7 Things That Might Be Making You Fat (Apart From What You Eat)
When you step on the scales and realise that you’ve just gained a pound or two, your mind will always go straight to what you’ve eaten over the recent weeks in order to justify the gain and pin point changes to your diet that you can make to reduce the weight gain.
What you may not realise though, is that it’s not just what you’re eating that can lead to you gaining weight, there are various aspects of your day-to-day life that can determine whether you lose, maintain or gain weight, such as…
“Eat like a King for breakfast, a Prince for lunch and a Beggar for dinner.” Many of you will have heard this quote but never given it more than a second thought, but there’s more truth to it than you realise. Most people eat the opposite; small breakfast, medium sized lunch and a large dinner. Science has proven however that humans need a larger meal at breakfast to awaken the metabolism and prepare you for the day ahead. What you eat for breakfast can and will determine your day to some degree; skip it and you’ll be hungry and want to snack on bad foods all day; eat a large, healthy breakfast and you’re less likely to want to graze. Similarly, eat a large dinner and you’ll feel bloated and uncomfortable before bed, but eat small and you’ll feel fine and wake up ready to take on breakfast.
Not getting your full 8 hours
8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep to get per night – any more less can have a slow, but prolonged effect on your weight. Getting too little or too much sleep can leave you feeling sluggish, not fully rested, and craving sugary sweets and treats to help get you through the day. Research has shown that those who sleep for 5 or less hours, or over 8 hours per night, are likely to put on two and a half times the amount of belly fat that they would if they got a solid 8 hours.
Not drinking enough water
Your recommended to drink between 2 to 3 litres of water per day for numerous reasons; it helps to flush out toxins from your body, it can help to boost your immune system, it helps to keep your skin clear (making you look younger) and it can reduce bloating and help weight loss. Missing out on the recommended amount of water per day will not only make you look bloated and be more likely to gain weight, it will also leave you dehydrated and craving sugary foods and drinks.
Sitting still all day
Those with active or manual roles will likely be on their feet for most of the day, and therefore they’ll have less time for food – anything they do eat they’ll burn off quite quickly. Those working in an office however, sitting in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day, won’t get the movement and exercise that their body needs to burn off what they’re eating, and we all have that one person in the office who wants to feed us up and get us fat (we just can’t resist one more cookie!).
The temperature in the room
You’re going to be far more relaxed and comfortable if the room temperate is warm, which can in turn contribute to weight gain – a little nifty trick is to turn the thermostat down just a little; when we’re cold our muscles contract and work in order to generate heat, which in turn burns calories. Yes, you could argue that if it’s hot enough then you’ll sweat the weight off, but it’s not as quick or as effective as if it’s cold.
The size of your plate
We can control what we eat, just as much as we can control how much we eat. Did you know that if you use a large plate, you’re more than likely to fill it and continue eating well past your body telling you that you’re no longer hungry? Your body will eventually get used to the overeating and it will stop telling you that it’s hungry, being able to take in more food than before in one sitting. Similarly, if you use a smaller plate you’ll again fill it, but this time you’ll be eating less. At the end you’ll still feel full because your brain can see that you’ve eaten everything on the plate and will think that you’ve eaten as much as you normally would. And again, your body will get used to the smaller potions and adjust.
How quickly you eat your food
It can take up to 20 minutes for your belly to feed back to your brain that it’s full and you can’t eat any more, but in those 20 minutes you may have overdone it. Especially if you’re using a large plate, or you just simply have eyes bigger than your belly. Take your time chewing your food – research has shown that you’re likely to eat less calories if you chew your mouthfuls 40 times, as opposed to just 15 times (personally we’d get bored chewing one mouthful for that long, but hey, if it works…). Also take a break once you’ve eaten what’s on your plate before going back for seconds – you may be full, give your body the chance to catch up and let you know.