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Most, if not all, of us, want to be healthy and stay healthy. But sometimes, we find ourselves in a rut, that blinds us from seeing the small things that are ruining our diets. From something as benign as chewing gum to giving in to your pizza cravings, here are 6 things that are sabotaging your diet.

1. Too Much Caffeine

Caffeinated drinks can be addictive. You start with one cup, and before you know it, you’re on your second, third, or even fourth cup! Most people believe that a cup of coffee is what they need to boost their brain activity before heading for work. But nutritionists have a different opinion. Drinking too much caffeine subdues your appetite. It tricks your mind into thinking you’re full throughout the day, and by the time you realize you haven’t eaten, it’s already too late. In other words, it disrupts your normal eating routine. The solution is to start to gradually reduce your caffeine intake, and you should notice some positive changes in your eating habits and overall health.

2. You Load Up on Too Many Calories Before Bedtime

You probably didn’t know this, but eating too many calories just before hitting the sack can be detrimental to your health. Maybe you skipped lunch due to workload and are now making up for missing calories, but eating just before bedtime doesn’t give food enough time to digest. In fact, it’s one of the primary causes of belly fat, which can lead to various health risks. To avoid this, shift your focus to munching on healthy snacks throughout the day. Healthy snacks like fruits reduce your hunger and tend to keep your full. So, by the time you get home, your hunger levels won’t be over the roof, and you won’t have to indulge in calorie-heavy meals.

3. You Make Healthy Foods Unhealthy

So, you’ve prepared a nice plate of salad to enjoy at dinner. But then, you top the salad with calorie-heavy dressings that turn your healthy mean into a recipe for heart attack and artery-clogging. While dressings add flavor and sweetness to your salads, they are the worst nightmare considering the unhealthy ingredients that you’ll be stuffing into your body. And another thing. Portion control can be a challenge for most people. Regardless of how healthy a particular food is, eating too much negates the benefits. Remember, all calories count, and if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, you’ll end up with extra calories that will likely be stored as fat. Therefore, while you need to avoid making healthy foods unhealthy, you also need to check your portion size, even when eating healthy meals.

4. Chewing Gum

Did you know that one piece of bubble gum packs around 25 calories? And as you may know, one piece of gum is never enough. This means one pack of five pieces of gum contains 125 calories. Even sugar-free chewing gums are not exactly sugar-free and pack around five calories per piece. So, if you’re a regular gum chewer, you might want to cut back on the number of pieces you chew every day or the frequency of chewing altogether.

5. You Diet Too Much

Look. We all agree that dieting is not a bad thing if you want to shed some weight. But like everything else in life, too much of anything is harmful. The same applies to extreme diets. If you cut back on eating carbs and exercise regularly, you’re interfering with the muscle-building process. Here’s a fact. Carbohydrates do make you fat just like calories make you fat because they contain sugar and fat that are responsible for making you fat. But, on the other hand, carbohydrates release energy, which helps to burn calories. And the more muscle you gain, the better the workout. Therefore, you need to load up on carbs to build your muscles and burn those calories. When speaking of carbs, opt for whole wheat brown bread, oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice, and the likes. They make you feel satisfied for longer than refined carbs like white pasta, white rice, white bread, and bagels. Processed carbs work the opposite and even expose you to certain health risks. Having said that, remember to eat carbs in moderation.

6. Drinking Too Much Slows Down Your Metabolism

You probably know that excessive alcohol drinking is detrimental to your liver and overall health. But, did you know it slows your metabolism down? Research shows that a couple of shots of hard drinks can reduce fat burning by up to 73 percent! Shocking right? You see, when you drink alcohol, the body uses it as fuel instead of fat. So, the more you drink, the lesser the fat being burned, and the more you ruin your diet. Don’t get us wrong though. We are not saying you should ditch drinking your favorite alcohol altogether. Just cut it down, and maybe do it on the weekends only? If you can’t wait that long, try to stick to one glass only.

All images by Shutterstock

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