In case you have any doubts, this is written in pure jest. I do not have any sort of medical background and I am not giving advice. What I do have is experience in weight loss (and gain), and a desire to do the former. Unfortunately, with my current habits, I have been very unsuccessful. I write simply to highlight my poor choices and motivate myself to try harder.
(I have lost about 5 lbs since I've moved to the city, but given the amount that I need to lose to be in the normal/healthy weight range, I have a lot of work to do.)
1. Limit physical activity.
I've tried to set up goals for myself (walking/running 15 miles/week, walking/running on days I don't have school, etc) but I haven't met any of those goals (which, at one time in my life, were quite reasonable and easily accomplished). I have meager strength training goals, and I haven't been keeping up with those in any way either. I'm lucky I live in Manhattan and have to walk to get places, and I go to school in Newark, which is a 1-mile walk from the train station to the campus. Without those built-in safeguards, I probably wouldn't fit in my tiny little apartment (which is a 5th-floor walk-up... another minor source of movement).
2. Consume Starbucks every day. ($)
Though some people are capable of losing weight with this methodology (see: The Starbucks Diet), I have a special place in my belly for things like the White Chocolate Mocha and the seasonal Salted Caramel Mocha. Even though I order them with skim milk, small or medium, with extra shots of espresso and no whipped cream, it's an additional 150-300 calories that I don't need. To make matters worse, my new job is in Times Square. There are at least 3 Starbucks in a 2-minute radius.
3. Cook at home and eat too much.
We eat dinner at home almost every night - at least 6 nights a week. I make things like pasta, nachos, shepherd's pie, tacos, steak, baked potatoes, eggplant parmesan, chicken, etc., usually with a salad or vegetable-based side. These things sound great, cut costs, and keep our diets varied, but when I eat 2-3 servings, I'm consuming too much food. Period.
4. Drink diet sodas and sweet tea. ($)
Just because it's diet doesn't mean it's doing me any favors (see: Obesity Epidemic and Diet Sodas). Sweet tea, a staple drink of the South, is full of sugar - at least it's the real stuff instead of the chemical subs. Either way I slurp it, these drinks increase weight.
5. Eat out for lunch during work. ($)
I recently started a new job with my husband and our roommate, and unfortunately, in the transition from lazy bum to gainfully-employed citizen, I haven't bought anything to take for lunch (and since I scarf it all down at dinner, it's not like we have leftovers from last night). This has resulted in: burgers, fries, pizza, gyros, etc.
6. Keep an irregular sleep schedule.
Being a student, a newlywed, and living in a different city for the first time in my life (never mind the fact that it's New York City), sometimes I have things that come up that prevent me from going to bed at the same time every night. And, given the irregularity of my day-to-day activities over the past month, I don't always find it necessary to wake at the same time each day. I can't explain how or why, but the type of sleep schedule I keep stresses the body and prevents weight loss... in fact, I think it encourages weight gain.
In conclusion - these are the 6 main areas I seek to improve to have a healthier lifestyle. They are manageable goals that I hope to accomplish and maintain in my weight loss journey.