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5 Sneaky Ways You're Sabotaging Your Diet

Posted: 08/07/2013 8:03 am

We all know the ingredients of healthy living: eating nutritious, good-for-you foods, laying off the junk and leading an active lifestyle. It all seems pretty simple, but the truth is, there are little habits we've all been guilty of that could be sneakily undoing all your best efforts. Read on for ways you may be unknowingly stalling your health and fitness goals, and how to get back on track:

1. You Drink Your Calories

Downing a large glass of OJ in the morning, grabbing a venti latte en route to work, and adding a cocktail or two to a dinner out can really add up. Whether you're trying to drop pounds or maintain a healthy weight, loading up on calorie-rich, sugary or alcoholic drinks is one of the worst, and easiest ways to sabotage your diet. Try to limit your juice intake, cut out or cut down on alcohol, and stick to water, unsweetened tea/coffee, or order the sugar-free/low-fat option of your caffeine fix.

2. You're In a Workout Rut

If you're doing the same old workout routine week in and week out, your mind isn't the only thing that's bored -- it's likely that the rest of you is too. As it gets accustomed to your regular moves, your body becomes more efficient, uses less energy, and therefore burns less calories and hits pause on any progress. To keep things interesting and challenging, make sure you rotate a variety of cardio and strength-training exercises throughout the week. Don't be afraid to try something new, or even swap a day at the gym for a hike outside.

Related: The Truth Behind Diet Myths

3. You Don't Get Enough Sleep

Clocking in seven to nine hours of sleep a night not only rejuvenates your mind and body, preparing you for the day ahead, it could also have a direct link to your diet. Health experts say that the hormones that control hunger may be influenced by how little or long you slumber. This means that skimping on snooze time could put these appetite-regulating hormones out of whack, making you hungrier throughout the day and upping the chances of over-eating.

4. You Never Cheat

It may seem counter-intuitive, but allowing yourself to "cheat" every once and a while is actually more beneficial for your waistline than severely cutting out "forbidden foods." By allowing yourself to occasionally indulge, you'll nix any chances of a binge session, and the rare calorie splurge can actually help to keep you on track. Just remember: everything in moderation, and make sure to eat healthy more often than not.

5. You Skip/Put Off Breakfast

It's been said time and time again, it's the most important meal of the day -- but racing with the clock to get out the door in the morning makes it easier said than done to sit down to a balanced breakfast. However, squeezing in that all-important first meal in the first half hour of waking can mean all the difference between a fast or sluggish metabolism and eating smart for the rest of the day.

Written by Melissa Hayes for 29Secrets.com

Also on 29Secrets:

- 5 Tips for Healthy Digestion
- 5 Foods You Should Eliminate
- Why You Should Be Lifting Weights

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