4. Generational Changes
This is truly frustrating news: Recent findings published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice indicate that we're getting fatter on fewer calories than our parents did. Although we're eating about the same amount of food—and we're equally active—the current generation is gaining more weight than people did 40 years ago.
The researchers analyzed info on more than 36,000 people between 1971 and 2008, comparing diet, activity, and weight. Study author Jennifer Kuk, a professor of health and sciences at York University in Toronto, found that given the same amount of calories, an adult in 2008 is about 10 percent heavier than she would have been in 1971.
"Again, we're finding that weight management is much more complex than just energy in versus energy out," says Kuk. The solution isn't complex, however: We all have to exercise more and be more careful about what we eat. Sigh—see you at the gym.
5. Eating "Everything in Moderation"
It may be the most commonly cited diet advice, but research shows the rule to "eat everything in moderation" could actually be making you gain weight.
When they combed through data from 6,814 participants in a multi-ethnic study, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that people who ate a lot of different kinds of food had a 120 percent greater increase in waist circumference over 5 years than those who ate only a few types of foods.
But that doesn't mean you can pick and choose which food groups you include in your diet. The researchers believe "everything in moderation" didn't work in this case because study participants with a diverse diet were eating more unhealthy foods like processed meats, desserts, and soda and fewer healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. (Here's why you should stop drinking diet soda.)
The healthiest people in the study stuck to a small range of healthy foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.
More From Prevention: 10 Slimming Smoothie Recipes
6. Living Alone
Living the single life? Then you might want to go grocery shopping with a friend. Recent research suggests not having a partner to hold you accountable for making healthy food choices both when you're shopping and when you cook leads to an expanding waistline.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology analyzed 41 previous studies to explore the connection between living alone and lackluster diets. They found that people who live alone eat fewer fruits, vegetables, and fish and eat a less diverse diet overall.
Although the evidence isn't crystal clear, researchers believe people who live alone lack motivation and enthusiasm to cook healthy meals—or to cook at all. And not taking enjoyment in preparing or eating your food leads to a diet full of simple, ready-made, or takeout meals that don't have necessary nutrients.
Without a partner to cook or shop with, single people also have little support to fill their carts with healthy foods or to keep portions in check.
If you don't have a friend willing to spend girls' night at the grocery store, make it a point to stick to the aisles on the perimeter of the supermarket, where you'll find healthier, less processed options.
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