50 Little Things You’re Doing That Are Making You Fatter

Lifescape

Apr 16

1. You have a “diet” mindset.

Short-term fixes lead to short-term results. What happens when you come “off” the diet? You all know the horror stories of those that end up fatter than when you actually started the diet.

A scarily common scenario. You need a lifestyle change for sustainable results. Fast fat loss is fine, so long as you have an exit plan and some long term thinking.

2. You love munching whilst playing Super Sniper 8000 on the X-box.

Mindless eating is a great way to add in a bunch of calories that when asked about, you wouldn’t even be able to remember you had.

Ever gone to the cinema and finished the whole bag of popcorn before the film has even started? Yea, that kind of thing. Be present when you eat, not distracted.

3. You eat too quickly.

You know that really annoying expression “wait until 20 minutes after you have eaten to see if you are still hungry or not”.

Turns out there’s some truth to this. [1] It takes about that time for the signal from your stomach to reach your brain. Slow down and eat mindfully – ideally you get the “full” signal just before finishing your meal.

fat_loss_mindless

4. You eat on the go.

Re-read previous two points. Eating on the go is no bueno – you’re not being present when you eat and more than likely shoving any old thing down your throat. [2]

5. You don’t eat enough protein.

Compared to both carbs and fat, protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, preserves lean body mass when calories are restricted, requires more energy for your body to digest and thus burns more calories and is generally just awesome. [3][4]

Eat it. Find out below exactly how much you need and what foods are solid choices for that.

6. You don’t eat your veggies.

Veggies have fibre. Fibre is good. It helps digestion and appetite regulation. Eat them. Frequently.

There is also research to suggest if you do not get the micronutrients your body needs, you will be hungrier as your brain will send you signals to get these vitamins and minerals. [5]

The problem being that your brain doesn’t distinguish between hunger for these vitamins and ”general” hunger. This can lead to excessive overeating.

7. You’re fat-phobic.

High-quality fats essential to health. Leave the “zero-fat” diets for the 80’s. Just realise it's the most calorie dense macronutrient but you still need some in your diet.

Choose from the highest-quality sources and moderate.

8. You eat too many junk carbs.

Donuts, crisps, white bread, breakfast cereals, muffins, snack-bars, chocolate, sugary drinks … you get the picture.

These are all stripped of micronutrients and fibre aka “empty” calories and lead to blood-sugar/energy issues and overeating.

9. You start your day with cereal.

No, cereal won’t make you inherently fatter, no food can – a combo of consistently poor food choices, inactivity, poor sleep and stress makes you fat.

A bowl of cereal will have next to no protein to keep you full ‘til lunch and the carb content along with the lack of fibre plays havoc with your blood-sugar levels – leading to energy issues and probable poor food choices throughout the rest of the day.

BTW have you actually taken the time to measure out a serving of frosties? It’s about 15 flakes and I know that’s not how you get down.

10. Your morning coffee resembles a dessert rather than a coffee.

“Double frappe, whipped cream with caramel sauce and a cherry on top please.” Do you really think this is a good way to start your day?

If this is the first food of the day … think again!

If you’re intermittent fasting try a double espresso, long black or a skinny flat white please. The caffeine acutely blunts appetite, you’re on to a winner. [6]

fat_loss_coffee

11. You have a mid-morning snack.

Sort out your breakfast and you won’t need it.

12. You eat bags of dried fruit as a healthy snack.

Firstly – if you feel the need to snack between meals you need to rethink your previous meal – think adequate protein, plenty of veggies and some “good” fats.

You can pretty much treat an entire bag of dried fruit as a “junk carb”. In the 3–5 minutes it takes to eat, you’re inflicting havoc on blood-sugar levels leading to further craving in the near future.

13. You don’t drink enough water.

Hungry or thirsty? Most people are very bad at differentiating with the two. Water is extremely important for weight loss. Check below for some easy wins.

14. You’re always running late.

Running late leads to your stress hormone, cortisol being elevated. When you’re stressed, you are far less likely to exert willpower and say no to that freshly-baked tray of pastries your PA has left in the office.

15. You Netflix and chill.

Not valuing sleep can have a direct effect on your waist line. Sleep deprivation significantly increases hunger hormones leading to overeating, not to mention the hit willpower takes.

16. You have a sweetie cupboard.

Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t keep foods in the house that you find super-tasty and can easily slip into an overeating frenzy.

You are far more likely to demolish that pot of Ben & Jerry’s if it’s in the freezer, compared with having to actively get in your car, drive to the store, park and get it.

Willpower is a finite resource, don’t unnecessarily put it to the test.

17. You keep saying that you don’t have time.

Make time for sound nutrition, exercise and health – or make time for ill health and disease, Your call.

fat_loss_dessert

18. you Always saying yes to dessert.

I’ve got a bad sweet tooth, however if I caved in to it at every single meal, I would be the size of a house.

Sort out the quality of your main meal and learn when it’s really worth it to have that bit of indulgence, but also have the know how to say no.

A crappy bit of stale cake just because it’s there? Pass on it. Grandma’s (who you only see once every six weeks) homemade apple pie? Crack on.

19. You eat out more than you eat in.

Unless you are being super careful with what you choose from the menu, eating out frequently is a great way to pile on the pounds. [7]

The chef couldn’t care less about your calorie or macronutrient needs and even salads, veggies and lean meats will contain far, far more low-quality oil than you would use at home.

Yes … fat flavours food and makes food taste good, but excess (hidden) calories aren’t going to help you look good naked or overall health.

20. You fear hunger.

If you’re reading this, from your smartphone or laptop and are in a developed country… you will never starve. Seriously, the nearest food is a walk to the end of your road away – going a few hours without eating isn’t going to kill you off.

This is one of the reasons I like intermittent fasting. It allows you to sit with true physiological hunger and register it in your brain as completely different from the boredom.

The “I need a snack right now cos it’s 4:00 pm” type of hunger I see people fret over daily.

21. You rely on exercise alone to drop fat.

Exercise is amazing for health and muscular development.

For fat loss though? It has a poor, poor track record, due to things like people rewarding themselves with extra food and subconsciously being less active in the day. [8]

It is extraordinary hard to out=exercise poor food choices.

fat_loss_exercise

22. You are constantly eating.

As I’ve just pointed out … you ain’t gonna die ... you’ll be OK.

Increased meal frequency doesn’t speed up metabolism as we were once thought to believe so you can’t even use that as a reason. [9]

In fact it might even make you hungrier! [10]

Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, starter + main course + dessert, something before bed. Sound like a familiar eating schedule?

You’re never actually giving your body long enough to tap into it’s fat stores for energy.

Click here to learn about how meal frequency can massively affect your weight loss results and what to do.

23. You go shopping when hungry and don’t have a list

A recipe for disaster. You already knew that though…

24. You celebrate with food too often.

Got a promotion? Closed a deal at work? Finally got the keys to the house? Got through the end of the week? We use situations to over indulge all the time.

Food is certainly one of life’s pleasures and something to be cherished and enjoyed, but uses these occasions wisely. Cake used to be enjoyed on people’s birthdays, not just because it was on offer.

25. You drink energy drinks during your workouts

Trust me. your 45-minute workout with 3- to 5-minute rests chatting to your buddy at the water fountain do not deserve sugary carbs during your workouts.

26. You don’t have an “accountability” buddy.

Accountability is an awesome tool in your arsenal. Use it.

27. You eat Krispy Kreme Donuts regularly.

Yea … re-read the junk-carb list. First on the list if I recall! Stop already.

28. You drive everywhere.

Walking 10,000 steps per day (which really isn’t that difficult) equates to roughly 500 calories burnt. This is a pound extra of fat loss per week or 52 lbs in an entire year!!

This is hugely significant, get up off your arse.

29. You drink the full sugar version of fizzy drinks.

Stop doing that. Go for the diet version if you “must” have fizzy drinks in your life. No they won’t cause cancer/brain to explode or any other nonsense and scaremongering you may have been led to believe. [11]

That is of course if you keep consumption to under 20 cans of diet drink per day.

30. You don’t stand up.

We burn far less calories than we used too during the day, namely because a huge proportion of that time is spent sitting.

Simply standing up and moving can make measurable impacts on this in the long run, not to mention it is better for your posture not to be hunched over a desk for ten plus hours.

Talk to your boss about a standing desk and tell them I sent you.

31. You give yourself a health pass at health-food stores.

Just because something is organic, natural or chemical-free doesn’t give you a free pass to eat it ad libitum.

Calories count, 100% of the time. [12} In fact, I often find that foods at these hippie shops are hugely calorific because of all the “good” fats they like to promote.

32. You’re the “funny fat guy”.

Don’t be that guy. There is nothing funny when one of your family members has to inject insulin into you with every meal because you’ve developed type-2 diabetes due to your poor, nutrition, activity and lifestyle choices.

fat_loss_alcohol

33. You love a cocktail.

This one really does break my heart, but yea, you need to go easy on the Mojitos, Caipirinhas, Cosmopolitans etc. if you’re looking to drop weight.It’s so easy to drink and so easy to whack on the calories.

A few weeks back I discovered Diet Long Island Ice Tea.

They give you a big return for your investment if you know what I’m saying … in fact I’d stay away from liquid calories completely – they are unhelpful in any fat loss plan. [13]

34. You have those big ass goblet wine glasses.

Can’t even lie, these are awesome. However, I always used to raise my eyes when a client would tell me they drunk a bottle of wine to themselves.

With these glasses, it really isn’t difficult. Two and a half glasses and you can say bye to that bottle no sweat.

You can also say bye to a few hundred calories and a halt on your fat loss. [14] Be careful with this.

35. You don’t prepare your own lunch.

Generally, it is really difficult to eat out without making a significant dent in your calorie budget. A latté, sandwich and bag of crisps could add 800 or so calories you didn’t need that aren’t very filling at all.

Compare that to a massive chicken salad, high in fibre etc and you will be far fuller for a good 500 calories less than the original option. Win.

36. You blame the fact you're now older and your metabolism has slowed.

Wrong again. [15] Metabolic rate doesn’t slow down to the degree in which people harp on about as we get older.

What actually happens is we move less than when we were younger and most of us (not this audience of course) do not weight train and consequently lose lean body mass which can affect metabolic rate.

Not only this, but we tend to eat out more and pay less attention to our health consequently putting on weight.

It’s not your metabolism ... it’s your fast biscuit hands.

37. You aren’t flexible.

Flexible eaters have a higher degree of long-term success across the board compared to those that only eat a handful of foods and are rigid with the details that don’t matter. [16]

Simple. Need more help creating a flexible food plan? Get at me.

38. You’ve always been out of shape and think you can’t change.

Your identity is based on this thinking and you believe it‘s who you are.

Nonsense. You have the power to be whoever you want to be. You do need to convince your subconscious mind first though.Here’s how.

39. You don’t have fit friends.

You are a direct product of the five people you hang around the most, and are subconsciously influenced by their social norms.

If your mates are constantly eating 5 Guys and Ben & Jerry’s, do you really think it’s going to bode well for your fat-loss efforts?

fat_loss_diet

40. You have analysis paralysis.

Should you go for a ketogenic style of eating? What about low-fat/high-carb? intermittent fasting? Paleo? vegetarian or vegan?

Guess what ... if you can get the results you want and it fits your preferences and lifestyle so you can execute over the long term … that’s all that matters.

There is no “one-size-fits all” for weight loss.

Consistency is key! Do some research, take action and keep doing what works for you.

41. You don’t really want it.

You know what? That’s cool. Drinking beer, eating out and having great times with your friends is a fine way to live your life.

However, you can’t do this as much as you want and get the body of your dreams. Some sacrifice needs to be made.

42. You think that all carbs make you fat.

Nope. a combo of consistently poor food choices, inactivity, poor sleep and stress makes you fat. There are a huge amount of benefits in including carbs in your diet.

43. You don’t know your “trigger” foods

The amount of times I have seen my female clients go nuts over nut butters (see what I did there) and not be able to actually measure out a 15 gram serving is countless.

A trigger food is a food that results in an overeating frenzy. Don’t even attempt moderation with these ”trigger” foods, it aint gonna work.

Those M&S chocolate chip cookies they do fresh from the bakery? Yea, I don’t go near them and for good reason.

44. You don’t weigh yourself with any sort of meaningful frequency.

Ignorance is bliss right? If I don’t get on the scales, I wont actually know how much I weigh and therefore it’s all good right? Wrong

.You know those guys who claim they “didn’t realise” they put on two stone until that family picture was taken on holiday and they were horrified?

Yea, don’t be that guy.In fact there is a lot of data on frequent weighers having far greater control over their body weight.

Beware though – you need to pay attention to weekly averages and trends over time, not individual weigh-ins.

fat_loss_weigh_in

Use your mirror, a tape measure (especially your waist) and the way clothes fit to monitor progress – journalling your stress levels, sleep quality and energy levels are great too.

I’ve seen it far too often – guys pressing the “screw it” button and making a bad food choice just because the number on the scale isn’t what they want.

Remember, the scale just measures your relationship with gravity at any one time, nothing more, nothing less.

45. You have sugar in your tea/coffee

Yea – sorry to break this to you, but this falls into the “junk carb” category. Stop doing this.

46. You put butter in your coffee in hope of fat loss.

Ummm … back to my point on consistency. If you’re going to do Bulletproof research the protocol and adopt it as a lifestyle change, then adapt and improve to suit your needs.

Adding a token Bulletproof coffee to an already lacking food plan isn’t a long-term solution – it may even turn into a long-term problem!

47. You finish your kid’s food.

Fish fingers? Really?

48. You love a BOGOF deal.

3-for-2 deals on junk carbs like baked goods and desserts are a real bad move for losing body fat. Your body doesn’t care if you justify it as a “good deal” – stick to non-food items for bargain shopping!

49. You’re a weekend dreamer.

Your “dieting” mindset and hardcore restriction during the week means you cave in at the weekend and go YOLO with your food choices.

Adopt a more manageable strategy that you can sustain for weeks or months at a time. Consistency is key.

Now I have ways my clients can live it up on the weekends and still hit their fat-loss goals, but that’s not for this article.

50. You're not being honest about reporting food intake

The literature on people food reporting accuracy is abysmal. [18]

That milk in your tea, that four o’clock snack that “doesn’t really count”, that extra bit of peanut butter on your toast in the morning. It all counts.

References