1. Drinking your calories
Studies suggest that your brain clocks on to liquid calories differently than it does from eating solid foods. Apple juice for example is naturally high in sugar, which contains calories. Our brains don’t register the calories the same way as when you eat an actual apple. This may be because the acting of biting or chewing may trigger satiety signals in the brain. Most likely you will not feel as full from that glass of juice as you would from getting those calories from eating the apple in its whole form either.
2. Avoiding high-fat plant foods
Avocados and nuts are relatively high in calories and fat but are low in saturated fat. These foods contribute smart fats to our diet and also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as phytonutrients such as monounsaturated fats that are essential for good health. Avoiding these foods is a mistake, but adding them into your diet under moderation is key.
3. Salads with high calorie dressings
Choosing a salad and then dressing it with creamy high calorie fancy dressing. The added calories can take away from the purpose of ordering a salad. Choose olive oil or balsamic vinegar.
4. Choosing flavored yogurt
Plain, low-fat (organic) yogurt is a superfood. Flavored, sugar-ladened yogurt is not. Adding fruits such as berries to plain yogurt is the smarter choice here.
5. Breakfast cereals
Sugary breakfast cereals can lead to an inevitable sugar rush and slump which will you craving sugar for the rest of the day. Oats are a fantastic and cheap way to feed you and your family and there’s so much you can do with them – warm porridge, etc.
6. Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners
Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are actually linked with weight gain rather than weight loss, linked to heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. When you consume artificial sweeteners the calories do not show up, thus your metabolic responses do not fire the way they are supposed to. Insulin does not increase and hormones that increase the feeling of fullness and satisfaction are not triggered. This means that the brain does not get a feeling of reward from the dopamine that sugars release. And you do not get the ‘full feeling’.
7. Not reading food labels
Most packaged foods come with healthy-sounding claims on the front of the package that are misleading. But if you check the nutrition label, you’ll see that most of those claims aren’t supported by any factual information.
8. Not eating enough fiber
It is vital to incorporate enough fiber-rich foods into your diet. Soluble fiber is especially helpful since it makes you feel full longer.
9. Eating all of your take out
Portions are distorted at restaurants. Choose to eat half your meal and pack the other half to bring home. This is a convenient and effective way to avoid overindulging.
10. Skipping meals
This may lead to eating larger portions later in the day. Research suggests those that eat breakfast weigh less than those that do not.