America may not be the fattest county in the world but it sure as hell feels that way sometimes, right? What is it about our lifestyles that are making us so much fatter? Well, actually, a lot of things. Unfortunately, most of us do things every day that make us fat, because, when it comes down to it, being fat isn’t just about the food you eat but also about your lifestyle choices.
Unfortunately, you may not even realize that some of these things make you fat and knowledge is half the battle. If you are aware that these things make you fat, you can start to avoid them. The issue is that sometimes things are marketed as healthy for you (low fat, diet, sports drinks) but in reality, they are pumping you full of excess calories, sugars and chemicals. You can eat as healthy as you’d like, but if you’re drinking the wrong things, you might be screwed when it comes to weight loss.
Furthermore, who you hangout with, where you work, and how long your commute is are other factors could be contributing to weight gain without you even realizing it. So, if you are trying to shed some pounds for the summer or just for life, knowing some of the factors that can sneakily be making you fat every day can help you to avoid them. Below are 15 things you may be unknowingly doing every single day that are making you fat.
15. Working In An Office
If you work in an office, it’s making you fat. You probably can’t just up and quit your job because it’s making you fat, but being aware of the weight pitfalls that offices provide is a great start. People who work in more physically demanding jobs, while they may be taxing on the body, get a workout every single day of their job. That’s a pretty nice perk that people who work in offices miss out on.
First of all, offices are very sedentary by nature. You, more or less, sit at a desk all day and type away on a computer. The only thing getting a work out is your fingers. Doing a lap or two around the office is great for stretching your legs.
Also, offices are usually full of sugary treats. There’s that guy from HR who brings in donuts every Friday and that nice lady who buys a birthday cake whenever it’s someone’s birthday. The treats are nice but woofing down donuts every Friday, as you sit still for 8 hours a day, is not doing your body any favors.
14. Having A Long Commute
If you have a long commute to work, it could be making you fat. Sure, driving a half-hour to and from work is not awful but when you start to factor in commutes that take over an hour each way, that’s when you start to see it taking a toll on your body.
Since you are either driving or sitting on a train or bus for an hour or longer, that is time during which your body isn’t in motion. Even worse is if you commute to an office. That means your are sitting during your commute there, sitting all day at work then sitting some more on your commute home. That’s a shit ton of sitting.
Furthermore, people with commute times over an hour and less likely to go to the gym, because their commute time cuts into their time to exercise, and less likely to prepare themselves a healthy dinner, because, again, their commute time cuts into the time they would have to prepare themselves a meal.
At least knowing the hazards of having a long commute can help you work against them.
13. Hanging Out With Fat People
Believe it or not, hanging with overweight people can actually make you overweight too. You know the saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’? Yeah, well apparently that applied to one’s weight too. It’s not really that having fat friends will automatically make you fat but their habits may quickly become your own. For example, if you go to a restaurant with them and they order a burger, you may be more likely to order a burger too.
Also, their habits may be more sedentary than athletic so when you hang out, there may be a lot of sitting around and very little calorie burning. If you’re friends with someone who is more athletic, they may suggest going on a hike or something else active for your hangouts.
So, if you decide to only be friends with thin, fit people, you aren’t really that shallow. You’re just looking out for your own health, right?
8 Drinking Coffee
This one can go both ways in the diet department. Drinking coffee within an hour of your workout can help you burn more calories and lose more weight. Also, the caffeine in coffee can increase your metabolism and suppress your appetite. Considering the fact that coffee kick-starts your metabolism and suppresses your desire to munch, it sounds like coffee is awesome for your diet, but not so fast.
If you are adding any artificial sweeteners or creams to your coffee, you are doing it all wrong. Adding some of that delicious French vanilla or hazelnut creamer basically makes your coffee into a soda, a drink loaded with sugars and empty calories. If you are going to drink coffee, drink it black to avoid the sugars and extra calories.
7 Drinking Anything Other Than Water
Obviously, you know that drinking soda is bad for you, right? Okay, well, if you’re one of the twelve people in the world that didn’t know soda is loaded with empty sugars, empty calories and full of harmful chemicals, it is – so now you know.
The problem is that there are a ton of other drinks that also aren’t all that great for you. For example, diet soda is not that much better for you than regular soda. In fact, some studies state that diet soda is actually worse because of the chemicals they put into it to make it "diet".
On top of that, if you’re drinking sweetened iced tea (err, Snapple) or something similar, it may not be as bad at soda but it is certainly not good for you. Even sports drinks, which are marketed as healthy, are full of chemicals and sugars. You’re better off sticking to water and getting your calories from your meals.
10. Always Taking The Elevator
While taking the elevator may not make you fat in the way that it’s straight up harmful for you, like drinking soda, the fact that you are choosing the sedentary choice over the active choice is certainly not good.
When you take the elevator, you are standing still and not burning anything off. If, instead, you opted for the stairs, you could be burning calories while climbing to your office or dentist appointment or whatever. Think about it – taking the stairs is a way to literally get a teeny, tiny workout in the middle of your day. How cool is that?
Of course, if your need to get up to the 50th floor, no one is judging you for taking the elevator. That is a shit ton of stairs. If you are, however, that person who takes the elevator from the first floor to the second or third, why not just walk up the stairs?
9. Not Sleeping Enough
In our over-scheduled lives, sleep seems to be the last thing on people’s mind. We are expected to be educated, well-read, get promotions, network with people, maintain friendships, clean our houses, and do seventeen other things at any given moment. It’s a bit much, right? Often sleep seems to be the thing that people skip, but maybe they shouldn’t.
Besides the fact that sleeping is awesome (literally, what is better than sleep?), it can also help maintain your weight. In a recently study, people who got only five hours of sleep a night gained two pounds in under a week. That two pounds can add up quickly if you are often skipping on sleep.
This weight-gain can be due to quite a few factors. Sleep is the body’s time to restore so if it isn’t slowing down and restoring itself every night, that’s an issue. Also, lack of sleep will slow one’s metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories throughout the day. So, next time you want to hit snooze, you can reason that you're doing it for your body.
8. Not Packing Your Lunch & Eating Out
Meal planning can seem like one of those annoying things that health nuts post about on social media. If you don’t have a friend who has posted a “meal planning” photo, consider yourself lucky. In these photos, it’s basically just Tupperware full of a week’s worth of healthy meals. While these photos are lame, meal planning actually isn’t really.
Packing your lunch for work can both keep you skinny and keep your wallet full. The issue with not having a lunch prepared is that you will be more likely to join in on ordering lunch from a nearby restaurant or going to a restaurant. These restaurant meals can be much more fattening than a simple salad you packed yourself.
Yes, packing your own meal is time consuming, especially when you’re tired in the morning and would rather get ten more minutes of sleep, but in the long run it will make you thin and rich – okay, maybe not thin and rich but hey, you won’t be fat and poor, right?
Reaching for low fat isn’t always the best route to go. The process of making something low fat often includes adding more sugar to the product so it’s still tasty. Sugar will make you fat – plain and simple. So, when you are popping twenty “low fat” cookies in your mouth, you’re still getting fat.
In general, all processed foods are pretty bad for you. Eating things that are less processed is an easy way to stay thin. Think fruits, vegetables, meats, grains. Unfortunately, processed foods are just so accessible and so easy. Heating up a Hot Pocket will always, always, always be easier than making a pizza for yourself. We get the appeal of an easy meal sometimes, but if your dinner if often coming from a cardboard box and being microwaved, it’s making you fat.
5 Skipping Meals
This is a pretty well known fact but skipping meals will not make you thin, but rather, it will make you fat. The reason is that when you skip a meal, your metabolism (aka your body’s way of taking that food and breaking it down into energy) will adjust and slow down. You do not want a slow metabolism, as that will make it easier for you to gain weight.
Basically, if you’re hungry and refusing your body food, your body will think it’s starving and store fat for survival. If you eat, like, six meals a day, then yeah, you should probably start skipping a few of them forever. But, if you’re eating a regular amount, starving yourself is not a logical way to lose weight. When people say that breakfast is the most important meal of that day, this is exactly why. The most important thing is to feed your body if it is hungry.
4 Eating Quickly
We live in a fast-paced world. Think about it, just 100 years ago, people were still writing letters that had to be mailed. That’s insane when you think about the fact that now, we can text whoever went want, no matter where they are, and get an almost instant response.
It’s amazing, but we also move through life very quickly and because of this, we tend to eat too quickly as well. Being a quick eater will make you fat and this one actually has to do with your brain. When you eat too quickly, you eat faster than your brain can actually tell you that your stomach is full.
People who eat like this will sudden feel full and possibly sick after quickly eating a ton of food, some of which they didn’t even need.
3 Eating Freebies
Freebies come in all shapes and sizes but whatever the shape or size, those freebies will make you fat. Let me explain freebies to you – um, any food given to you for free.
When you sit down at an Italian restaurant and they serve you bread. That’s a freebie and it’s loaded with carbs, but it’s also delicious and impossible to resist. When you sit down at a Mexican restaurant and they serve you chips and salsa, that’s another freebie that will make you fat. To avoid the temptation all together you could simply ask that they don’t even bring these freebies to your table.
Freebies can also sneak up on you at work. Does your boss bring in donuts every Friday or bagels every Tuesday? They are freebies and you should avoid them. Yeah, it’s hard to resist free food, because, well, it’s free freakin’ food, but your gut will be thanking you later.
Sorry, but if you like to enjoy a nice alcoholic drink after a long day, it could be making you fat. This issue obviously depends on what you drink but either way, consuming a drink with calories every night is not great for your weight.
Drinking a vodka and club soda is a bit better than polishing off a few beers, which are higher in calories. The worst case scenario is drinking fruity cocktails. People generally don’t drink fruity cocktails in the comfort of their of home, but if this is your go-to order during happy hour, you could be in trouble. If a drink is being marketed as one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, it’s probably high in sugar and calories.
So, basically any of those pretty looking drinks with fruit and umbrellas on them… yeah, stay away from them. They are pretty much like having a dessert.
2. Eating While You Watch TV
Watching TV and snacking go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Unfortunately, it’s making you fat.
The issue that your mind is paying attention to whatever program you’re watching and your body is eating. Since your mind is not focused on the food, as it usually would be if you were eating dinner sitting down at a table, it is not sending signals to you to tell you to stop eating because you’re full. What ends up happening is that you mindlessly keep throwing chips in your mouth during the whole episode of Game of Thrones.
Eating while doing other tasks during which your mind is preoccupied will result in this as well. Eating is best done when you are fully aware and paying attention to the fact that you are eating.
As if you didn’t have enough to be stressed about, you can add the fact that being stressed makes you fat to the list of things to be stressed about.
Stress can actually infect your whole body and result in many different issues, such as acne, fatigue, and even illness. Oh, hormones. They are so much fun, right? Well, having high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can up your appetite and even make you specifically crave junk food. If you are cramming for a presentation and stressed out over it, you may feel yourself craving chips or a candy bar. Resist those urges. It’s just the cortisol from your stress trying to make you fat.
So, now you know some of the things that are making you fat every single day. Of course, some of them may be unavoidable, like your commute time to work, but knowing the pitfalls of them can help your work against them.