A large population of people who stayed at home to stay safe over the last few months have started noticing how their weight has been spiralling upwards and the buttons on their jeans have started practicing social distancing! Your home is a place where you find the maximum comfort and warmth; no wonder, everyone calls their space – “home sweet home.” But do you know, your home has certain factors that might actually aid weight gain. Striding through long periods of lockdown and staying cocooned inside the home, the climb in numbers on the weighing scale might come as a surprise because you have had limited access to eateries and fast food restaurants all these months. So, how did you put fat at all the wrong places despite staying at home? We can say that the cozy environment of the home encourages a sedentary lifestyle, but apart from that, increased stress, low number of sleeping hours, can all add to the bulk. We can pin all the blame on lack of exercise and excessive consumption of food behind the weight gain, but there are a lot of factors that act as triggers, and in this post, we list down surprising reasons how your home is making you gain weight and how to fix them to get healthier and fitter now.
1. Your Bed is Not Comfortable: The easiest and most effective way to shed some extra weight is by getting full 7 hours of sleep at night because sleep deprivation is strongly linked to weight gain. Research has established that people who sleep for 5 hours or less every night tend to be obese than people who get their mandatory 8 hours of sleep. When you sleep comfortably at night, your body can go into a fat-blasting mode by raising metabolism, levelling up fat-burning enzymes, and decreasing the stress hormone. Lack of sleep can stimulate appetite and you are more likely to wake up “hangry” with a ravenous appetite for unhealthy and high-calorie food. And if your bed is not comfortable enough, all these factors can prevent you from sleeping peacefully and getting all the above-mentioned benefits. So, if your bed or pillow is not comfortable, invest in a snug blanket and comfortable bed to improve overall health too.
2. You have a Pantry Full of Junk Food: Is your house full of unhealthy, processed and junk food, especially all your comfort food is tucked away in a secret pantry or drawer? Cookies, biscuits, and chips have empty calories that have long shelf life, can be stored for months together, come loaded with empty calories that can lead to obesity when it becomes part of the daily diet. If you have junk food lying around in your home or in the pantry, you are most likely to rip open those packets even if you are plain bored. It’s important clear your pantry of processed, junk, and packaged food with these toxic ingredients (Avoid These Toxic Ingredients when Shopping for Groceries). The theory of “out of sight, out of mind” clearly works here. When you are shopping at the supermarket, avoid buying chips, cookies, and processed food.
3. You Have Irregular Meal Times: Studies say that people who stay at home follow irregular meal timings and practice frequent snacking, and such people tend to get hungrier more often! With frequent snacking and irregular meal timings, the hormone insulin spikes and crashes too frequently, increasing cravings and the need to replenish energy. Switch to Rati Beauty weight loss diets on the Rati Beauty to know what kind of food and diet would help you lose weight, and when to have your meals and snacks during the day.
4. You Can’t Keep your Phone Down in the Night: As we have mentioned above, sleep deprivation is strongly linked to obesity. Adding to the sleep deprivation is exposure to blue light from electronic gadgets such as phone, tabs, and other screens that can affect the circadian rhythm and lower melatonin release. Melatonin, is the sleep hormone, which the body produces at night, enabling you to have a good night’s sleep. Optimum levels of melatonin boosts metabolism, accelerates fat burning, and prevents insulin resistance. Our brain starts pumping out melatonin after sundown when the body is ready to go into the rest mode. However, exposure to blue light through gadgets (phone, tv, etc.) can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle, also called the circadian rhythm of the body, and cause disruption in melatonin release, severely affecting the quality of sleep. A disruption in circadian rhythm can trigger a lot of health problems – from insulin resistance to depression, and that’s why sleeping for at least 7 hours every night matters, from lowering stress to losing weight. Keep all your gadgets away at least one hour before sleeping to balance out the circadian rhythm of the body.
5. There’s a Lot of Dust Indoors: It may come as a surprise, but indoor dust is considered an obesogen (endocrine-disrupting chemicals that encourage the body to store fat). Keep your home dust free to avoid the obesogens from getting into your body, and triggering weight gain.
6. You Eat out of Large Plates: Love eating from fancy platters and plates? No problem with that, but is it a big plate that you are eating out of? Health experts say you should not be eating from 12-inch or 10-inch plates because we unknowingly might be serving more food on to large plates in an effort to fill them up. Ideally, if you are trying to lose weight, you should eat out of 8-inch plates or smaller bowls. Also, instead of white plates, switch to blue plates because eating out of such plates discourages people from overeating, since blue plates are thought to help with portion control and eat less.
6. You Store All Fruits in the Refrigerator: We tend to store all the fruits directly in the fridge, but not all fruits need to be refrigerated, some examples are apples, berries, bananas , avocado, oranges whose nutritional value declines upon refrigerating. Also, tucking away fruits in the vegetable drawer tends to draw attention away, and it’s easy to forget them. In fact, keep fruits at eye level in the fridge, where it’s easy to access. All fruits have vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber content that help in the whole weight loss process and when you are not getting a good amount of these nutrients, overall health suffers and that can trigger weight gain.
7. You don’t open Windows, Blinds/Curtains in the Morning: When you don’t let light and fresh air in, it affects your mood, metabolism and digestion. In fact, fresh air aids in digestion because it increases oxygen flow and takes up the metabolism. Also, if the air is a little chilly, it can activate brown fat in the body and burn more calories in the process!
8. You Hardly Step out of the Home: We agree there’s no place like home, but for good health and to boost weight loss, it would be a good idea to step out of the home quite a few times in the day, not only to get fresh air, but also to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, the deficiency of which is strongly linked to obesity. Spending just 10 to 30 minutes outdoors can get you enough vitamin D to fight weight gin.
9. Lot of OTT subscriptions on TV: From netflix to prime, your television has all the popular streaming apps that encourage you to binge watch your favorite series. Long hours of binge watching can make you hungry, leading to overeating and also would compromise on sleeping hours, all of which would lead to weight gain.
10. You love scrolling through Enticing Food Images on Social Media: Do you know that mere anticipation of food can trigger insulin release? Insulin, as we all know, is also a fat-storage hormone, and would encourage the conversion of excess calories into fat. Some research done in this area has revealed that watching cookery shows can make you overweight because visual cues from pictures and videos trigger physiological hunger and you would be tempted to overeat.
11. The Couch is too Cozy: When the couch is too cozy, you would hardly make an effort to move away from it – perfect setting for a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain.
12. You Hardly Get up from your Work Dest at Home: Long working hours, even while working from home, is one of the major reasons for obesity because we are hardly getting up for the large part of the day. Set a reminder to get up from your work station every 30 minutes and take a stroll through the house. Even fidgeting legs while sitting at the desk can burn a few calories! You can also check various home workouts on the Rati Beauty app to burn fat at home.
13. You Cook out of Toxic Cookware: It’s easy to cook in non-stick cookware but most of them have a chemical coating that can breakdown after some time and alter hormones, particularly thyroid hormones. As we all know, thyroid impairment can quickly lead to weight gain.
14. Energy Efficient Lights and Dim Rooms: It’s a great idea to save energy but have you ever wondered why they have dim lights in restaurants? We let down our inhibitions in dim settings and tend to eat more, experts say. Turn the lights on bright, especially when you are having your meals.
15. Smart Home Makes you Lazy: From switching on lights, locking the front door with smart door gadget, to robot vacuum that clean up the entire house on voice commands, gadgets have taken over daily household chores that would otherwise have helped burn calories all through the day. It’s time to give alexa and other smart home gadgets some rest and get on your feet to do some mopping.
16. Are you Storing Food in BPA Containers: Lot of households in India use BPA plastic containers to store food. BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that mimics estrogen hormone and disrupts endocrine activity, leading to weight gain. Switch to BPA-free containers to store your food instead.
Hope these tips will help you to start on a healthy weight loss journey and get to a fitter version of yourself.