Instead of sharing a delicious recipe today, I figured I would share a recipe for bad health. Similar to my top 10 tips for staying healthy, this will be more of a list. This time, it will be what NOT to do if you want to stay healthy!
Dr. Stephen Mercola runs a fantastic website www.mercola.com– FULL of incredible information about all things related to health. Sometimes his suggestions are a little outlandish- even for me! But I tend to learn a lot when I read through his daily e-mail.
Yesterday, I got this gem in my inbox: Eating Fat Won’t Make You Fat, But These 10 Things Will!
Sounds right up my alley!
It’s a list of 10 things that won’t help you on your weight-loss journey. The crazy thing is that this list came from Yahoo Health. It’s so great to see such a mainstream site giving tips like these. Especially #1! So many people ignore this fact and it just makes me so happy to see it on a site like Yahoo.
Note: I added my comments about each piece in blue italic. The rest came straight from the article linked above.
Eating fat won’t make you fat. Too many calories can, but most “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods actually have just as many calories as their full-fat versions. Yahoo Health has collected a list of 20 bad habits that can actually add to your weight. Here are 10 of them:
- Eating “low-fat”: Low-fat or fat-free foods replace harmless fats with low-performing carbohydrates that digest quickly, causing a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, rebound hunger. As I mentioned in my post about Real Fats, low-fat foods are no good! They aren’t whole foods and are often full of synthetic chemicals to make them taste good. Read my lips: don’t eat low-fat foods!!!!!
- Sleeping too little or too much: Dieters who sleep five hours or less put on 2 and a half times more belly fat, while those who sleep more than eight hours pack on only slightly less than that. Sleep is very vital to your health. I can tell a difference in how my body processes food when I get less sleep. Even if I’m eating the same exact foods as I do when I get enough sleep, I will be more bloated and hungrier. This is probably the toughest one for me. A lot of times I get less than 7 hours of sleep and I have such a hard time trying to get in bed earlier than 9:30pm.
- Drinking soda — even diet soda: Drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better. Any sugary drink, whether it is sweetened with real sugar or artificial ones, is just not good for you! Some cans of soda have up to 250 calories, and even though diet sodas don’t have any calories in them, the artificial sugars will trick your body into thinking it is hungry when it isn’t. Stay away from sodas as much as you can!!
- Eating too quickly: It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough. It is important to take breaks while eating to give your body a chance to move the food down to your stomach. I’ve eaten too quickly many times and have always been more bloated and feel overly stuffed when I do. If I give myself time, I notice that I won’t eat as much. My honey on the other hand wants to get the food into his body as quickly as possible; however, he’s one of those types…you know the type! He never gains a pound, no matter how quickly he eats or how much he eats!!
- Watching too much TV: A study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. Finding something else to do besides watch TV will usually get you up and moving and burning calories. We don’t have TV at our house, but we do have Netflix. We don’t sit on the couch too often, we usually reserve that for the weekends. I spend most of my evenings in the kitchen or playing with our pup.
- Eating off larger plates: One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates. Have you ever tried eating off of a smaller plate?? It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make! When I serve my honey and myself, I will often use our small plates for my meal. The eyes can trick the brain into thinking you’re getting more food than you really are when the plate looks full, even if it is a smaller portion than you normally eat. I also tend to look at my honey’s portion and try to put about half of that on my plate- mainly at dinner. For breakfast, we typically eat about the same amount though! You gotta start the day out right!
- Taking big bites: Research shows that people who take large bites of food consume 52 percent more calories in one sitting. This goes along with chewing your food completely. My honey is a horrible offender at this one! He takes huge bites and swallows them practically whole. He’s told me before that he just hates to chew…strange! Anyways, I’ve noticed that if I take smaller bites, I feel like I’m eating more. My brain is being tricked to think that I’m taking more in even though I’m just taking smaller bites of the same amount of food.
- Not drinking enough water: Adequate water intake is essential for all your body’s functions, and the more you drink, the better your chances of staying thin. I’ve mentioned my feelings on drinking water before, so it’s nice to read other sources that feel the same way!
- Eating too late: A recent study found that those who ate after 8 PM took in the most daily calories and had the highest BMIs. I go back and forth on this one. If you’re burning enough calories throughout the day, this shouldn’t matter too much. Or if you stay up really late and sleep later in the morning, eating after 8pm shouldn’t be a problem. I find the problem comes when I eat dinner and then go to bed within an hour. I find I wake up more bloated and I’m not as hungry for breakfast.
- Drinking fruity beverages: All juice is high sugar, and the ones that use viscous syrups made mostly from high fructose corn syrup and thickening agents are even worse. See number 3! If you do drink juice, look for ones with no added sugar.
Even though these tips are great and I believe in most of them, I think finding what works for you is the best way to stay healthy. Sometimes others’ tips won’t work for you, no matter how hard you try to follow them. I think drinking enough water, incorporating good fats, lots of fresh foods and eating minimal amounts of processed foods should be the cornerstone of most healthy lifestyles, but there are always exceptions to the rule, so do what feels good for you!
What would be on your “don’t” list for staying healthy??