Last Updated on October 17, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Personal habits can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can consist of many different things, especially when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle. But what kind of realistic vices do people have that will affect the ability to lose weight? In reality, this list could be excessively long. Today, I’m only going to focus on seven of the most realistic ones from my personal experience.
Habits that You May Not Consider that Affect Weight Loss
Let’s step past the habits that are quite common knowledge, such as snacking on a bag of cookies or smoking. After all, there are literally hundreds of things you can do throughout the day that will affect the way you lose weight. Here are the things I find myself getting sucked into that hampers my progress on a regular basis.
1. Streaming Video
One of the worst habits that affect my abilities on a daily basis is getting sucked into streaming video. Sites like YouTube and Netflix often tap a very large portion of my day. While I am being entertained, I am usually sitting at my desk while getting very little physical activity.
It’s this lack of movement is what will actually cause one of the biggest problems for you. Binge watching your favorite television shows often results in keeping your butt planted on the couch or computer desk chair. Sitting like this for hours throughout the day can be bad in a multitude of ways.
The obvious fix for streaming video is to cut yourself off. Perhaps it may be in your best interest to set a timer for yourself. For example, you could schedule certain times of the day that can be used for entertainment purposes. Personally, I’ve found cutting out just one episode and doing house cleaning instead vastly changes the calorie burn for the day.
2. Technology Abuse
A lot of people are easily addicted to the potential of today’s technology. Things like gaming consoles, tablets and other items are often responsible for keeping people from moving too much. This can be another one of the more difficult habits to break only because new things are coming out so often.
Multifunction televisions, games on the smartphone, smart-house technology and much more can all play into reducing your physical activity. Don’t get me wrong, these pieces of tech are engaging and can be quite fun. But you need to set limits if you want to keep yourself healthy.
If you want to keep engaged in technology, why not focus on something that can improve your health? For instance, wearable health tech and apps can be quite engaging when fully adapted. You could also set a schedule for the time you spend playing games. Perhaps abusing less home automation and actually getting up to do things around the house is more ideal.
3. Remote Lifestyle
The remote lifestyle can offer a great deal of efficiency in both professional and personal experiences. However, some remote features for life may be greatly affecting your health overall. Take me, for example. My work and play can all be done while sitting in front of my computer. Which is one of the biggest reasons why I’m considered obese.
Technology isn’t the only thing people take advantage of in the “remote world.” I used to ask my children to get me a cup of coffee from the upstairs kitchen because I was too lazy to get up and get it myself. I do it myself now, but I still cannot believe how lazy I was at that point.
Do more stuff for yourself. While some things may have a place in society to help you become more efficient in your day, it doesn’t mean you have to take advantage of everything that you come across. If you’re a parent, stop asking the kids to do stuff for you. I’ve increased my daily activity quite a bit by removing my children from the equation. And, I bet they appreciate the effort as well.
4. Staying Up All Night
I have a severe problem with staying up all night. On average, I get between five and six hours of sleep. Most of the time, I am plagued with insomnia due to my mental condition. However, there are times when I simply want to stay up and absorb all I can. It’s similar to how children don’t want to miss anything and force themselves to stay awake.
A lack of sleep is an incredibly bad habit for the body. It can lead to a variety of ailments ranging from hallucinations to severe stress and internal organ failure. No matter how you slice it, humans need to sleep. I’ve hallucinated from sleep deprivation before and it’s a scary thing when you’re working.
There are several ways you can modify sleeping habits. If you have insomnia such as myself, you can always exercise at night or try sleep aids such as teas or even Emergen-Zzz. Getting enough sleep in your routine is ideal for both physical and mental health. It may also contribute to helping you stay more alert the next day.
5. Social Media
Social media is one of the worst habits of many people. In fact, it has been the cause of deterioration in many relationships. It’s not a bad thing in and of itself. It’s when people begin to abuse this instant access to the world when it can be a problem. Social media addictions and habits can be just as potent as those which relate to gaming.
Why is this such a problem from a health perspective? It’s the lack of activity you have when playing games on Facebook or Tweeting to friends. Most people will take time out of their day to update followers about what their pets are doing or a funny cat meme on the Internet. It’s a bit difficult to burn calories when all you move is your thumbs.
I’m not saying that social media will be the cause of your death. I myself use it for many purposes. It’s when it controls your life is when you should take a closer look at what you’re doing. Try to offset your social play with more physical activity in the day. For example, there’s nothing wrong with going for a walk while reading new Facebook posts on your timeline.
6. Instant Food
We all have days when we’re just not in the mood to cook. And I’m not just talking about heading off to McDonald’s for a calorie loaded lunch or dinner. In fact, a lot of microwaveable edibles are also terrible when it comes to things like calorie count and sodium levels. I’m not saying that you should avoid instant foods. However, you should still be mindful of what you’re eating.
Most humans relish in having instant gratification when it comes to things like food. For many of us, dining out or tossing something in the microwave can be one of the hardest habits to break.
You don’t need to rely on drive through windows or TV dinners if you need something to eat quickly. In fact, a lot of people will cook plenty of food the night before and have leftovers. In my house, we’ll pre-cook a lot of meats and freeze them for a later date. It’s handy to just reach into the freezer and pull out a perfect portion size of chicken that you can toss in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Putting things off is a problem a lot of people have, including myself. Unfortunately, procrastinating has a way of coming back and biting you in the ass if you’re not paying attention. Out of all the habits that you should drop for health, procrastination may be one of the biggest.
Part of this problem centers around the earlier point of being a species that is drawn to instant gratification. Many of us will see a task and consider how there are no apparent and immediate results. As such, we put off things like exercise for a later date.
The fix for personal procrastination is a difficult one to address. Everyone is different and are driven by individual goals and dreams. What works for me is keeping focus of the goals I want to achieve. You need to realize that none of those dreams will come true without the basic building blocks of what you can do today.
Some Habits are Just Hard to Break
Many of us will simply have a hard time trying to break bad habits. Things like smoking are incredibly difficult – as I can attest. But keeping your focus and doing what you can to free yourself from unhealthy ways of thinking will impact your success. Never assume anything is too hard to overcome.