appetite-1239200_1920.jpgThere are plenty of excuses for gaining weight, but it’s usually only a few persistent habits which kick us in the butt. We don’t want to admit them, so we’re less than honest with ourselves about where we’re cheating on our nutritional plan. Some of the most common pitfalls can be avoided simply by being aware of them.

Stress – Many people say they eat for emotional reasons, but many times it’s simply stress that makes us eat ourselves into a stupor. The best stress release is to take a walk. Get some air deep into your lungs, clear your head, feel your blood pumping, and stretch your legs out. It won’t take but a few minutes for you to reap big benefits from a brisk walk . . . away from the junk food.

Grazing – many people nibble all day long. From bits of bagels and a bite of donut in the morning all the way through to chips in front of the TV for late-night channel surfing. Grazers have no real set meal times, and end up shutting down their body’s natural calorie-burning cycle through the constant onslaught of fat and calories. If you want to graze successfully, try healthy snacks. And make time for balanced meals that will satisfy your appetite.

Mindless eating – Eating without paying attention to what you’re doing, while engaged in sedentary activities. To avoid this, it helps to keep a food journal to determine whether you have unconscious eating tendencies. Are you reaching for junk which you don’t track? Did you nibble on your co-worker’s bagel, your sons chips or take a small bite from your husband’s pizza? Are you then adding the few hundred extra calories up daily? Probably not!

Double portions – We’re being served portions unheard of even a few decades ago. Are our families and friends killing us with food portion kindness? And don’t we serve ourselves more at meals than our bodies need for fuel? Much of this is double of what our body requires, and way more than we can burn in our daily workout!

A good idea is to take only half a portion of everything served to you – anywhere. The extra half doesn’t taste any better and probably won’t make us feel better. But it will turn into those stubborn pounds.

These four common pitfalls can be devastating to our fitness results and our ultimate health. Be aware of where you might be defeating yourself and avoid these traps.