Having a routine keeps us organized, but sometimes these routines can turn into habits, and some of these habits are keeping you overweight. What if some simple changes in your day-to-day could help you shed some pounds? Well, it’s your lucky day! Men’s Health shared small changes you can make in your daily routine to help cut back, do better, slim down.

Fat Habit #1: Putting the Serving Dishes on the Table

set dinner table

Researchers at Cornell University found that when people served themselves from the kitchen counter or the stove, they ate up to 35 percent less food than they did when the grub was on the kitchen or dining room table. When there’s distance between us and our food, the scientists theorize, we think harder about whether we’re really hungry for more.

Fat Habit #2: Getting Too Little (or Too Much) Sleep

woman lying in bed and can't sleep

A sleep schedule is vital to any weight-loss plan, say Wake Forest University researchers who tracked study participants for 5 years. In the under-40 age group, people who slept 5 hours or less each night gained nearly 2½ times as much abdominal fat as those who logged 6 to 7 hours; also, those who slept 8 hours or longer added nearly twice as much belly fat as the 6- to 7-hour group.

People with sleep deficits tend to eat more (and use less energy) because they’re tired, says study coauthor Kristen Hairston, M.D., while those who sleep longer than 8 hours a night tend to be less active.

Fat Habit #3: Not Multitasking While Watching TV

woman sitting on couch watching tv and holding a remote

We don’t need to tell you that too much TV has been linked to weight gain. But here’s what you may not realize: You can have your TV and watch it, too. Just do something else at the same time. Washing dishes burns 70 calories every 30 minutes. So does ironing. Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Cutting TV time even a little helps you burn calories, say researchers at the University of Vermont. In their study, overweight participants who cut their viewing time in half (from an average of 5 hours to 2.5) burned an extra 119 calories a day. “Nearly anything you do—even reading—uses more energy than watching TV,” says study author Jennifer J. Otten, Ph.D.

Want to learn more unhealthy habits? Click here to be taken to the original story on Men’s Health.

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