Avoid These Habits To Promote Weight Loss

Face it, our lifestyles are generally filled with habits that likely aren’t supporting our goals! I recommend you really take an honest look at your current habits and decide whether they are ultimately worth keeping, modifying, or getting rid of together. 

When reviewing these habits, really think about where they are ultimately leading to and if you actually get any benefit out of them. It’s amazing how many people I see self-sabotage their health and self-neglect their bodies in the name of convenience and habit.

Convenience Store Habit

These days we live in the Golden Age of Convenience. Everything is designed to be fast and convenient so we can get on with our busy, yet unproductive, lives.

Convenience stores are a major source of sabotage for your healthy lifestyle plan. They are everywhere; on every corner, in every neighborhood, in every community in the nation! 

The shelves are stocked with the most comprehensive collection of unhealthy, processed “food products” I’ve been describing including candy bars, soda pop, energy drinks, sugary coffees, beer and chips.

These stores have the highest density of carbohydrate-based foods on the planet! These foods are highly processed and have no nutrition whatsoever. They are poor quality, highly marketed products designed to be able to sit on the shelf for months and years without spoiling. 

Convenience stores are essentially the smaller, more condensed version of the larger grocery store aisles.

If you want the easiest way to remember how to eat less processed foods, less carbohydrates and to get healthier, remember this rule: if the food you are considering eating is usually found in a convenience store, don’t eat it. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. You’ll thank me later.

The other reason I urge people to not use convenience stores is the financial cost. Since the convenience products are designed for easy transport and individual servings, they require a greater amount of expensive packaging which increases the cost to you, the consumer. These stores are designed to sell single servings of products which are sometimes 50-200% more expensive than buying bulk food. Save your cash and take a pass!

The only way you’ll ever lose any weight going to convenience stores is by emptying out your hard-earned cash from your wallet!

Sports drinks are another source of pure, unhealthy sugar with a couple of healthy-sounding vitamins added in so they are disguised as a health food. They are completely overpriced sugar water and if you are eating healthy foods, they have zero benefit and the sugar in these products is likely making you sick. 

Energy drinks are another source of extra sugar and chemicals our younger generations

seem to seek out. I recommend avoiding these as much as possible to reduce exposure to sugar, artificial sweeteners and chemicals. 

Premade, bottled coffee drinks like mocha and vanilla flavors from major coffee makers are also complete garbage as they provide essentially no nutritional benefits, contain a bunch of empty sugar and calories, and actually don’t have much caffeine compared to plain, cheap drip coffee. Avoid them at all costs.

I realize sometimes there is no choice but to stop at a convenience store, especially if you are traveling. I urge you to search high and low for a fruit basket which is usually hidden between the candy rack and the donuts. 

Grab a banana or an apple instead of a king-size candy bar and cola drink. Also, if you need to put fuel in your car then simply pay at the pump, don’t go into the store, and drive away in your car as fast as you can!

One of the most disappointing things I see on my commute in the morning is essentially the same set of cars and trucks parked outside the convenience stores.

I know these folks have stopped to find something to eat on the way to work. How can a person expect to feel well and be able to get work completed when their breakfast is a bag of powdered donuts and large soda? It baffles my mind.

Not to mention the fact they are paying a “convenience tax” for expensive, convenience foods they likely can’t honestly afford. I believe if they really thought about it, they would choose not to pay the extra cost. I truly believe if they took only one hour per week and grocery shopped ahead of time at a warehouse store, they would save tons of money! And, no doubt their work would improve because they are fueling their bodies with nutrients and quality food. 

And since they wouldn’t have to stop for something to eat every day, they would either be able to spend more time with their family before work since they don’t have to leave as early. Or, they could leave at the same time and get to work early or at least on time, which is never a bad thing!

I have also reviewed a lot of other dietary supplements, if you are interested, you might check them out.

Unhealthy Snacking Habit

Snacking is an all-too-easy source of extra calories throughout the day. There are so many convenience foods available today it boggles my mind. 

Food products including candy, chips, and soda are easy sources of unhealthy calories, carbohydrates and chemicals. Snacking on junk food sabotages you two main ways; the first is because you are eating highly processed, carbohydrate-based foods which we know are harming your health.

Secondly, these foods are quickly broken down by your stomach which causes a spike in insulin. This makes you hungry again which causes the cycle to repeat itself, all day long, year after year and decade after decade. This situation is the last thing you need if you are trying to lose weight, get healthier or improve your blood sugars.

The easiest and most healthy solution to unhealthy snacking is to provide your own snacks so you don’t have to go on a “carb search” throughout your day.

Once most people have the first taste of something sweet or high carbohydrate, their brain goes on a search for more and the cycle perpetuates. Think about it, you’re fine all day if you don’t take something from the candy dish. But, as soon as you do, its game over and you’ll go back until it’s either empty or someone starts harassing you about it. Right? Right.

I mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating; when you are at the warehouse store, be sure to buy some big bags of vegetables such as snap peas, carrots, celery, a bag of apples, oranges, or bananas. 

Also, get some bulk almonds, pistachios, trail mix or peanuts to add into your snacks for variety. This simple habit gives you the control of eating and enjoying the foods you know are healthy and contributing nutrients to your body and you won’t have to wonder if the stale, last remaining, two-day-old donut on the table is worth the risk to your health. 

Humans are too advanced to have to make such stressful survival decisions like this in a day. Besides, it also saves you tons of cash. It’s ridiculously inexpensive to eat healthy snacks if you buy in bulk and do very minimal preparation for the week. 

An added benefit is you won’t have to leave your work area as often which allows you to be more effective and get more done. Why support your local candy and junk food vendor if you could be supporting your own bank account!

Daily Coffee Habit

A costly habit affecting millions of us during the workweek is stopping for a morning coffee at a drive-thru stand or a major chain location. Many people purchase blended coffees and baked goods on their way to work. 

Blended coffees are chemical bombs. You might as well have a morning milkshake and stop pretending it’s coffee. Check out the major chains’ websites and look at all of the sugar and fillers they add to these “coffees.” 

A large blended coffee at one major chain has over 1000 calories and over 50 grams of sugar! If I have to tell you this is completely stupid then forget it, you’ve already lost. It is your personal responsibility to take care of your body and avoid consuming these unhealthy food products which are slowly killing you. 

Let’s all stop pretending these socially acceptable “food products” are worth consuming.

Your coffee habit also has a high financial cost. A popular personal finance writer described this obvious waste of money over about five books that you can look up while you’re in the drive-thru getting your 1000 calorie “coffee.”

Essentially, if you spend an average of $5 per day for a basic working year you’ll end up spending about $1000 per year on just this one bad habit. Over ten years that’s $10,000. That’s a decent chunk of change you could be spending on yourself or your family. 

Can you imagine having this amount in your bank account accruing interest instead of spending it on junk food? Use your money for good instead of evil and think about the money you spend on food as buying nutrients and you’ll likely be more careful with your spending.

When it comes to high priced coffees, a lot of my patients say, “but that’s my treat!” How is eating sugar-filled, junk food you just bought in a 6,000 pound SUV after idling in a drive-thru for ten minutes a treat in any possible way? Here’s a treat: get healthier, ride your bike, save some cash and take better care of yourself and your family. Now THAT’S a treat.

Restaurant Habit

On average, it is estimated Americans spend $3,000 per year on eating outside their home!

In 2016, the CDC notes that food and drink sales in America totaled over$766,000,000,000. Yep, that’s BILLIONS!

The average American eats out 5-7 times per week, which is crazy. That’s eating out at least once almost every day! Besides the obvious financial cost, this habit is costing us our health and futures. It’s clear that most Americans, especially younger generations, don’t like to cook or frankly don’t know-how. 

Restaurants don’t care about your health or waistline, they care about their bottom line. I recommend you really try to avoid eating outside of your own kitchen as often and you’ll quickly see the various benefits including your smaller waistline and your larger bank account balance. Besides, who really knows how much hair, bugs, spit and who knows what is actually in and on the food you eat at restaurants and fast-food joints. 

I don’t know and frankly I don’t want to know. It’s good to know what is in, and not in, your food and making meals at home guarantees this.

If you do go out to restaurants, the trick is to really evaluate the foods on the menu. Often, there is a “healthy choice” section of the menu. Unfortunately, even the “healthy” choices like salads often have more calories than a plain old cheeseburger. If you do get a burger consider ordering it without the bun and use lettuce as a wrap instead. 

Some fast-food chains have created healthy menus with fruits and veggies. This is great, although you are probably paying 3-4 times more for the same ingredients you could buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Another issue with restaurant meals is the portion size. In order to satisfy hungry, carb-craving patrons, restaurants work hard to keep their portions large, which is great unless you’re trying to lose weight or get healthier. 

The best trick here is to eat a third to a half of your meal and ask for a to-go box. That way you can enjoy your meal with your family or friends and also have left-overs for the next day’s lunch or dinner. Also, ask your server if there are “half” portions or a senior’s version of the meal you were interested in ordering. Many times, these are smaller portions and less expensive. It’s a win-win situation.

Fast Food Habit

Most researchers and experts attribute our obesity epidemic to eating significantly higher amounts of fast food over the past several decades.

Fast-food chains have become a primary source of meals for many Americans and tend to be frequented by the people lowest on the socioeconomic scale, in other words, poor people. It’s essentially a huge tax on the poor. 

These high carb, calorie-rich foods are the absolute worst kinds of prepared food you can buy. Fast-food chains are experts at delivering fast, unhealthy food at low prices in an efficient manner. Their “food” is made of the lowest quality ingredients and has been processed so much there is generally very little nutritional value. 

Also, many “meals” can cost up to $10 PER PERSON, PER MEAL! How is this less expensive than bulk, whole food? As a population we have become overfed, but undernourished, due to the high calorie and high carbohydrate fast food dependent lifestyle.

The other downfall of fast food is it takes essentially no effort to obtain meals containing thousands of calories, fat, salt and sugar. You don’t even have to get out of your car to get a meal. We can even order pizzas, sandwiches and burgers over the internet and have it delivered right to our door! The best rule for this is: under no circumstances should you ever buy food that comes through a window!

Alcohol Habit

Alcohol is a depressant and in the big picture it really doesn’t have any positive benefit to a person’s health. The use of alcohol is one of the most common forms of self-neglect and self-sabotage I see in people since it is so socially acceptable and a big part of people’s social lives. 

Sure, it’s nice to go out for a drink with friends every once in a while but ultimately your health and weight loss progress will be significantly reduced with the use/abuse of alcohol. 

Alcohol has the potential to add lots of extra calories to your daily caloric intake, often 100-300 calories PER DRINK (5)! So, if the average person has 2-3 drinks while out on the town or at home, this can add an easy 300-900 calories to your daily intake, just in alcohol! 

Sure, maybe you plan to go for one drink and then leave. Usually what happens is that you end up having one… after another! In my opinion, the use of alcohol isn’t really a calorie issue but more of a big picture issue.

Alcohol increases your risk of some cancers, bad decisions, and is a costly habit financially as well. Avoid the situation and save your health and cash while increasing your productivity for the next day!

By the way, drinking alcohol really dehydrates you and is one side effect of alcohol which doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. You may notice your urine is dark yellow after having some alcohol due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol. 

Your body needs to be hydrated to optimally function. The next day after consuming alcohol you’re often dehydrated, bloated, and probably hungover. At this point, it’s helpful to realize alcohol is preventing you from reaching your goals. Consider helping yourself by taking a break from alcohol for several months. During this time, keep track of your weight because all other

things being equal, you’re likely to have much easier weight loss and overall feel much better!

Smoking Habit

Studies show that among smokers, the risk of obesity increased with the amount smoked and former heavy smokers were more likely to be obese than former light smokers (adjusted OR 1.60, 95% 1.56-1.64, p<0.001).

If you smoke cigarettes, my goal isn’t to make you feel bad about smoking as I’m sure everyone around you already does. My goal for discussing smoking is to help you realize one important perspective explaining why you likely still smoke cigarettes. 

Working with patients who smoke over the years has taught me one thing – the reason they smoke actually isn’t completely due to the nicotine or even the oral fixation of smoking.

The reason smokers smoke is because smoking is the one thing throughout their entire life which they have been able to rely on and has never failed them or let them down. Maybe spouses have come and gone, jobs were fine and then they weren’t and happiness came and went but the one solid support they have always been able to rely on has been their cigarettes. 

Think about it, when a smoker goes for a cigarette, they’re often stressed or nervous about something, or perhaps they simply need a break from the current situation for time to think and chill out. If a smoker is almost anywhere in our society, it has been socially acceptable for them to leave a situation and go smoke. This is the underlying psychological reason many people still smoke cigarettes.

If you smoke, I’m asking you to really think about this. One of the best ways for someone to quit smoking is to ask them to pay attention to the moment when they think about needing to go for a cigarette. What is happening in that moment that triggers you to need to leave and go out for a cigarette? Once you realize what your triggers are, it becomes very easy to avoid these triggers. Also, replace smoking a cigarette with a walk down to the corner and back, calling a friend for a minute or even checking social media. All of these are healthier habit replacements for the unhealthy habit of smoking. Give it a try and you just might find this is the answer you’ve been looking for to finally stop smoking.

Finishing Your Plate Habit

This habit has been ingrained in most Americans since we were children. How many times did you hear your parents say, “Finish your plate, because there are people starving in other countries.” I heard it almost daily as a kid. As a result, I still have difficulty leaving food on my plate, even though I’m full. 

It is a habit which can be disastrous to someone trying to lose weight or become healthier.

The solution: leave food on your plate, it is absolutely okay! That’s right, I said to leave food on your plate and don’t feel guilty. 

Or, better yet, dish up smaller portions during your meals so you don’t have to leave food on your plate in the first place. Or, pack the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Being polite and finishing everything on your plate has the possibility of adding several pounds to your weight per week. Over a couple months, you could be 5-10 pounds lighter with just this one simple habit change!

Eating Fast Habit

How many of us have gulped down breakfast on the way to work or sat in a parking lot near our office to eat the fast-food lunch? The problem with eating fast is because our stomachs have pressure receptors that signal when we are full (5).

It is very easy to trick these receptors if we eat fast and generally results in overeating. Most studies show if someone eats slower, these receptors are more accurate at gauging how full the stomach is and signaling it’s time to stop eating. 

Slow down while you eat, enjoy your food, savor the taste and don’t be in a rush. You’ll feel better and your waistline will thank you.

Should You Try Natural Supplements For Weight Loss?

Supplements are not necessary for most people since a healthy, balanced diet provides all of the vitamins and minerals they need. In small amounts, minerals and vitamins such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C are essential to your body’s functioning.

There are many people who choose to take supplements, but taking them too much or for too long can cause problems.

That said, if you require a little extra help to shed pounds, you might consider trying natural supplements that support weight loss.

Some people use natural fat burners as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to increase metabolism or decrease appetite. When combined with a healthy diet, it will further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also have other beneficial effects.

Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews because the supplement industry is rife with scams.

Besides, it should be noted that supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. Pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise.

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications or have any health concerns.

Nutrition Summary

I recommend you take a few minutes and add up the financial cost of all the processed food products, various supplements and protein powders, restaurant receipts and convenience store purchases so you can truly realize how much money you are spending on the effort to provide yourself nutrients each month.

This monthly price tag is very high for most people and unfortunately, all we are buying ourselves is illness and bigger waistlines as there is also a significant health cost to you as well. 

Instead of working so hard and spending so much to buy low quality processed foods in an effort to provide nutrients, I encourage you to simply buy fresh, whole food which will provide everything your body needs to be healthy and function at the highest level and you won’t have to use expensive questionable supplements!

I realize by discussing nutrition and which foods to eat and which to avoid, I am essentially wandering into one of the most heated topics for debate and discussion that exists rivalled only by politics, religion and relationships! I do this willingly and knowingly because I think it’s the right thing to do. 

When I recommend significantly decreasing or limiting certain foods like carbohydrates, especially whole grains and processed foods, people always seem to lose their minds and immediately ask about ten questions to try and play “gotcha” with me. What about athletes or runners or people who need carbs due to a disease, they ask. 

My answer is always the same: when discussing these principles I’m talking about the 99.99% of unhealthy, overweight Americans who are not athletes, runners, or those with a specific metabolic disease. I speak in absolutes such as “always” and “never” because the individuals who require daily carbohydrates already know who they are and only comprise a very small percentage of the population. 

Our bodies can convert proteins and fats into carbohydrates or create carbohydrates if needed which is why we truly do not need to consume daily carbohydrates, though the “experts” still indicate at least half of our daily food is carbohydrate. As I like to say, what could possibly go wrong?

Let’s stop talking about the exceptions and start talking about the vast majority of us who need to reevaluate our priorities and focus in order to improve our health and quality of life. Everyone is exceptional, but most people are rarely the exceptions.

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