Weight Gain Danger Zones

Author: Adam Macdougall   Date Posted:6 September 2019 

When you're looking to lose a bit of size around the waist, there are certain places that would make even the most seasoned dieter sweat.

These danger zones have temptation written all over them, and they can easily derail your diet if you let them. 

Luckily, we have a guide to navigating these danger zones, so take note!

(Queue 'Danger Zone' by Kenny Loggins)


1. The Pub

The biggest danger zone of them all, and no, your wallet getting lighter does not count as weight loss.

We all love heading down to the local for a schooey and a catch-up, but the sugar in a lot of alcoholic drinks (beer included) gives you a huge spike in insulin, which in turn makes you hungry. That’s why if you drink on an empty stomach you’ll be in the kebab shop before you know it.

How to navigate:

Eat before you go to the pub! A meal high in protein and fibre will keep you full so the post-pub kebab isn't as essential. Also, try to drink a glass of water for every beer (you can scull it at the bar while they pour your beer). Oh, and ease up on the beers too.

If you're eating at the pub? Steak and salad is a great option, just pass on the chips and gravy!


2. The Shopping Centre

Whether you're there by choice or not, the shopping centre is a red flag. It seems like all the husband chairs at the front of the stores point to the food court, which is where the real danger lies. 

How often do you go to the shopping centre without grabbing lunch while you're there? The danger here is that with so many food choices, you're likely to choose with your eyes instead of your brain. 

How to navigate:

Have a meal option prepared ahead of time. If you know you're going home to something, you're less likely to give in to temptation.

If you must eat there, make your decision without the influence of what others are getting (if someone else gets something high cal you're more likely to) and look at calories before purchasing.


3. Work

Work is a hidden danger zone, especially when your colleague says they're doing a lunch run.

Lunch is the clear danger, but you've also got stress-induced snacking and boredom that add to the dangers. It’s easy to mistake stress, boredom or dehydration for hunger - so stay alert to these dangers.

How to navigate:

Bring your own lunch! You’re not only going to eat better, but you’ll save money too. Remember to move around as much as possible during the day and drink plenty of water.


4. The Servo

You can't even buy petrol these days without having junk food thrown in your face. From the moment you walk in you're hit with walls lined with sugary drinks, chocolate, lollies, and grab and go pastries.

If you're a bit peckish, this danger zone can get the better of you with it's 'pie and dare' combo deals and snickers bars. 

How to navigate:

Just like Winx down the home straight of Royal Randwick, you've got to put your blinders on guys. Get in and get out. 

The longer you mull around, the more tempting it becomes. Have breakfast before you go to work, and have a man bar or a snack on hand so you can't convince yourself that $2 7/Eleven pie is a good idea (check out the nutrition panel and you'll think differently).


5. The Supermarket

When you walk into the supermarket what do you see at the front of the aisles? Nine times out of 10 it’s going to be sugar in one form or another, trying to distract you from buying real food. 

How to navigate:

A great trick at the shops is to shop around the outside of the store. Have you ever noticed that this is where also the fresh food is? You should also go in with a list and try not to deviate from this.

You also need to head in with a full tank. Our primal instinct is to go for sugar when we’re hungry and there’s plenty of that on offer, so don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.


6. Home! (sometimes)

"So you're telling me I can't even go into my own home Dougs!?"

No, that's not what I'm saying, but even at home, you need to be smart. There's no more dangerous place for a dieter than the couch in front of a TV. We all love having a snack while we unwind after a hard day, and the sugary junk food in the cupboard is often the first choice. 

How to navigate:

Out of sight, out of mind. If you don't have crap in the house, you can't eat it. Clean out the cupboard, and cut up some fruit or make some healthy snack options so you can just grab them as you please.


7. Fast Food Restaurants 

Now, this is an obvious one, but when you walk into a fast-food restaurant the alarm bells go off for weight gain. This isn't to say you aren't going to make a relatively healthy choice, but it means there are just a lot less healthy choices to choose between. 

How to navigate:

Having food at home makes you way less likely to stop in. If you must have fast food (which is an unlikely situation so just avoid it), opt for options that are grilled not fried, choose a wrap over a burger bun, and look for healthier side alternatives. No Upsizes!