With the improvement in technology, demanding jobs and everything else that life throws at us, it is no wonder we live such fast paced lives. Though some may strive off the hustle and bustle, our bodies would prefer that we take it one step at a time. Though we can’t break the fast paced life cycle we find ourselves in, we can break the habits that cause us to pack on the pounds. A little bit can go a long way so if you find yourself with some weight packing tendencies it's time to kick them. Here are some common habits and ways you can turn them from bad habits, to healthy living.
Stop Taking the Elevator
A good percentage of jobs today require you to sit at a desk from 9am to 5pm. Although you can burn calories by just sitting around, you can burn a whole lot more with simply changing the way you get to the third floor. Whenever you have the option of walking, go for it. Walking is great for your cardiovascular system and promotes heart and blood vessel health. Not only that, but because walking is considered a form of aerobic exercise you can benefit in a variety of areas from blood pressure, cholesterol and most importantly weight management.
Try employing walking after lunch so that your food doesn’t immediately go and sit in your stomach. Even if you are not active for the rest of the day, walking 10-15 minutes every day after lunch can make a difference.
Late Night Snacking
With fast food restaurants now staying open to midnight or later, a late night “snack” can be hard to resist. Working late or just pure boredom can lead you to getting a bite to eat long after the dinner bell. This can be counterproductive if you’re trying to lose weight. When you consume food at hours that you are least active you burn fewer calories and are more likely to gain weight from over eating.
Late night snacking isn’t an easy habit to break but there are ways you can curve excessive weight gain from doing so. Whenever you have an after dark craving, instead of reaching for ice cream or a bag of chips go for a more healthy option such as apple slices, carrots or even popcorn. Low calorie foods are always the best option in this case.
Though night eating is caused by a variety of things including stress, it also can be a direct result of low calorie intake. Never skip breakfast as we all know that breakfast is an essential part of our daily nutrition which means when you skip it you miss out on those calories which you are then trying to make up for after hours.
Sitting in the Office
Being on your feet all day at work doesn’t sound ideal and that’s why many of us take to sitting whenever we can. It is understandable that you want to be as comfortable as possible during your 9 to 5 but ask yourself, is it worth gaining weight? Not only do you risk the weight gain with prolonged sitting but, also put yourself at risk for other health issues such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
It might sound weird and maybe distracting to others but standing at your desk instead of sitting can curb packing on the pounds. Think about incorporating podiums in your work space that will allow you to stand and do you work without hunching down to your desk. If this doesn’t work for you, try swapping out your old desk for a newer and taller one or if you are low on money, simply buy some risers to give your work station a much needed boost in height.
Coffee Shop Hangouts
There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee every once in a while but, like with all things, too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing. Coffee shops are great places to meet up with friends and co-workers for some downtime but, it is also a “great” way to indulge in some not so healthy sugary goodness.
With chains like Starbucks and their wide range of coffee based drinks that you can find in Tall, Venti or Grande, you will also see they come in some sweet flavors. From French Vanilla to Hazelnut, White Chocolate and Mocha they have it all not to mention being able to add a shot of this or a shot of that. It’s not just the coffee that adds calories but, the pastries that coffee shops tend to offer filled with several grams of fat. Add these factors to just hanging out in a booth for an hour or two every other day and you have yourself a classic weight packing habit.
Instead of heading to your local coffee shop, try meeting up with friends at a juice bar that has healthier options. However, if you absolutely must grab a cup of Joe, skip on all the extras and take it to the streets. Talk, walk and drink, that way you are at least being productive.
Anyone can tell you that habits are hard to break. Especially when you have been doing them for years but, it’s never too late to make a change. If you find yourself gaining weight, stop and think if you are guilty of any of these bad habits and make the necessary adjustments. It may take a while to break a habit, given that taking the elevator might be a bit more enticing then climbing a few flights of stairs early in the morning but, when your health is in question there is no such thing as a short cut.
What are some weight packing habits you kicked in 2013?