Are these 10 habits destroying your diet?

bad diet habitsYou know the feeling so well. You seem to do all you can to lose weight but it keeps coming back – with a company. This is very discouraging and can ruin your motivation. There must be a tribe of gnomes feeding you a peanut butter while you sleep – that is the only explanation!

But, before you give up, please read on and see if you can recognize any of the symptoms below. These are the most common habits destroying our diets. Any sound familiar? These are the little gnomes messing with your plans. They can sneak in hidden calories or trigger late-night cravings. Change the patterns and you will notice weight dropping off in no time!


Top 10 worst diet habits:


  1. Relying on ‘light’ foods

The fat-free, sugar-free options – what if I told you bo**ocks to that? Just because you buy ‘light’ mayonnaise or butter, you really are not doing yourself a favor. Quite the contrary. By stripping a product of natural fat, food manufacturers have to stuff it with chemicals and sugars to regain the taste and the texture. And guess what, you end up with the comparable amount of calories to an original product, but with loads of artificial elements. Stick to full fat products (fat is good for you!) and simply reduce the portions.


  1. Expecting overnight results

Let’s be honest, how long did it take you to put on weight? Chances are it was a longer process. Don’t expect to lose it all within a week! You will just get disappointed or discouraged. Crash diets are called so as they usually crash. You deprive yourself of your favorite foods, feel constantly hungry and can only last so long until you snap and have a massive ‘cheat day’.

Change this scenario! Opt for steady but ongoing diet reducing calories and keeping fit. Have a treat from time to time, as well as regular healthy meals. That’s the only guaranteed way to lose weight and successfully keep it off.


  1. Skipping breakfasts

Now that is a massive no-no. If you skip a breakfast, you risk facing irresistible cravings late in the evening. Breakfast is crucial – it sets your digestive system for the day and gives you plenty of energy. Make it nutritious too: full of protein and fiber. These elements will keep you fuller for longer, fight the sluggish feeling and help resist snacking between the meals.

According WebMD, people who skip breakfasts find it more difficult to control weight and tend to eat more than usual at the next meal. So what is the best breakfast combination? A bowl of müsli with a full fat milk or two slices of brown bread with butter and cheese are examples of balanced meals full of proteins (milk , cheese, butter) and fiber (müsli, brown bread).


  1. Snacking & mindless eating

That’s most challenging to overcome when you’re on a diet. Did you know that we eat 30% more while watching TV than we normally would? Why? Let’s picture this: do you remember that night you’ve put Lost DVD on while snacking on peanuts? Before you knew, you ate the whole pack! Yes, we’ve all been there. This is the issue with mindless eating. You stop registering how much you actually consume.

Same goes for snacking. You know – a crisp here, a small chocolate there – there’s no harm in that? If done frequently it can add up to a whole bar of chocolate and two packets of crisps by the end of the day! That’s the gnome we’ve mentioned before, sneaking calories into your diet.

Resist snacking by sticking to this habit: always sit down to your meal and serve the food in one go in order to see it on a plate. Your brain is going to register it and help you feeling fuller for longer. And make sure to pick healthy protein snacks over crisps and sweets. Click here to see the examples of simple healthy snacks.


  1. Eating late

Here we go – I know, I know – I’m not about to criticize all of you hard working folk who come home late and an evening meal is the only proper food they have. But, planning your teatime ahead goes a long way. Upon returning home, you snack on anything lying around, while your dinner is getting cooked – you are so hungry and impatient! By making a dinner the night before (or morning that day), you only have to re-heat it in a microwave.

Serve smaller portions and pick foods easy to digest – salads, soups, fish or chicken. And stop eating at 80% full – very important! Your brain takes 20 minutes to register you’ve had enough – so by eating until you are full, you tend to overeat!


  1. Not getting enough sleep

This can also have a damaging effect on our waistlines. Sleep is a beauty miracle – I’m sure you’ve heard of that. It restores many functions and recharges our system for the next day. By cutting down on sleep (advisory 6 hours), you disrupt your body’s performance. Hunger and metabolism are particularly affected. Studies show that a regular nap restores two important hormones in our bodies: leptin and ghrelin. These guys regulate our metabolism and hunger levels. When they get disturbed, you are more likely to snack, overeat during meal times and won’t digest as fast as usual.


  1. Not keeping fit

That comes as a no-brainer. But, don’t close your laptop yet. We are not asking you to join a gym or attend a Zumba class – although that is a fun way to shed pounds too. There’s an easier – and a hassle-free way. Walk! Everywhere, to the shop, to work (if possible), with a dog – opportunities are everywhere. I remember I struggled tremendously to lose weight for over a year. It only became easier once I sold the car and began walking everywhere – for at least an hour a day. Weight started falling off without me even trying. And it’s so easy to do; you don’t need a special gear or a monthly subscription, just an hour a day – every day. Try it for yourself!


  1. Going it alone

Battling against weight is easier if you have a right support around. Tell your housemates, family and co-workers about the diet plans. They will be happy to support you and won’t tempt with nachos or take-aways. And guess what? You are more likely to resist snacking if people around you know you are trying to lose weight – you don’t want to face ‘what, you’re eating THAT’? looks – it can be really supportive in many ways.



  1. Turning down your favorite foods

Diet is not supposed to feel like a torture, you know? By refusing to eat your favorite pizza or ice-cream, you feel deprived and are more likely to snap at some point and binge-eat uncontrollably. That’s not the way. If you love ice-cream, have it for a dessert – just serve half a usual portion. Fancy a pizza? Order a small one (or only a slice), to get a taste of it. The trick is to eat a little bit of everything – and stop when you are 80% full – that way you won’t put on weight, and will never feel deprived or bitter.



  1. Not drinking enough water

Last but not least. Did you know we often take thirst for hunger? Yes, cravings frequently indicate we only need something to drink. Top up on water as often as you can during a day – staying hydrated will help you resist any high-calorie nibbles!


So there se have it. 10 worst habits that can effectively ruin your diet. Change these before giving up on losing weight. Stay motivated and don’t feel you have to deprive yourself of foodie-goodies in order to get slimmer.

Have a great tip of your own? Please leave a comment below!

Are these 10 habits destroying your diet?

Want To Lose weight? Walk, Walk, Walk!

Keep walking to lose weightIt’s my second week of the housesitting and I really enjoy it. Being in London has got its advantages; I love the hustle and bustle and the glamour of the big city! My only duties include feeding and walking the dog / cat and making sure the house doesn’t tumble down. So far so good.

I’m moving to Hatfield today (for 7 days), hence this post is rushed, and not as detailed as my regular posts. I need to pack and clean the house before leaving. But I wanted to stick to the allocated plan and craft a post, as per every Sunday & Thursday.

Over the past year I have been battling with my weight. I have rounded up at some point and then struggled to get back to shape. Jogging and near starvation seemed to be the only way forward. It’s worth to mention that I did have a car back then, which was in constant use – I drove almost everywhere, even to a local shop. It’s easy to connect the dots now…

Moving to London turned out to be a solution. I found myself walking at least an hour each day (taking the dog out, going shopping) – which appears to be an excellent work-out! I have started losing weight without even trying – I don’t even have to jog anymore. Not having a car has got the good points after all.

So if you are struggling with weight, ditch the expensive gym, and spend this hour walking – in the park, to work, shopping – it really is a simple yet underrated miracle worker!

Want To Lose weight? Walk, Walk, Walk!

10 Quick & Easy Protein snacks for work

Luxury trail mix

Having erratic working hours often means we skip lunch, replacing it with a number of high-calorie snacks. By the time we get home, we are hungry and impatient so we polish off the pack of potato crisps even before the dinner is ready.

It’s a familiar script for many working people. Sticking to your diet is particularly challenging in that situation. But is there a way to change it?

Yes! We can control our cravings by picking the right snacks. The ones low in calories and rich in protein to leave us feeling fuller for longer. We can even prepare them at home ready for the day ahead!

Is protein the answer?

Actually, yes it is. By eating high protein foods, we supply our diets with long-lasting energy and feel more satisfied between the meals. We are also less tempted to reach for the sugary snacks. So beat the cravings now and equip yourself with few healthy grubs!

Below you’ll find 10 quick protein snacks, easy to make at home and perfect on the go:

1. Luxury Trail Mix

Nuts are an excellent source of proteins. Combination of hard and soft textures is pure heaven, but don’t stop at the ready made varieties. Design your own! Mix almonds and pistachios – which are higher in protein than other nuts – add cranberries and dried cherries, topped with pumpkin seeds and optional coarse salt. Delicious!

Apple & peanut butter snack

2. Apple & Peanut Butter

Just thinking about it makes me hungry… That’s a simple yet filling combination which takes seconds to prepare. De-seed and slice medium sized apple and place it in a lunch bag. Take a spoonful of peanut butter and put it in a small plastic lidded food container. Pack together with a sliced apple and simply dip the apple in the peanut butter to taste pure perfection!

3. Hummus & Veggie Sticks

It’s a similar choice to the one above, yet this one is savory. Hummus, being based on chickpeas, is full of proteins and makes a perfect snack on the go. Find it in the local shop or make your own. Pair hummus with three of your favorite vegetables (carrot, cucumber, pepper etc.), cut them into thin sticks and store in the lunch bag. It’s a simple and practical snack, perfect to munch on even by the computer!

4. Savory Greek Yogurt

Alternative to a sweet variety – with granola & honey – this filling snack satisfies those preferring salty options. Greek yogurt has got significantly more protein than a regular one. Pick good quality creamy yogurt and mix it with fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and pine nuts for a Mediterranean flair. You can complement it further by adding a slice of grilled pita bread. So rewarding…

5. Roasted Chickpeas

If you are hooked on the potato chips and pretzels, this nutrient-packed alternative is your remedy. Salty and crispy in texture, roasted chickpeas will leave you satisfied and guilt free. All you need is a can of chickpeas and a seasoning of your choice – salt, pepper, cayenne, chili, cumin – and so on… Tossed in the olive oil this snack can be easily prepared in a pan or an oven. There is sweet alternative too – maple syrup & cinnamon blend.

6. Peanut Butter Dates

Packed with flavor and a satisfying combination of textures, this sweet snack is perfect for pregnant women and active people. High in protein and fiber, it’s also rich in calories. Still, just a handful of these peanut butter filled dates will keep you full for hours. Absolutely worth it…

7. Soy Milk Smoothie

Now, how about a drink? We can give it a protein make-over too. Swap sugary can for a revitalizing smoothie to shake up your lunch break. Easy to prepare, it will take you few seconds in the morning. Blend 1 cup of soy milk (full of vitamin D and iron) with a handful of fresh or frozen fruits, such as banana, blueberries or strawberries. Add nuts or almonds for a crunchy texture. Store it in a travel mug ready for your lunch. Pure loveliness…

8. No-Bake Oatmeal Cakes

This simple, protein-rich snack can be fixed in the morning before you leave home. Take a microwave-safe bowl and mix:

  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. raisins

Combine well and flatten the mixture in the bowl before microwaving it for 45 seconds. Transfer to a lunch box and reach for it whenever you need a sugary fix. So satisfying!

Chocolate chip protein cookies

9. Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Fancy something more challenging? This cookie recipe will test your baking skills. Start by making simple chocolate chip cookie dough, while adding a protein powder in the process. This will beautifully enhance your formula, while giving you a filling boost during a day.

10. Zesty Black Bean Hummus

This unusual recipe is a mixture of cottage cheese, black beans and almond butter, finished with an orange zest. Against all odds it works beautifully, delivering creamy texture and interesting flavors. Although it’s called hummus, it doesn’t have a staple chickpeas ingredient, present in most hummus recipes. High in protein (at 16g in a ½ cup serving) this delicious dip will be a great filling companion to the sliced toast or veggie sticks.

10 Quick & Easy Protein snacks for work