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The Top 8 Lazy Things that De-rail Fitness

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The Top 8 Lazy Things that De-rail Fitness

We're all guilty of succumbing to the lazy bug once in a while, but some of us are more susceptible than others. One of the biggest lazy things we do (or don't depending on your outlook) is not reading nutrition labels. And those of us that do don't tend to go past the fifth line, let alone look at the other key components after that like total fat, trans fat, sugars, etc. 

So besides the lack of reading, what are our other biggest lazy points that can cost you pounds on the scale?

The only things you surf are the channels, couch and the internet. 

The average adult American spends 5 hours a day parked in front of the TV and 5 more in front of their computer, phone, or tablet. Too bad all that screen time expends fewer calories than other leisure activities like reading, writing, and talking on the phone. A study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that scaling back TV time (and making no other lifestyle or dietary changes) by 50% will help you burn an extra 120 calories a day! 

Skipping meals...

It's a lot easier to skip a meal than make over your eating habits when your goal is to cut calories. But it's more likely that your hunger will cause you to overeat later in the day. A 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in elevated fasting glucose level and a delayed insulin response. If these conditions are allowed to persist long-term, you could become diabetic.  Skipping meals results in less fuel for your cells, which strains your entire sytem. 

You don't try new workouts

Mixing up your fitness regimen can help spur weight loss—and can help you find a program you love enough to stick with for the long haul. In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers surveyed more than 1,100 people who had lost weight and kept it off. They identified weight loss and weight-maintenance practices that 10% of the group used, and noted some key differences between what it takes to lose weight and what it takes to maintain that loss.

One variation the survey found was that respondents who lost weight successfully did so by participating in different types of exercises, whereas following a consistent exercise program was associated with weight maintenance. You don't have to get crazy and go out heli-skiing or mountain biking to mix it up. Simply adding a new piece of equipment like a suspension trainer or kettlebell to your workout can wake up that weight loss or muscle gain that stalled out. 

You don't cut your food.

Slowing down your meal and slicing up your food can have serious weight-loss benefits. A 2009 Dutch study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who chewed large bites of food for 3 seconds consumed 52% more food before feeling full than participants who chewed small bites for 9 seconds. Researchers believe greater oral sensory exposure to a food—created by chewing a smaller amount for longer—helps signal your brain to make you feel full sooner and therefore decrease intake. 

You rely on "diet" foods to help you slim down.

Diets foods won't transform your body alone and in some cases they can even contribute to weight gain. One study even found that people eat 28% more when a food is labeled "diet." But foods marked reduced-fat or low-calorie are most dangerous if it spurs someone to buy a food just because the label features language that suggests the product is "healthy" or "healthier."

People don't swap a diet variety food in to replace a regular item, but end up adding it to what they are already consuming. Just because it's "diet" doesn't make you automatically consume less calories.

You take your "rest day" too far.

If you never leave your easy chair on your day off, you aren't doing your body any favor. You never should completely avoid movement on an off day. Sometimes the best rest is just being active and leaving the real workout for your next gym visit.

Taking it too easy can also negatively affect your heart health. A study from the University of South Carolina found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity—that's about 3 hours and 15 minutes of sitting a day—had a 64% greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week. Reduce your risk, and your waistline, by taking regular breaks. A 2008 Australian study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that increased breaks in sedentary time were beneficial to waist circumference. 

You're a specator of healthy habits.

We have no trouble sitting through an hour of Top Chef or Chopped, but for some reason whipping up our own cuisine from scratch is just too time-consuming.

 When we prepare our own food we have more control over the ingredients and the nutrition. Bagged, boxed, and canned foods can contain sneaky sugars, sodium, and saturated fat in addition to being highly processed. Our need for speed in the kitchen also causes us to skip an important part of the meal—the salad course.  Washing and chopping a head of lettuce is a huge barrier for a lot of people. But giving up on the green stuff not only robs you of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but also helps you eat less of the rest of your meal and consume fewer calories overall. 

These are all easy habits to fall into, but, they can be easy to fall out of as well. Just making the conscious effort for most of these will help to start breaking them and getting you on the path to consistent health and fitness.


Needing some help with trying new workouts? Check out our small group training and personal training programs in Spokane.

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