Release Unhealthy Habits 

Five Lifestyle Mistakes to Avoid

Five Lifestyle Mistakes to Stop Making Now
by Harold Irby, Personal Trainer | Lifestyle and Health | Monday, February 17, 2014

First, if you’re looking for an easier way to lose fat, avoid starving yourself, counting calories, or eliminating your favorite food groups. These extreme techniques will only burn you out and leave you more frustrated than ever. 

At the same time, I bet if I could follow you around for one week and watch your daily routine, I would be able to identify at least five other areas where you could make simple changes that would help you lose unwanted pounds effortlessly. 

Because the truth is, real fat loss comes from lasting, healthy lifestyle changes that you make in your daily routine. In fact, you’ll achieve your weight-loss goals quicker when you eliminate the following five mistakes from your lifestyle: 

Lifestyle Mistake #1: Lack of Sleep 
To put this simply, you need to sleep more. Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night, and you may not be getting that much. When you don’t get adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight. How does this work? Something like this…If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also cause you to skip the gym. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, and if you haven’t heard, a slow metabolism is not something you want if you’re trying to shed a few pounds. 

Lifestyle Mistake #2: Too Much TV Time
Many people are in the habit of sitting in front of the television for hours on end after a stressful day at work. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose inches. If you must watch the evening news or see your favorite show, use the time to burn a few calories. Keep some hand weights next to the couch and work your biceps and triceps. Stand up and do some squats or lunges to work your legs and buttocks. Get on the floor and do some sit-ups to tone your abs or push-ups to tone your arms. Click here for some exercises to do right in your living room.

Lifestyle Mistake #3: Skipping Breakfast 
Eat breakfast! Try cutting calories by skipping breakfast, and you’ll be excessively hungry by mid-morning. As a result, the healthy calories you would have eaten at breakfast are replaced with calorie-filled snacks and an over-sized lunch. Once again, fitting breakfast into your busy schedule may mean dramatic lifestyle changes. But research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Get to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

Lifestyle Mistake #4: Drinking Too Much Sugar 
Again, lasting fat loss is about changes. Unfortunately, some of the changes you need to make are difficult. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soda, alcohol, or other sweetened beverages then your fitness goals may remain out of reach until you replace these drinks with water. You should also know that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger. So, at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water. 

Lifestyle Mistake #5: Not Doing the Right Physical Activity 
Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, it should make sense to you that dieting and exercise must go hand in hand. If you want to speed up weight loss and keep the weight away, add or increase the amount and intensity of physical activity in your daily life. 

For many people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are well worth it. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, it’s more likely to stick, and your body will become slimmer and more toned. 

Staying Power 
These five lifestyle changes aren’t always easy to make and change won’t happen overnight. Chances are, you’ll have occasional setbacks, but don’t give up! Each day is a new beginning, and it starts out with no mistakes in it. Begin each morning with the resolve to not only stick with your healthy eating habits, but to stick with your lifestyle changes as well.

Harold Irby is a certified personal fitness trainer and Mr. Michigan body building champion with over 20 years of experience in weight training, body building, sport specific training and strength conditioning. Harold has worked with many professional, college and high school athletes, as well as celebrities and business professionals seeking a healthy and fit lifestyle through his personal training and fitness center Xtreme Advantage.

Photo credit: ©iStock/Mari


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