1. You see food as a reward
Treating food as a reward can lead to overeating! This often starts in childhood when, for example, parents use chocolate or sweets to encourage good behaviour- studies have shown this can lead to an increased preference for these foods later in life. Think about all the times when you’ve said ‘after the day I’ve had, I deserve a glass of wine’, then inevitably ended up drinking many more than one! If high calorie meals and drinks creep into your diet ‘because you deserve it”, then that’s an area where a small adjustment of mind-set can lead to significant weight loss.
2. The ‘What the Hell Effect’
The all or nothing approach to eating is very common. ‘I’ve eaten one slice of cake, what the hell, I may as eat the whole thing. It’s important to remember that one slice of cake is not going to affect your weight long term –if you eat it as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However – regularly going all out and eating a 1,200 calorie cake will affect your weight!
Yet another reason why fad diets are not the key to long term weight loss! Several studies have shown that dieters are more likely to overeat than non-dieters, probably because once you limit and restrict foods, you start to obsess about them and develop cravings. When given high calorie snacks, dieters tended to eat significantly more food than non-dieters at a buffet style meal.
Healthy eating is all about balance. You can of course eat chocolate, crisps etc. in moderation. Problems arise when people label foods as ‘bad’ and punish themselves when they eat them. If you’re prone to comfort eating, this can become a vicious cycle which is hard to break. Instead, eat these ‘treat’ foods in a social setting and enjoy yourself! Rather than eating and bingeing in secret.
5. Eating out
The numbers of meals eaten outside of the home has dramatically increased in the last few decades: Unfortunately eating out can lead to over eating due to:
• Larger portion sixes
• High sugar, salt and fat content
• No control over ingredients.
Try to look online at the menu in advance and chose what you will have so you are not spontaneously tempted into choosing less healthy choices.
A recent study showed: Individuals who could recall exactly what they ate for lunch ate 30 percent less than those who couldn’t. Make sure you take time to step away from the computer screen and enjoy your lunch!
7. Not enough snoozing!
A 2013 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that not getting enough sleep can cause people to eat up to 5 percent more calories per day—primarily after dinner.
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