Three Sneaky Habits That Cause Weight Gain: You probably think that if you eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly, maintaining a healthy weight will be easy. Unfortunately, it is not always so simple, and despite your best efforts, you might be engaging in habits that can actually cause you to gain weight. Here, learn about three habits that could be causing weight gain without your even realizing it.
Skimping on Sleep
Staying up to watch the midnight news could be causing you to pack on the pounds. In a 2008 study in the journal Sleep, researchers found that people who only slept 5-6 hours per night gained, on average, 4.4 pounds more over the course of 6 years than those who slept 7-8 hours per night did. These results remained significant even after adjustment for factors like the participants’ calorie intake and physical activity levels. Make sleep a priority, and you might find it easier to stay lean.
Guzzling Diet Soda
Diet soda contains no calories or sugar, so you probably think it can safely be included in your diet. However, research suggests that diet drinks might actually increase your weight. A 2008 study in Obesity found that people who consumed more artificially-sweetened beverages gained more weight over time and were more likely to become overweight or obese, even after controlling for exercise, diet, and whether or not they had diabetes. The study authors suggested that removing sugar from the diet could impact the metabolism and thereby cause weight gain. Switch to water or unsweetened iced tea to manage your weight.
Working Too Much
Putting in too many hours at the office can also be detrimental to your weight loss goals. Researchers for a 2005 edition of the International Journal of Obesity found that working overtime was associated with weight gain in both men and women. Stick to your standard work schedule whenever possible, and when your work day is over, head home to relieve your stress with some exercise. Squeezing in extra hours at work or earning overtime pay isn’t worth it if it causes you to pack on weight.
Whether you’re working too much, feeding your diet soda addiction, or staying up too late, these common habits can derail even the best diet and exercise regimen. Maybe you’re even guilty of all three of these habits. Replace them with healthier choices, and you might be able to fit into those skinny jeans you’ve been hiding in the back of your closet.