Here are some sneaky saboteurs that could be ruining your healthy habits
Soft drinks: The average can of Coke contains 10.6 grams of sugar, over two teaspoons per can – it’s basically liquid candy. But even diet soft drinks aren’t totally angelic: opinions vary, but many experts believe that synthetic sugars in diet drinks and other ‘diet’ foods actually mess with how our brains understand appetite and how we burn stored fat. Most fitness experts agree: stick to water!
Fancy coffee: Starbucks is an evil frothy caffeinated temptress. That grande frappucinno? According to the Starbucks website, you just sucked back 410 calories. To put that into perspective, a Big Mac has 527 calories: that’s just 117 calories more. Even grande iced lattes ring in at around 130 calories a pop, more if you add flavoured syrups or sugar. Skip the whipped cream and opt for low fat milk.
The heat: It’s not just keeping us indoors that’s the problem. You shiver more in colder rooms, and our bodies have to work harder (and burn more calories) to keep us warm. So maybe we should keep the AC on after all. . .
Your friends: Your family and friends can be your support network, but if your outings with friends always seem to involve food, it may be thwarting your good intentions. Instead, try swapping sedentary activities for more active ones: go for a swim with your pals, catch up while walking along the Corniche, or find fitness classes, sports or other activites to enjoy together.
Plastic bottles: Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics flexible – and they could be making you fat. These endocrine and hormone disrupting chemicals not only increase the risk of obesity but also cancer and other diseases. Used in products like plastic water bottles and food containers, certain grades have been known to leach chemicals into the product inside them, especially in heat. Look for the number on the bottom of the bottle – it should be five or under, and even then many aren’t suitable for reuse. Opt for a glass or safely reusable container instead.
Your job: Stress can and does hurt your health. Whether placing strain on your heart and other organs, or increasing your weight by increasing your cortisol and insulin production (which increases your appetite) or just leading you into the arms of Ben and Jerry in a moment of emotional eating, stress can kill you. Find activities that relax you: many people find their stress is more manageable when they’re active.