7 Unexpected Eating Habits You Didn’t Know Could Make You Gain Weight
Think eating low-fat yoghurt can help you lose weight? Discover these surprising unhealthy eating habits you’re probably guilty of doing!
Updated 04 Jun 2019
Are you struggling to achieve your fitness goals? Whether it’s to lose the unwanted weight you gained over the year-end holidays or to simply get toned, getting fit is not an easy mission. It requires hard work and determination.
But, somehow, despite all the hard work you’ve been doing, the pointer on your weighing machine doesn’t seem to budge to the left — not even by a little! Are you doing something wrong? Read on to find out what habits could be stopping you from getting that svelte figure.
#1. Skipping your breakfast
Do you usually skip your breakfast to avoid absorbing extra calories into your body? Well, unfortunately, your plans are sure to backfire if your long term plan was to lose weight. If you didn’t already know, eating a proper breakfast is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and can actually help you lose weight if you know what to eat.
The idea that the lesser you eat, the more weight you’ll lose, doesn’t apply to your morning meal. On the contrary, starving yourself in the morning will cause you to have more cravings, which will lead you to overeat later the day. Not only that, skipping meals will slow down your metabolic processes as your body tries to save energy because it's not getting it from food.
Need those precious minutes to snooze before you rush off to class? Prep your breakfast the night before, and have it on-the-go in the morning!
#2. Choosing low-fat yoghurt
Yoghurt is a great source of probiotics (a type of bacteria that’s good for the guts). It helps your digestive system function better and can even help regulate your weight. But not all kinds of yoghurt are good, especially low-fat yoghurt typically found in stores.
While low-fat yoghurt is indeed low in fat, what companies fail to mention is that it’s low in fat but high in sugar. This is because sugars are added to make up for its lack of taste after the natural fats are removed whereas full-fat yoghurt does not need as much sugar since it has more flavour.
And what about the fats found in the full-fat yoghurt? Well, they’re natural fats which obviously aren’t as bad as artificially added sugars. So, be sure to pick full-fat yoghurt with active probiotics the next time you go grocery shopping.
#3. Chugging 3-in-1 instant coffee
Coffee on its own is a great beverage loaded with antioxidants and is even known to boost metabolic rates, which means it helps to burn fats.
However, excessive consumption of coffee can cause adverse effects. Instant coffee — especially the 3-in-1s is known to have high levels of sugar content. Typically, instant coffee found in convenient packets may contain up to 4.4 teaspoons of sugar (that’s 80-kilocalories!) each. Hence, the absorption of the sugar and creamer, which are loaded with calories and saturated fats, can lead to weight gain, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
If you can’t live without this magical fuel, try to opt for quality coffee, preferably avoiding the 3-in-1s. If need be, you can add your own milk and sugar (just a dash of it). Else, try to find alternatives to keep yourself awake without caffeine.
#4. Eating while you work at your desk
As your semester in college progresses, you may tend to get caught up with tasks on your to-do list, which probably makes it harder for you to find time to eat properly. This usually means you’ll end up with a plate of food sitting beside your laptop while you continue to work on your assignments. Unfortunately, this can lead to mindless eating (not paying attention while you eat).
When you don’t pay attention to what you eat, you could end up eating more than necessary, since you probably won’t remember what you ate 10 minutes ago. On top of that, when you eat while working, you’re taking time away from your break time, which should be used to stretch and walk for a few minutes after sitting for hours. Not to mention, sitting or lying down right after eating can cause weight gain — so avoid doing this if you can.
To promote mindful eating, try to slow down and chew on your food a little longer. This can help to reduce your calorie intake and weight gain as you’re helping to increase the blood flow to the stomach and gut.
#5. Overindulging in bubble tea
Who doesn’t love this sweet and milky goodness filled with chewy pearl-shaped tapioca balls? When sipped during hot and humid days, it will melt away your stress and worries. However, it’ll also pack on the pounds at the same time.
The bobas from your bubble tea are essentially made of tapioca starch, which means that they’re loaded with carbohydrates with almost no nutritional value. Top it with the milk-based drink (probably full of fat), sugar and all sorts of artificial flavourings and syrup, bubble tea can seriously bust your dietary plans when consumed excessively.
If you can’t withstand the temptation of a bubble tea calling, you should opt for less sugar and order a plain bubble tea without the pearls! Also, limit your intake to not more than one per week!
#6. Drinking from plastic bottles
While drinking water is known to aid weight loss, drinking water from plastic bottles, however, has the opposite effect. This is largely due to synthetic hormones called xenoestrogens, which are commonly found in plastic products and even soaps, shampoos and plastic wrap. This chemical component is bad for the body as it has the ability to mimic our natural oestrogen hormones and block hormone receptors.
The overconsumption of xenoestrogens by drinking water through plastic water bottles (especially after it has been in the sun) can cause your body to be overloaded with oestrogen. Oestrogen is an important hormone that controls weight gain. So, when this synthetic compound disrupts your body’s hormonal balance, your endocrine system will fail to function properly and this can lead to obesity, infertility, cancer and other diseases (gasp!).
Instead of drinking water from plastic bottles and containers, use glass or stainless steel bottles and cups instead. Avoid buying plastic water bottles unnecessarily.
#7. Not getting enough sleep
Okay, this one isn’t technically an eating habit, but it does affect how you eat. Not having sufficient hours of bedtime at night can lead you to make poor decisions about your diet, which subsequently causes you to eat more.
Based on a sleep study from the University of Colorado, it was found that the participants who slept for only 5 hours a night over a week gained 2 pounds in weight. This is because, being sleep deprived changes the way your hormones regulate hunger, so you end up feeling more hungry. It also creates a more intense craving towards fatty and sugary foods, causing you to give in to eating unhealthy snacks.
Now that you know what habits could be causing you to gain weight, it’s time to kick them to the curb and change up your lifestyle so you can easily achieve your fitness goals. Good luck!