5 Unhealthy Habits Killing Your Diet

Find out what you're doing wrong.

You’re a daily gymmer and have a strict diet, but still don’t see any results. How is this possible? Well, option 1 is that you’re doing something wrong. However, if you’re perfectly sure your workouts and your diet are both perfect, then you can only blame it on yourself. You’d be surprised how these 5 bad habits can destroy your diet.

#1 Skipping Meals

Although skipping meals might sound like an appealing idea, it’s actually not. Or it might be if you’re only looking to achieve short-term goals. Yet I can’t think of anyone who would only want to lose weight to gain it back later.

Skipping meals can lead to gaining weight in several ways. Worst case scenario is that you never drop, just gain. Cutting back on meals will make you extremely hungry later. This is likely to lead to eating larger meals later. Now if you don’t just make up for the skipped calories, but even double them, that’s a direct way to weight gain.

Secondly, A study by The Ohio State University has found that skipping meals can indeed lead to short-term weight loss. However, it results in regaining that, especially in the form of belly fat. The reason being is that this habit increases fluctuations in your insulin and glucose levels. This sets your body up for fat gain rather than fat loss.

Ultimately, skipping meals can also harm your health. As you restrict calories, you restrict macronutrients and micronutrients as well. You basically take the opportunities from yourself to consume enough vitamins and minerals. Nonetheless, consuming adequate amount of the right nutritions is vital for your health and body’s development.

#2 Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking enough water is an absolute necessity for a healthy body. What’s more, it’s not just important for staying healthy, but also to reach your weight loss goals. Not drinking enough is a quite common bad habit. Therefore, we easily forget about it, especially on a busy day. However, it can not only demolish your diet but your health as well.

Water makes up 60% of our body. This is the amount of water that’s essential for physiological processes and biochemical reactions. If you don’t drink enough water, your metabolic rate will slow down. Slow metabolic rate means that it takes longer for your body to convert your calories in and use it. However, if your body is unable to use it, it will end up storing it. In simple terms, you’ll gain weight.

Your body also tends to create a hunger reaction when it’s dehydrated. This can easily end up in unwanted snacking or overeating. Furthermore, you can also experience issues with digestion. These can have very unpleasant consequences and are also not good for your weight.

Further negative effects can include

  • Increased blood sugar
  • Constant low energy
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Skin problems

According to the Institution of Medicine, men should drink 3 liters, while women should drink 2.2 liters per day.

#3 Sitting Too Much

Sedentary behavior is basically everything that you do while sitting. Engaging in high-level of sedentary behavior can cause weight and health problems as well. Most of us tend to sit way too much at work and home as well. Unfortunately, this bad habit has become such integrated into our lives, we don’t even realize it.

As you’d probably guess, much sitting decreases your activity level. This is quite basic science. However, what you might not know is which of your body parts are directly affected. Slumping in a chair completely disengages your core muscles. This is likely to result in mushy abs. Your glutes are also completely inactive while sitting. This is likely to make them weak and soft.

Bottom line: If you don’t break this habit, you can wave goodbye to your abs and bump days in the gym.

#4 Eating Too Fast

One bad habit leading to another. Skipping meals and starving yourself can easily lead to rapid eating. I’m sure you’ve also met with the ‘I could literally eat anything” before. Then you probably also know that it leads to eating fast and more.

Check our guide on mindful eating

Fast eating is a habit that can directly lead to gaining weight. A study by Eating Behaviors found that slow eating results in lower energy intake. In contrast to this, fast eating will increase the calories consumed. By this, you shouldn’t mean that when you eat slowly, your food magically drops calories. It simply implies that when you eat fast, you’re less likely to feel full and satisfied. If you don’t feel satisfied, it’s easy to lose control and eat more than you need. Well, guess what, if your energy intake is too high, you won’t lose weight.

So make sure, you don’t restrict yourself from food and eat slowly. Breaking these 2 bad habits will prevent you from overeating.

#5 Sleeping Too Little Or Too Much

An adequate amount of sleep is vital for your sufficient functioning. If you don’t get enough of it, you’ll experience general fatigue, slower reaction level and lower ability to focus. More importantly, lack of sleep can also damage your weight and health in the long-run.

A study by the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation directly increases the risk of obesity. They have found that endocannabinoid systems are connected to hedonic eating. When your body is restricted from sleep its endocannabinoid levels rise. This results in increased desire to eat for pure pleasure and inability to resist snacking. Well, I think we all know how this can end up…

On the other hand, you should know when enough is enough. Sleeping too much can also affect your weight negatively. A research conducted by the Journal Sleep showed a direct correlation between long-duration sleep and weight gain. One explanation could be the reduced calorie expenditure. Due to longer bedtime, you’re obviously less active. Additionally, over-sleepers tend to have an increased BMI at resting state. This also increases the possibility of weight gain.

Read our tips on how to break your bad habits

We all have bad habits and unfortunately, these 5 are among the common ones. They can easily sabotage your diet and your health as well. I know that trying to get rid of them is not an easy job at all. Therefore, I’ll bring you some great mobile apps next week that will make it a lot easier. Because no one wants to throw their hard work of dieting and exercising in the trash, right?

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Lilla Laczo

Lilla is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
Use our free guide to design your very own personalized nutrition plan.
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Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
... start working on your unique diet plan.
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