It's not like I'm psychic or anything, but I bet that one of your New Year's resolutions is to lose weight. I'd also bet that you're dreading it- because, let's face it: losing weight can be hard work that involves changing bad habits that give us pleasure. The good news is that that's not entirely true after all! In fact, some "bad" habits can actually help with weight loss.
Click through to learn which habits can help you lose weight.
1. Snacking. Common thinking would have you believe that in order to lose weight you have to cut out snacking. Actually, eating a healthy snack between meals helps you lose weight because it keeps your metabolism active, and it prevents you from getting too hungry and overeating at your next meal. What counts here is the choices you make, so opt for healthy, nutritious snacks like nuts, fruit, or yogurt, and keep each snack to about 100 calories.
2. Drinking. Getting excited? Calm down- I'm talking about water! It's very common to confuse thirst with hunger, so stay hydrated throughout the day, and when you think you feel hungry, have a glass of water and see if that helps. Also, recent studies show that people who drank 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal lost weight faster than those who didn't.
3. Drinking. Okay, get excited again- now I'm talking about wine! There's an antioxidant in grapes that boosts metabolism and slows the growth of fat cells. The effect is stronger in white wine, so that's the better choice. And moderation is very important; a glass of wine has 125 calories, so factor that in to your total daily caloric allowance.
4. Chocolate. It just gets more and more exciting here, doesn't it? Studies show that people who regularly eat dark chocolate tend to be thinner.
5. Pasta. Let's keep the party going! The trick is that the pasta has to be cold. This creates resistant starch, which is similar to fiber. That means that your body has to work harder to digest it, which will burn more calories, and also make you feel full longer. How about some pasta salad with lots of veggies? Make this even better for yourself by eating whole wheat pasta.
6. Soaking up the sun. Obviously you need to proceed with caution so you don't get too much exposure to the sun's harmful rays, but don't miss out on some good vitamin D, which promotes weight loss. Twenty minutes should do it.
7. Obsessing. I don't mean that you should drive yourself crazy, but you should be aware of every bite you eat and every bit of exercise you do. Keep a food and exercise log to help keep you on track. You'd be surprised at what you won't eat if you have to write it down!
8. Not weighing yourself. Sometimes listening to your body is a better gauge of how you're doing than the scale. Don't weigh yourself more often than once a week. Rather, go by how your clothes are fitting, how you're feeling, and what you see in the mirror.
9. Indulging in treats. Everyone deserves a treat every once in a while, and depriving yourself of foods that you love will only backfire on you eventually. Plan for it, and indulge in moderation. You'll enjoy yourself and you won't sabotage all your good efforts and sacrifices.
10. Sleeping in. Getting enough sleep is extremely important for effective weight loss. Feeling tired can lead to binge eating, which is a bad habit that won't help you lose weight! So make sure you get at least 7 hours per night, and try to keep your sleep schedule pretty regular, too, since people who have a steady sleep routine have lower body fat. And stay relaxed during the day, since stress can trigger cravings, and stress hormones can slow your metabolism.
The truth is that achieving weight loss goals does require some serious effort, but with good planning it doesn't have to feel so restrictive. So enjoy these "bad" habits and good luck!

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