The three worst diet-destroying habits for your waistline include drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep and watching TV, according to new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The most diet-damaging of the three is drinking alcohol, followed by lack of sleep then watching TV. These habits are not only associated with being overweight or obese, the researchers that the habits make us gain weight.
There are many reasons why people struggle to lose and maintain a healthy weight. One of the major contributors to weight gain is when your body’s natural ability to shut off hunger and turn on satiety is disrupted by environmental exposures, lifestyle behaviors or alternations from our brain chemistry from the foods and beverages we’re eating. Here’s how each of these habits derail your best efforts.
Alcohol is known to induce alterations in our hunger hormones so that appetite is stimulated. Alcohol also impacts other areas of the brain that enhances the feel-good responses of foods, so we want to eat more. Research shows that having alcohol before a meal will boost hunger and increase our enjoyment in the food contained in the meal. What’s more, alcohol is known to disrupt your sleep, which leads to the second most physique-destroying habit…lack of sleep.
Bottom line Effect: You’re hungrier and food becomes more desirable.
Numerous studies consistently show that getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night boosts hunger hormones and cravings. In fact, some sleep deprivation studies have found that when we’re tired we lose our resolve to eat well. That’s because hunger hormones are more activated when we don’t get enough sleep. For more on how sleep makes us overweight, read these posts:
Bottom line effect: If you’re tired, you’re going to feel hungrier and be less inclined to eat healthy choices.
We know that people who watch TV tend to be more overweight and we generally assume it’s because they’re moving less. But, the ways in which screen time can make you pack in pounds stems from how it makes us eat more food. Some believe that eating while watching TV turns off our natural satiety mechanisms because it’s mindless munching but other studies show that images of desirable foods portrayed on TV actually makes us hungrier by triggering the hunger hormone, ghrelin. If Housewives, Homeland or Modern Family is your guilty pleasure, be aware of the effect TV has on your brain and set a ground-rule that you do not eat while watching TV. If you spend more than two hours a day in front of the TV, do light exercises and stretching during the commercials or while you’re watching.