FROM morning till night, pay extra attention to your daily habits.
If you Google “how to lose weight” you get nearly a million results. You’d think with all the weight loss tips out there, we’d be a nation of people with flat tummies and tiny butts.
As hard as you can try to lose weight, there are some everyday habits that might be wrecking your valiant efforts.
To help you improve your health and get a flat belly, below are a list of all the things you do over the course of an average day — even the things with seemingly no connection to weight loss — that are sabotaging your body goals.
Coffee as the first drink of the day
Unless you wake up every few hours to sip water throughout the night, you’re likely pretty dehydrated by the time you crawl out of bed. Not only does this stress the body and make you feel sluggish, it can also supercharge your appetite—not good news if you’re trying to slim down. Before you reach for your morning cup of coffee or tea—two drinks that can dehydrate you further—chug 8- to 16-ounces of water. Doing so will fill you up so you won’t blow an entire day’s worth of calories at breakfast.
Skimping on dairy
Unless you’re lactose intolerant, steering clear of milk, yogurt and other popular dairy-based breakfast foods to save calories may be doing you more harm than good. The primary reason: Calcium plays a key role in regulating the way the body metabolizes food. Specifically, it determines whether we burn calories or tack them on as excess fat. On the flip side, a calcium-rich diet can help you burn more flab, according to a University of Tennessee at Knoxville report.
If you’re trying to lose weight, consuming protein at each meal is a must. Not only is the nutrient ultra-satiating, making it less likely you’ll nosh between meals, it’s also been shown to grow metabolism-boosting muscle mass and boost post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
Working through lunch
We know you’re super busy, but skipping meals and skimping on calories can actually make it harder to uncover your abs. The reason: When you don’t sufficiently fuel your body, it begins to conserve calories and slow your metabolism. So even if you’re trying to cut calories and create a calorie deficit, your best move is to eat a little something for lunch, even if it’s just a quick protein shake or a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts. This ensures your metabolism keeps torching calories and helps you remain active without getting totally exhausted.
Complaining about your diet
If you find yourself complaining about your diet more than you’d like to admit, it’s time for a reality check: A diet you hate is not one that you’ll follow long-term, which means it won’t give you the results you’re looking for. If you want the scale to tip in your favor, you need to find workouts and healthy foods you actually enjoy, says registered dietitian and personal trainer Jim White. “Never use exercises or foods that you find displeasing to reach your goal. When you enjoy all of the elements of your healthy lifestyle, you can commit to it for a lifetime.”
Barely walking anywhere
We sit an average of 67 hours a week and spend just seven hours out of every 24 moving. How sad is that? And thanks to a new wave of ultra-sedentary jobs, we now burn 100 fewer calories a day than we did 50 years ago. That alone translates to an extra 10 pounds of flab a year. But thankfully you don’t have to quit your day job to stay slim. Taking a two-minute walk every hour can offset the effects of too much sitting, according to a Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study.
Only doing cardio
The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism, so it’s extremely important for you to hit the weights if you want to get and maintain a lean physique into later life. And no, pumping iron won’t make you big and bulky. That’s because weight training causes you to burn more calories per workout than cardio sessions, and you continue to burn them post workout.
Rewarding yourself with sugar
After a week of killer spin classes, a lot of people feel like they’ve “earned” a treat. But if you’re doing that on the reg, that’s likely the reason you’re not shedding pounds. Instead of rewarding yourself with indulgent food, treat yourself to a weekly manicure, a movie or a monthly massage. Not only will this approach save you hundreds of calories, it will also help you reach long-term weight loss and fitness goals. – Time
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