be organic and gluten-free, but how much oil are they cooked in? OUCH. A moderate amount of healthy fat is definitely good for you, but eating a whole multi-serve bag of fried chips is still eating a whole bag of chips. Natural foods don't naturally have fewer calories, and that's what it's all about.

The Fix: Read. Those. Numbers. Become an unapologetic package flipper. If that organic yogurt catches your eye, great -- read the nutrition panel. Still interested? Get it! Shocked by what you see? Put it back. And remember to check that "servings per container" info!

Chew on this:

Happy Martin Luther King Day, everybody. If you have the day off, use some of that free time to prep make-ahead meals for later this week... Here are a couple of recent favorites.

Got a buddy who's struggling? Click "Send to a Friend" to help 'em out.

Social

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.