10 Daily Habits That Are Ruining Your Figure

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A lot of little things have a way of adding up, and that's especially true when it comes to maintaining your weight. I should know -- I've let tiny unhealthy habits sneak into my daily life only to wake up one day and wonder, "Hey, where did this extra inch around my waist come from?"

It's rarely a mystery! No rare, stealth, weight-gaining disease. Nope, it's just the accumulation of careless daily habits that can mess with your figure. 

How many of these habits have you been doing? 


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  • Not Getting Enough Sleep


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    It's weird, but not getting enough sleep can make you gain weight. It's just one of many, many reasons to make a good night's rest a priority.

  • Eating Your Kids' Leftovers


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    It's so tempting, and we all hate throwing food away. But snacking on your kids' leftover food after dinner -- after you've alread eaten, too -- doesn't help you out.

  • Drinking All of Your Calories


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    Soda is the biggest culprit, but there's also juice, sweet iced tea, coffee drinks, supposedly healthy smoothies -- the list goes on. Basically, if it comes with a straw, it's going to your butt.

  • Driving When You Could Walk


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    Is there a sidewalk? Can you get there in under 30 minutes walking? Why pass up an opportunity to get a little extra exercise? If the weather is good, walking can become a refreshing treat you give yourself.

  • Eating in Front of the TV


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    When you're eating in front of the TV, you're not paying attention to how full you're getting. Same goes for eating in front of a laptop or even the phone. Give your meal your full focus.

  • Sitting for Too Long


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    Sitting for long periods of time day after day can slow your metabolism way down. So take breaks and walk around every few minutes! I try to drink a lot water and unsweetened tea at work so I'll be forced to get up often -- to go to the bathroom. Hey, whatever it takes.

    More from The Stir: Sitting Is Now Killing Us, Too

  • Eating on the Go


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    This is unhelpful for the same reason eating in front of the TV is -- it turns into mindless eating. Not to mention, it's hard not to make a mess. We're all busy and have to eat on the run occasionally, but it shouldn't be a daily thing.

  • Never Cooking Your Own Food


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    Yes, cooking is a pain. But when you cook, you control the ingredients. And you're more likely to slow down and appreciate that meal instead of wolfing it down.

  • Eating Low-Fat or Fat-Free Foods


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    We're finding out now -- butter and milk fat aren't making you fat after all. It's added sugar. In fact, avoiding satisfying and filling foods that contain fat causes us to overeat less-satisfying "fat-free" and "lowfat" foods. And artificially lowfat foods contain funky additives that make you gain weight.

  • Slouching


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    This is the biggest one: Stand up straight! If you make one change this year, let it be this.

    No matter what your weight, you will always look more attractive when you stand up straight. On the other hand, you will make yourself look lumpy in all the wrong places if you slouch.

    So try this: While standing, pull your pubic bone in and push your tailbone down. Now pretend there's a string pulling your upper body up from the top of your head. Push your shoulders back, your collarbone forward, and your chin up. Look what this does for your belly and the rest of your figure -- and you're not even sucking anything in!


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