When you’re living in KL, you subconsciously develop a bunch of bad habits that, unbeknownst to us, deters our efforts to lose weight. This is because Malaysian lifestyle in itself is not exactly ideal, so today, let’s bring them into attention and address these 10 bad habits to quit when losing weight!
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #1: Snacking
I don’t care how iron-clad your self-control is, all of us have fallen prey to this debilitating habit. I have to admit, snacking is one of the most amazing things in the world, next to watching an epic movie and curling up beneath the bed covers when it rains. But snacking with severe lack of self-control will be the thing that single-handedly destroys your beautiful body.
That said, it is incredibly difficult to resist the tempting taunts of Chipsmore Cookies, Magnum ice cream and heavenly chocolate covered waffles, *wipes away drool*, but the good fight must be fought. So here are some tips on how to stay strong.
Don’t stock up on snacks. That is the first mistake. When you buy snacks, they will be within easy reach, so there is zero hindrance between you and those mouth-watering Oreos! Talk about a sure-fire way to lose a battle. If you don’t have snacks lying around, begging to be eaten, the lack of visual cues can help stem the sugary cravings, which really helps the visual eaters out there like myself.
Next, if you do succumb to temptation and buy that lovely tub of Baskin-Robbins ice cream,
That is your last chance to escape. You’ve already made one bad decision, let’s make the next one right to save yourself from the inevitable self-loathing, shame and guilt that follows shortly after finishing said ice cream tub.
Finally, if you absolutely have to munch on something to get you through your day, at least let it be something healthy. That way, you get to satisfy your cravings while nourishing your body with healthy nutrients from these healthy snack packs that are changing the way snacking is done!
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #2: Sitting at your Desk too Long
This habit is bad for so many reasons. First off, sitting too long is terrible for your posture. We’re not made to sit for such long hours as we do now. As a matter of fact, studies show that sitting can actually reduce your life span! So make time to get up and walk.
Also, when you’re sitting, you’re not moving, which means that you’re not burning off the calories you consume. So leave your work space every hour or so, take a lap around your office, have short chats with your co-workers, do some stretches or burpees for that matter, then get back to your work re-energised and refocused.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #3: Skipping Exercise
Yup, you and me both. Guilty. The bad habit that’s the most ubiquitous in Malaysia. We see exercise as a luxury instead of what it really is; a necessity. And that’s how we all contribute to Malaysia’s rise to fame, champion of South East Asia as its most obese country.
Oh the shame!! That’s got to change guys. Let’s spur each other on to take part in regular exercise. If you’re not keen on going to the gym, don’t let that hinder you from getting that heart pumping. There are so many interesting activities out there for you to discover and learn while getting a full-body workout. Check out this article of Top 15 Fun Indoor Activities to Get Fit in KL Instead of Hitting the Gym.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #4: After-Dinner Treats
Dessert after a meal is not the norm here in Malaysia, but it is a growing trend as more and more Western restaurants incorporate cakes, brownies and ice cream into their menu, stripping us of self-control even after having an already satisfying meal. Those beauties on display in glass covered pedestals. We stand no chance!
This has got to stop! Think twice about having dessert. Think of the saturated fat and the sugar desserts contain. Hopefully that will turn you off.
But if you absolutely have to, again, SHARE! Limit your calorie intake as much as possible if you want to lose weight and doesn’t hurt that you save that extra bit of cash.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #5: Starvation-Mode Shopping
Going grocery shopping hungry is like going to war with no weapons.
When you’re starving, your tummy is the one doing all the thinking! Who cares what your brain says when your tummy is screaming in gastric juice agony.
Naturally, you won’t think straight and we all know, bad decisions are made when we’re hungry. Everything on the shelves suddenly seem like the best thing ever for you to consume right here, right now. You don’t think twice about how this cheese butter biscuit will affect your diet or your weight goals. Into the cart it goes!
So best advice for this bad habit: Eat something before you grocery shop, but not just anything, it’ll be ideal if you consumed something healthy. Not only does it fill you up, calming the cranky tones of the tummy, but it also puts you in the right mind set, one that is focused on eating clean and living healthy.
If you have a grocery list, that would really help too, because the planning that goes into crafting your meal schedule for the week is a great habit for weight loss. You know exactly what goes into your body and there is less chance of deviating from the plan.
Lastly, if you can, choose the grocery store that you visit. Select one that supplies healthy products. You may think this non-existent in Malaysia, but be prepared to be mind-blown! Here are 19 Organic and Healthy Retail Stores in KL.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #6: Sneaky Soft Drinks
This is where the calories hide!
Even if it’s not a Coke, Pepsi, or Sprite, take care of what drinks you order with your food. Teh tarik, limau ais and sirap bendung, all these drinks though familiar and ordered without second thought, will contribute to about a quarter of your daily calorie intake.
Skip the sweet drinks, opt for water and its zero calories. If you need some flavour to go with that, infuse your water with fruit slices. It may be a hassle, but anything to stop those extra calories coming!
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #7: Skipping Meals
When you’re running late in the morning, it’s very normal to get caught up in the start of the day’s hustle and bustle and forget to eat until noon. You may feel like congratulating yourself, oh, you avoided eating extra calories during breakfast! But my friend, that will backfire when you’re faced with lunch options. Because you’re starving, your lunch decisions are compromised and you’re more likely to overeat. The American Journal of Epidemiology reported that people who skip their breakfasts were 4.5 times more likely to be overweight for these very same reasons.
Skipping meals will slow down your metabolism because your body thinks it’s not getting enough nourishment and it begins preparing for starvation, hence the metabolic slow down to conserve resources.
This is why skipping your meal is such a bad habit when losing weight. To add to that, it is also harmful for your health. When you skip a meal your blood sugar levels drop, so you tend to feel tired and foggy for the rest of the day. ‘Hangry’ is an actual thing. Irritability and mood swings will plague you when you don’t get the nourishment you need.
So how best to do this? Eat small portions of nutritious food throughout the day. So your body is constantly getting energy resources, making it more willing to burn it off, thus facilitating energy release and weight loss. Experts recommend eating 6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3 big ones.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #8: Avoiding All Fats
Don’t condemn fats altogether from your diet. Not all fats are bad. There are great ones too. They are called unsaturated fats, and they can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
The bad ones however, are called saturated fats, found mainly in animal products and they have been known to increase the risk of colon and prostate cancer, plus they don’t help your cholesterol levels.
If you have this belief that avoiding all fats will help you lose weight, it is time we changed that mind set. In reality, eating more healthy fats aids in shedding pounds because they help you stay full longer, keeping your blood sugar levels balanced hence preventing those nasty cravings from taking over.
Also, they are essential since our body needs dietary fat in order to function properly and consuming the right kind of fats will maximize your metabolism.
Here are some epic healthy fats you should start including in your diet. Coconut, avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, nut butter, whole eggs, Greek yogurt, wild salmon, olive oil, tuna, flax and chia seeds, duck, and cheese.
Happy eating! Just remember, everything in moderation.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #9: Not Getting Enough Sleep
One of the sins of losing weight is lack of sleep. 7 hours of sleep per night is a necessity, not a luxury.
If you’re doing and eating everything right, but you’re not seeing results, this may be the blind spot you’re not addressing.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel very lethargic during the day, so what do we tend to do? Coffee, snacks, sugary bites to give yourself an energy buzz. Your self-control abates and you more often than not tend to opt for high-calorie foods for their energy content.
Studies show that people who are sleep-deprived are 55% more likely to be obese than those who get quality rest during the night.
This is because lack of sleep disrupts the production of appetite hormones, which may cause you to feel hungrier the next day leading to bingeing.
But wait, this doesn’t mean that the more you sleep, the more weight you’ll lose. It just means that if you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, your metabolism won’t work optimally.
If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid coffee in the afternoon, heavy meals before your bedtime, naps during the day and lack of exercise. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, so remember to keep active.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #10: Alcohol Binges
The sweet nectar of the gods…all go straight into the thighs ><
There is a reason why alcohol is so good. It’s an incredibly calorie-rich drink. What makes it worse is that drinks go down quick, and people tend to have more than one glass, so the calories add up quickly.
The worst part is that the calories in alcohol are considered “empty calories” because they provide zero nutrients. And that’s not all, binge drinking is heavily associated with binge eating because drinking impacts the part of the brain that controls appetite and thirst, it tricks your body into thinking you’re starving. Which is why we often find ourselves at McDonalds or a mamak at the end of a fun night out. This definitely deters your plans for losing weight.
So this is for sure one bad habit to quit when losing weight. Consciously cutting back or eliminating alcohol altogether will make a significant difference in your weight.
The key is to start slow. Try alternating every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. Not only will it keep you hydrated and slow down your drinking, it will also curb the hunger surge that comes with excessive alcohol. Another measure to take is maybe allowing yourself just one glass of alcoholic beverage a night. That should keep your binge in check and make your weight loss goals more achievable.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #11: Eating Too Quickly
From the moment you start eating to the time your brain sends your body signals of fullness, takes approximately 20 minutes.
Which means, you have 20 mins of blackout time, where your brain does not register your body’s fullness and tells it to stop eating. So you have two options here. One, going ape shit on your food, gobbling down as much as you can before the 20 min mark. Or, eat as slowly as possible till that feeling of fullness kicks in. This action of eating slower allows ample time to trigger the signal from your brain that you are full, so this means that you’ll feel full by eating less.
The no brainer choice would be option 2, but that is easier said than done. It takes a monumental amount of self-control to slow down eating, especially if the food is glorious. This is why wolfing down food is such a great bad habit to quit when losing weight. Once you get a hang of eating your food slow and steady, the chances of you overeating decreases drastically.
One trick to do this is to try to eat more consciously. Turn off any distractions and set the dining mood, even when you’re alone. Put on soothing music, use pretty plates, turn off your TV, and basically try increasing the satisfaction you get from eating. Start off by training yourself to chew every bite at least 20 times, trying to savour the entire morsel of flavour, paying attention to the sensory details in every single bite you take.
This is a simple way to eat more mindfully and start dropping pounds.
Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight #12: Not Drinking Enough Water
The easiest thing here is to get a trusty water bottle and keep it on your person at all times. Then you will have a constant visual reminder to hydrate that body.
Water is essential in shedding your weight because drinking H2O increases the number of calories you burn also known as resting energy expenditure. Plus, since water is calorie free, drinking it does not increase your calorie intake. Rather, it fills you up giving you a sensation of fullness and simultaneously curbs your cravings.
So use this trick to stop yourself from overeating or snacking. The next time your cravings kick in, drink a full glass of water first before you look for something to eat. You’ll find out that your desire to munch on something will have abated, giving you back your self-control.
Besides body hydration and flushing out toxins, water also makes your skin and hair shinier! So drink up ladies!
I hope you’ll benefit leaps and bounds with these 12 Bad Habits to Quit when Losing Weight. It starts off slow at first as do many other habits, but eventually, they will become instinct and you’ll be effortlessly avoiding these bad habits and pick up new, healthier ones such as those in this article of 14 Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia. It’ll be a very rewarding journey indeed. And I wish you the best!
If you have an interesting bad habit to kick or tip on how to get fit in KL, do share it in the comments below, however insignificant you think it might be. Your tips might not even occur to others and may make a huge difference in the life of another. So let’s cultivate that Malaysian sharing spirit and help each other out in our universal strive of personal fitness!
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