Some interesting research highlights things we thought were doing right. As usualy we got it wrong.
1) We Eat Too Much After Exercising
There’s nothing like a good workout! Burn some calories, get the heart rate up, and maybe even some fresh air. As the population leaves factories and farms for offices and cubicles the need for us to get exercise has grown. On the flip side of things getting that exercise has the added benefit of reducing our desire to eat. Exercise actually reduces our appetite. Win-win right? Not quite unfortunately. Exercising also heightens our please respond to food. Like autoerotic asphyxiation, your chocolate cake will actually taste better if you go run a mile or two before digging in. I’ve never noticed this with my exercise habits, but one thing working out does to me is create the need in my mind to replenish calories. After a hard jog in the middle of the summer I feel like I need to eat something just to get energy back. Do I need to? My BMI says no, but my brain says yes!
Read: Does Exercise Distort Your Perception of Hunger? (US News)
2) We’re Getting Better Gas Mileage…. And Driving More
Thanks to the EPA, and to a lesser degree consumer demand, cars are getting better gas mileage than ever before. This reduces emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. But that better gas mileage doesn’t help you very much if you think it gives you a license to drive further. The planet doesn’t care if you drive 20 miles in a 20mpg car or 40 miles in one that gets 40mpg. You’re still setting fire to a gallon of gas. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has concluded that the increase fuel efficiency has lead us to driving more miles. Moreover, we’re taking fewer passengers along with us. The next time you see someone looking smug in a Prius, just ask them how many miles they drive and how many of those miles they drive alone. The secret to reducing your fuel costs will always be to simply drive less.
3) We Spend Our Money On The Wrong Things
Being frugal has been the name of the game since 2008. Whether we’re trying to stay in our house or just build up savings in case we lose our jobs, lots of people are savings. Tons of blogs have popped to help people save more, whether by clipping coupons or simply reducing the fees on all our bills. But we do have to spend our money, and most of us should know by now we aren’t very good at that. Usually this comes in the form of impulse purchases or other splurges. These are meant to give us some moment of joy. As it turns out, they don’t. The secret to true happiness with our money is spending that money on experiences. Not to get philosophical, but the secret to happiness is not in the shoes, but where you go in them.
Read: The Top 5 Reasons Spending Less Will Make You Happier (Psychology Today)