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Five Sneaky Weight Gain Habits



Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight (even though it may seem like we just wake up one morning and it’s there). It happens from little habits you develop over time. And if you’re in the over 50 group, these habits may have developed over years. You may not even be aware of them. And, awareness is the first step to changing them.

But how do you become aware? Here’s a list of some of the most common offenders and how to get them under control.

1. Eating in front of the TV

Eating while you’re distracted takes your mind off what and how much you’re eating. Before you realize it, you’ve eaten the whole bag/sleeve/carton – you get the idea. And what’s worse, you haven’t even been aware enough to enjoy it.

Instead, portion out a serving and put the rest of the package away. And pay attention to what you’re eating so you can enjoy it!

2. Eating when you’re not hungry

Sometimes eating is just a habit. You eat when you walk in the door, or you’re bored, stressed or anxious. Or sometimes you eat because it’s mealtime, even though you’re not hungry. Before eating, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re eating because it’s a habit. And start with a big glass of water. Thirst can mimic hunger, so we feel hungry when all we need is a drink (of water!)

3. You practice the ‘see food’ diet.

Otherwise known as keeping tempting foods in plain sight. It’s hard to resist that treat when it’s right in front of you. Especially if you’ve already seen it a number of times each day. Finally, you just give in. Put those foods away in the back of the freezer, cabinet, or fridge. Or, better yet, don’t buy them.

4. Your plates are too big.

It’s been proven that people take more food when the plates are larger. And those calories can add up. Switch to smaller plates and don’t go back for seconds. Or at least wait 20 minutes before you decide to. It takes that long for our brains to catch up to our stomachs and let us know we’re full. Make sure you’re eating lean protein, fiber, and veggies at every meal.

5. You skip meals

Skipping meals leads to overeating. By the time we realize we’re hungry, we’re starving and we eat everything in sight. No thought is given to what’s healthy, appropriate portion sizes, or really, anything except satisfying our hunger. Make sure you eat at regular intervals to avoid getting to that starving stage. Have you developed any of these habits over the years? Let me know which one/ones!

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Karen Marcouiller

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

National Sports and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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