Losing weight, no matter how many pounds you’re aiming to shed, isn’t easy. You probably have a general sense of what you need to do to get there: exercise more, eat more nutritiously, get more sleep, drink more water— seemingly simple endeavors. However it’s weaving these new (or lost) habits into your day-to-day life that tends to present the biggest challenge.
Additionally, an important aspect of weight loss that’s arguably even more difficult and often overlooked, is pin pointing the bad habits that you’ve established over time, the ones that have likely caused an increase in your weight, and breaking them.
We’ve explored this topic in the past, consulting four fitness and nutrition experts to find out what they thought were some of the most common habits that many people don’t realize can lead to weight gain.
Aiming to lose weight can come along with a bit of frustration sometimes. Ever feel like you’re doing everything right, only you’ve got no results to show for it? Well, it could be that you just need to keep working at it, persistence and patience is key. Or, it could be that even though you’ve adopted new habits that are helping, you’re still holding onto old ones that are negating your goals.
I reached out to three more health and fitness experts to round-up a list that will help you hone in on what exactly those habits might be and of course, what you can do to ditch them and those extra pounds for good.
Meal Replacement Bars
Shannon Barbadian, a certified personal trainer, Pilates instructor and co-founder of Defy Gravity Studio, says that many meal replacement bars targeted towards dieters have way too much sugar in them. “They also have a long shelf life, which tells us they have preservatives in them,” she said. “To add to those nutritional no-nos, people tend to use them as snacks instead of meal replacements, and they contain too many calories to be considered a ‘snack.’" Instead, opt for meals made up of whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies and lean proteins, and when you’re in need of a snack try grabbing something like a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. If you’re in a rush and need to grab something packaged, make sure it’s not overloaded with added sugar.
“As a general rule, we tend to overestimate how much we are exercising and underestimate how much we are eating,” says Barbadian. To avoid any confusion and to make sure that you’re definitely on the right track when it comes to your energy output and calorie consumption, she recommends keeping a food diary and an exercise journal. “It will keep you honest.”