Diet Killers

Diet Killers

Can't Lose Weight? These 10 Sneaky Things Could Be Derailing Your Diet

By K. Aleisha Fetters

Don’t head into an all-you-can-eat buffet on an empty stomach. Don’t raid the refrigerator when you’re stressed. Some things you know are a recipe for a diet disaster. But, in the end, the biggest diet missteps aren’t the ones you see coming – until now. Here are 10 weird things that can make any guy trade in healthy eating for an extra-large pizza for one.

1. A Bad Night’s Sleep
How much sleep did you get last night? If it wasn’t a solid 7 to 9 hours, you’ve probably already taken healthy eating off today’s menu, saysAbbott dietitian Abby C. Sauer, M.P.H., R.D. In one 2012 Mayo Clinic study, researchers found that when people slept 80 minutes less than usual, they experienced changes in their hunger-regulating hormones and wound up eating an extra 549 calories the next day. That’s about the equivalent of a Big Mac.

2. Social Media
The more time people spend on Facebook, the greater the chances that they are overweight and binge eat on the regular, according to one study from the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School. While researchers believe that getting too many “likes” can inflate guys’ egos so that they show less restraint with food choices later on, food porncertainly plays a role, says Sauer. “Who hasn’t seen someone post a picture of a mouth-watering burger and then gone to get a burger themselves?”

3. Booze
Oh, the questionable decisions you make when you drink. But, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to your post-drink cravings. Having just three drinks in one sitting reduces levels of leptin, a hormone responsible for keeping you full, by 30%, according toSwedish research. No wonder a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, on average, men consume an extra 168 calories from food (that’s not even counting the calories in their beer steins!) on days that they drink compared to those that they stay sober.

4. Watching TV
When people watch television during meals, they end up eating 12% more food – and without feeling any more full once they finally set down their forks, according to research published in Appetite. That’s because, by keeping your brain distracted, watching TV prevents your body from registering how much you’re eating and letting you know when you should feel full, says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet.

5. Team Losses
If your team didn’t fare too well over the weekend, chances are your diet won’t either. In one Psychological Science study, researchers found that the day after their team lost, American football fans upped their consumption of saturated fat by 16% and their calories by 10%. Emotional eat, much?

6. Health Foods
The health food aisle can screw you over in so many ways. After all, just because a food sports a healthy-looking label doesn’t mean it is in fact good for you. Case in point: reduced-fat peanut butter actually contains more sugar (not to mention unpronounceable fillers and additives) than the full-fat stuff, Batayneh explains. And to make things even worse, the more fitness-branded foods people buy, the more they overeat and the less they actually exercise, according to a 2015 Penn State study.

7. Eating On The Go
As if distracted eating wasn’t dangerous enough, eating on the go may even be worse — it tricks you into thinking that, because you are moving while you're eating, you can afford to eat more. In a recent Journal of Health Psychology study, when dieters ate while walking, they went on to consume about three and a half times more calories later on than if they had sat down to eat in the first place.

8. Your Workout
We have a way of overestimating how many calories we burn during our workouts. For instance, research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that after working out, people believed they had burned three to four times more calories than they actually had – and went on to eat two to three times the number of calories they had burned while exercising.

9. Your Kitchen Set-Up
You know you need to eat more fruits and veggies. But keeping them in the fridge drawers does not up your chances of them ever reaching your pie hole, Batayneh says. Most of us eat without thinking, so whatever we see first – however good or bad that may be – is probably going to be what we end up eating. For example, 2015 research published in Health Education & Behaviour shows that people who keep breakfast cerealsitting on their kitchen work surfaces weigh 20 pounds more than those who keep their cereal hidden, while those who keep fruit on the counter weighed about 13-pounds less than their fridge drawer-loving counterparts.

10. Your Dinnerware
However big your plate is, you’re going to fill it – then you're going to eat it. For instance, in one study from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, when people went to a buffet table with large plates, they served themselves and ate about 50% more food than those who went to a buffet with smaller plates.



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