7 Bad Habits of Overweight People

Most people who pack on extra pounds didn't get there overnight. It usually takes years of unhealthy habits which can be hard to overcome. Here are seven common bad habits that can contribute to weight gain and what you can do to avoid them:

1. They Don't Exercise Regularly.

Dylan Gautreaux, fitness manager for 24 Hour Fitness in Carrollton, Texas, recommends two to three cardio sessions per week of 20 to 45 minutes and two to three resistance training sessions per week of 30 to 45 minutes. He says resistance training will build muscle that helps burn fat.

2. They Eat Most of Their Meals Out.

"Restaurant portions are enormous and most of us were brought up to belong to the clean plate club," says LouAnn Frisch, a dietitian in Portland, Oregon. She says that Mexican and Chinese restaurants probably have the highest calorie meals, but if you must eat out: "Thai and Vietnamese foods are better. Pho soups and won-ton soups are great choices." [Pho, pronounced "fa," is a Vietnamese soup that's usually made with beef.]

3. They Always Eat a Second Portion.

"It really does take 20 minutes for your brain to catch up with your stomach. But most people consume high amounts of food in 20 minutes," says Frisch. She acknowledges that it's difficult to slow down, but suggests putting less food on your plate and skipping seconds.

4. They Avoid Even Light Activity.

"There are little things that you can do to lead a more active lifestyle," says Gautreaux. "Take breaks and get some fresh air instead of sitting at your desk all day. There are even stability balls made to sit behind a desk instead of a chair. These cause you to sit up straight, hold your back up and burn more calories."

5. They Never Turn Down Sweets.

Frisch doesn't recommend cutting out sweets completely, just cutting down on them: "If you need chocolate, have some. Not a lot, just some. But savor it and be happy with a small portion."

6. They Eat Even When They're Not Hungry.

"Eating is a physiologically and psychologically satisfying, mood-altering experience. Most people eat, not because they are hungry, but for other reasons," says Frisch. Learn what triggers you to eat and healthier ways to reward yourself or brighten your mood.

7. They Skip Meals.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that skipping meals can play a role in obesity. Eating fewer, larger meals may cause insulin to spike, which triggers hunger and could cause more blood sugar to be stored as fat. The study found that people who eat several, smaller meals were less likely to be obese. Overweight people may find it difficult initially to overcome their bad habits, but the results of better eating and exercise habits are very rewarding.

Sources:
American Cancer Society "Eating Patterns Linked to Obesity."
Dylan Gautreaux, Fitness Manager at 24 Hour Fitness' Trinity Mills location in Carrollton, Texas.
Louann Frisch RD, a Portland, Oregon dietitian who specializes in weight loss.


This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.