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You’ve been trying so hard to shed pounds, but notice the scale tipping the other way. Before you toss your arms up in defeat, perhaps there are reasons why you’re gaining weight that you never thought of. My clients often tell me they’re sure they should be losing weight, but sometimes I point out the little things that really make a difference.
#1: Oil Overkill
Olive oil is a healthy fat—and so are some hyped-up expensive oils like grape seed and macadamia nut oil. Regardless of which type of oil you use, they all contain 120 calories per tablespoon. You need to be VERY careful about how much oil you’re cooking with or using in dressings and marinades.
Solve it: Aim for 1 to 2 teaspoons per person in one sitting to get your oil fix without going overboard.
#2: Unforgiving Take-Out
Do you pick up a bowl of oatmeal or favorite smoothie every morning before work? If you’re not checking the calories or the restaurant doesn’t supply the nutrition facts, you may be eating MANY more calories than you realize. The oatmeal may contain loads of butter and sugar while the smoothie may be a very large portion or made with high-fat dairy products.
Solve it: Know what you’re eating! Inquire about all the ingredients in a dish or dine at an establishment that provides calorie counts. You can also brown-bag your meals and snacks to be 100% certain of what you’re eating.
#3: FroYo Obsession
Frozen yogurt stands are becoming a country-wide snack time favorite. You may be choosing the nonfat, sugar free variety to save calories but may be serving yourself WAY more ounces (and calories) than you realize. And don’t forget the toppings—they count too!
Solve it: Make yogurt a special treat and pay close attention to how many ounces you serve yourself.
Check out our top picks from popular fro yo chains
#4: Mindless Picking
A few gummy bears here and a half a cookie there may not register in your daily food log, but it all counts. Some folks mindlessly pick from their kids’ plates or a co-workers basket of baked goodies. Calculations have determined that seemingly harmless picking can add up to over 1,000 extra calories per day!
Solve it: Be conscious of any food or beverage you take in. Keep a food diary for a week or two to really check where the extra calories are coming from.
#5: Not Enough Zzzz’s
Studies show that it’s tougher to achieve your weight loss goal if you’re not getting enough sleep. Moreover, when you’re exhausted you tend to be less physically active and reach for higher-calorie comfort foods.
Solve it: Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
#6: Your Meds
Certain medications like oral contraceptives, antidepressants, heartburn meds and those used to control high blood pressure and diabetes can cause weight gain. The amount of weight gained varies from person to person. Oftentimes, the weight gain happens slowly and you don’t notice it until it’s already happened.
Solve it: Before you start a new medication or aren’t sure if weight gain is a side-effect of a current medicine you’re on, speak with your doctor or registered dietitian. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different type of medication, and if not, an RD can help you make sure you’re doing everything you can to minimize weight gain.
Stress can trigger overeating. After a tough day of work all you want to do is be a coach potato and indulge in a pint of soothing ice cream.
Solve it: Choose 10 minutes a day for “me” time where you relax. This can be in the form of meditation, a bubble bath or walking your pooch.
Check our top 10 foods to help relieve stress
Now is the time many folks start breaking their New Year’s resolutions. At the gym, lines for the elliptical machine are slowly dwindling, while at home, healthy eating habits are beginning to slide. If you’re starting to fall off the wagon, instead of going back to your old habits for the remaining 11 months of the year, brush yourself off and get back on.