These might seem like completely innocent habits that almost all of us are guilty of, but in reality they could be the real reason behind your weight gain.
Here is a look at 5 mindless eating habits that experts believe could be making you fat:
You Buy Anything Labelled ‘Low Fat’ Or ‘No Fat’
When you go grocery shopping, you take special care to choose products labelled ‘Low fat’ or ‘No fat’ and you think that you are being diet-conscious. But what about checking the number of calories? Take for instance Ketchup; we all eat it happily because the label says ‘No Fat’, but in reality ketchup contains a high amount of added sugar, and hence is high in calories.
How to break the habit? Do not just look for ‘low fat’ food products but also check the labels to see the number of calories listed. Opt for ‘low calorie’ products rather than ‘low fat’ products.
You Think Of Eating As A Social Activity
In India, we keep meal times aside as time to spend with friends and family. Studies have shown that most people who like to eat in a group tend to overeat more often. In fact, your consumptions rate can go up by 35% if you are eating with another person, and as high as 75% more if you eat with four or more people! The interesting conversation takes your attention away from the food, and you are far more likely to reach for second helpings even if you aren’t really hungry anymore.
How to break the habit? Master the art of portion control, so that you enjoy the company but do not go overboard on food. Also, practice eating slow. One of the simplest way to do that is by eating out of bowls.
You Multi-Task While You Eat
If you meal multi-task by watching TV, working on your computer or reading while you eat, you again are more likely to overeat without even realizing it. That is because you are focusing on more than just your food, and your brain will not interpret the signals your stomach sends to it once it is full.
How to break the habit? Remove all distractions when you eat and focus only on the food.
You Think Ordering A Salad Is Always Healthy
While eating salads and greens is definitely healthy, ordering a salad at a restaurant might not always be the best choice. Especially if you are choosing from gourmet salad entrees, you should realise that the amount of creamy dressings and fried croutons added to enhance the flavours of most popular salad recipes makes them rather high in calories.
How to break the habit? If you are going to order something low-cal, choose a salad with a vinaigrette dressing and some light soup to go with it. This meal will be filling and will also actually be low in calories.
You Go Heavy On Artificial Sweeteners
Studies show that adding artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin to your morning and evening tea can actually make you fatter! These studies have revealed that because these are artificial chemicals, they confuse the regulatory systems of our bodies. And while your body expects a sweet treat and calories to go with it, but doesn’t get it, your cravings increase.
How to break the habit? Avoid anything and everything with artificial sweeteners – be it diet sodas, breakfast cereals or sauces. Instead, choose natural alternatives like honey or add half a teaspoon of actual sugar to your tea or coffee.
Most importantly, be aware of what you are eating and feed your body what it needs and not what your taste buds are craving. Checkout this super cool video to further educate yourself.