20 Habits That Make You Fat – The Abridged Version

Dieting Cat

Today I ran across an article rather bluntly titled 20 Habits That Make You Fat. Most of it was stuff we’ve (or at least I’ve) heard a thousand times before, like Fat Habit #3: Sleeping too much or too little, or Fat Habit #5: Drinking soda. There were a few things that I was interested to learn, however, and I thought I’d share a really scaled down version of the 20 habits here, for those of you who bore easily.

  1. Eating ‘Low Fat’ Foods. By now, anyone who reads should know that ‘low fat’ doesn’t equal ‘low calorie’, and fat doesn’t make you fat – calories do.
  2. Not Seeking Nutrition Advice. That’s common sense, as well. If you don’t seek insight on something you’re clueless about, you’ll never get the full picture. If you want to lose weight, look for help and advice from your doctor, a nutritionist, SparkPeople, or even CNN Health.
  3. Sleeping Too Much or Too Little. Turns out 6 to 7 hours is the magic number.
  4. Eating Free Restaurant Foods. Didn’t your mom tell you not to fill up on breadsticks?
  5. Drinking Soda, Even Diet. I’ve had a hard time with this one, but have found that keeping my fridge stocked with unsweetened ice tea and seltzer water will generally keep me from needing a Diet Coke fix.
  6. Skipping Meals. Ack, I’m never doing this again! “A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese.”
  7. Eating Too Quickly. Apparently, your brain takes 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full. Interesting.
  8. Watching Too Much TV. Tell me something I don’t know.
  9. Ordering the Combo Meal. Now this is something I take issue with, if only because the article tries to say that people who order combo bundles are more likely to eat food they didn’t want. I don’t know about you, but when I go to McDonald’s and pick up a Big Mac with super sized fries and a drink, I’m fully aware of what I’m getting myself into. It’s not about not wanting, it’s about not needing, and most places that serve combo meals are places you don’t need to eat at.
  10. Facing the Buffet. I love this strange statistic – “Cornell researchers found that when eating at a buffet-style restaurant, obese diners were 15 percent more likely to choose seats with a clear view of the food.” I haven’t been to a buffet in years, but I love to be able to see the food counters from my seat, so I can plan my next path of attack. Thank God I don’t live anywhere near a Golden Corral…
  11. Eating Off Larger Plates. Though eating off sandwich plates does make me feel like a 5 year old, it’s all about having a full plate in front of you, no matter what the size. Sticking to smaller dishes has definitely helped me adjust my diet over the years.
  12. Putting Serving Dishes on the Table. I don’t eat at a table unless it’s a major holiday or I’m at a restaurant, so can’t really opine here.
  13. Choosing White Bread. Well no shit, Sherlock.  I know that it’s hard to enjoy a PB & J on wheat, but refined flour is SO bad for you.  It takes a little while, but eventually even a Bunny Bread fanatic (me) fell in love with the hardest to love whole grain bread.
  14. Taking Big Bites. I get it, but still, what if you have a big mouth?
  15. Not Drinking Enough Water. Word!
  16. Having Overweight Friends. What this article should have said here is ‘Not having guts to stand up to peer pressure’. Lots of us have overweight friends, with no adverse side effects (the author is a bit of a jerk for not watching his tongue on this one). The sentiment he was trying to express before choking on his own foot was that lots of us follow our friends like lemmings, and if they order double bacon chili cheeseburgers and chili cheese waffle fries, so will we. I think I’m normally the instigator on that count – sorry friends!
  17. Eating Too Late. I dunno, I think it all depends on what ‘late’ is for you. If you eat at 10, but are awake and active until 2, then this rule doesn’t really apply.
  18. Not Using a Scale. People who weigh in every day have a greater chance of losing weight (assuming they’re trying to).  It definitely works for me, as does having a scale that records fractions of pounds so I can get excited about losing 1/5 of a pound.
  19. Drinking Fruity Beverages. Between the sugars and the weird chemicals in most fruit flavored drinks, it only makes sense to keep a wide distance.
  20. Eating When Emotional. Amen! But when am I NOT emotional?
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