7 ‘Healthy’ Habits That Can Make You Fatter
In our weight loss journeys, we try to listen to recommendations and adopt as many healthy habits as possible in order to achieve our weight loss goals. But what happens when those healthy habits are anything but? With science and research constantly evolving, what was healthy yesterday, can easily become unhealthy today.
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To make sure you are on the right path towards achieving your goal, check out some of the once-believed healthy habits that work against you and can make you gain weight instead.
You use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar
We all know sugar is bad and more and more evidence confirms this. But if you thought artificial sweeteners are the answer to satisfy your sweet tooth and still lose weight, you’re in for a big disappointment.
First of all, nothing artificial is good. In the case of artificial sweeteners, to keep the sweet taste but eliminate the sugar, manufacturers often add unhealthy fats like palm oil and cream or sugar alcohols. Not only can they spike your insulin level but can also trick your brain into still feeling hungry due to lacking calories. And hunger is definitely something you don’t want to feel when trying to lose weight!
You only eat egg whites
Eggs for breakfast is always a wise choice. But if you’ve only been eating the whites, just know you’ve been missing out. That’s because whole eggs have a higher protein content than just egg whites and pack many more nutrients together.
More than that, contrary to popular belief, yolk contains HDL cholesterol, the good type and healthy fats that promote satiety. It is also rich in vitamin D, which has been linked to abdominal obesity, and many people lack. Don’t you think it’s time to give the yolk a chance?
You choose the wrong fish
Another great source of protein, not only for weight loss but for health in general, is fish. Apart from lean protein, the chicken of the sea also provides omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients that are crucial for the body’s functioning and development.
The problem? Certain varieties of fish, farm-raised ones to be more precise, are not that healthy. That’s because many of them, like farm-raised salmon, include omega-6s which promote inflammation. In addition, cooking styles, such as deep-fried fish, can also affect its nutritional value. So, choose your fish wisely!
You overuse antibacterials
This might sound a little off, but I assure you it’s as real as it gets. Your sanitizer might be one of the reasons you gain weight.
As revealed by studies, hand sanitizers usually include a synthetic antibacterial called triclosan, which can have adverse effects on the thyroid. Thyroid is directly linked to the metabolism, so any disruption to its functioning might lead to weight gain. To keep your hand clean but still avoid this antibacterial agent, stick to antibacterial-free or organic soap.
You wake up early to work out
Working out first thing in the morning can help you power up for the rest of the day. That is, if you’ve had plenty of hours of sleep. If you wake up at 6 a.m but went to bed after midnight, you didn’t give your body the right amount of time to recover and restore its depleted energy levels. And your training will not be very effective.
Not to mention that sleeping 5 hours or less can make you gain 2½ times more belly fat even if you hit the gym before sunrise. Morning sweat sessions aren’t for everyone, so, make sure you sleep at least 6-8 hours per night to get the weight loss results that you want.
You cut back on calories
It’s common practice to skip meals when trying to lose weight. If this is also part of your weight loss strategy, then you’re in for a surprise.
Why? Because cutting back on calories triggers your body to go on “starvation mode”. This means that your metabolism is slowing down and instead of burning fat, it starts burning muscle. Not to mention that in trying to store the fat, it makes you feel hungrier and more prone to overeating.
To make sure your metabolism is working towards your goal, have small snacks every two to four hours. This helps you burn more calories and avoid going rampant on food when you get the chance to eat. For more ways to improve your metabolism, read also Looking to Speed Up Your Metabolism? Try These Smart Tips .
You miss out on coffee
Coffee has always been up for debate. While there’s no denying that the sugar-laden lattes and cappuccinos are full of calories, the good, old cup of black coffee can actually have beneficial effects for your metabolism.
For starters, it stimulates the breaking down of fat cells like no other substance. It also boosts the metabolic rate by 16%, by increasing the burning of fat, thus making it easier for you to lose weight. Coffee works as a great pre-workout drink, getting you energized for your training session.
Although some start to build a tolerance to coffee over time, its weight loss effects can still be visible. Therefore, if you really like coffee, there’s no need to skip your morning cup of joe, as long as you keep it free of added fillers and artificial sweeteners. For more, see Is Coffee Good or Bad For Our Nutrition?.