When you’re following a weight loss plan, it might feel as though unhealthy temptations lurk around every corner. But one of the major culprits might surprise you, and it’s possibly in your hand right now.
Your smartphone might sabotage your healthy habits, and could even make you gain weight.
It sounds like a wild idea, but consider the studies. College students who use their phones five hours or more per day have a 43 percent higher chance of obesity than peers who spend less time using their phones.
Why? It is likely that the weight gain effect has more than one origin.
Overeating. Another researcher found that those who spend more time on their phones are more likely to consumer higher levels of sugar, particularly from sugary beverages. Why? Screen time can be distracting, and lead us to consume more calories without really noticing what we’re doing (especially if you’re just sipping a drink). But also, more time on your phone means more exposure to ads featuring processed foods (when is the last time you saw an ad for apples?)
Lack of exercise. Obviously, if you’re sitting and staring at your phone screen, you probably aren’t up moving around. Even if you make a point to exercise for precisely forty minutes per day, the time spent on your phone will take away from time you could be doing something else (even if it’s not what you consider “exercise”).
Sleep interference. And finally, we know that using your phone before bedtime can disrupt sleep, thanks to the blue light in the screen which interrupts brainwaves that signal drowsiness. When you’re following a weight loss plan, or just maintaining your weight, regular and adequate sleep is essential to keeping hormones regulated.
Smartphones have become part of our way of life, and it’s probably difficult to avoid them all of the time. The devices can also be helpful to some degree, because calorie tracking apps, music, and more can give you tools that actually support your weight loss plan. So we’re not saying you need to give up your phone entirely. But if you monitor your phone use and discover that you’re on your phone more than a couple of hours per day, it might be time to cut back.
For more information on a weight loss plan that works in the long term, or to troubleshoot a weight loss plateau, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We can help you decide if a small change in daily habits can kickstart more dramatic results.