it comes to weight
loss, we all crave easy answers.
it or not, sometimes the answers are easy. Acting on them is what’s difficult.
Take the following four habits, for example. If they seem all too familiar to
you, take steps to rid yourself of them. You’ll drop pounds and lower your risk
of disease in the process.
You love your chair
sit too much, in office chairs or armchairs in front of the TV. Unfortunately,
sitting can put you in the grave earlier. Prolonged sitting puts
you at risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And even hitting
the gym won’t offset the risk. A 2012
study found that women with
regular exercise routines still sat as much as others. To avoid the risk, you
have to stand and move.
sit at a desk more than I like. Once I hit 35, I realized sitting was costing
me. I spent $99 on a podium that I now use several times a day in my office.
You can also schedule 10-minute
walking breaks the way you would schedule meetings throughout the day.
Being vertical as much as possible is one of the healthiest habits you can
You don’t eat often enough
get strange looks when I tell people struggling to lose weight they need to eat
more. But think about how your ancestors ate. Pretend you’re a hunter-gatherer.
You haven’t found an animal in a while, and the berries in the forest are
poisonous. So you cut your food intake way down. To keep you alive, your body
lowers your metabolism so you need less to survive and holds onto every last
fast-forward to present day. Food is available 24 hours a day. You know that,
but your body still works the same as your ancestors’. If you starve yourself,
you’ll mess up your metabolism and pile on pounds when you start eating
normally again. Instead, start each day with a healthy
breakfast full of fiber and protein. Then eat
small but frequent meals and snacks to keep your metabolism fire
lit. You also may establish healthier dietary choices in the
those meals at restaurants add up. A 2012 study found that, in addition to
keeping a food journal and not skipping meals, not
eating out for lunch was a key factor for successful weight loss.
The study found that women who ate lunch out at least once a week lost about 5
pounds fewer than women who ate out less frequently.
are drawn to certain foods when we are sad, depressed or anxious because they
provide temporary comfort. The comfort may come from a childhood memory (mom’s
mac and cheese), but chemicals in the brain also make us crave certain foods.
They nourish our emotions — but not our bodies.
face it: No one is white-knuckling the steering wheel after a stressful day at
work and thinking, "I can't wait to get my hands on some
cauliflower." We choose less
healthy options (think milk chocolate, pasta and ice cream) that have an
effect on our emotions. In fact, one study found that people with high
amounts of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, were more
likely to consume junk food than those with lower levels. And
another study found that negative moods make us not only eat the wrong foods
but also eat more of them.
habits start with understanding. Next time you’re searching for food to enhance
your mood, try omega-3-rich foods, whole grains, lean protein, Brazil nuts,
whey protein and black tea. All have been associated with increasing our