Last week we discussed unhealthy eating and which habits to avoid. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds or just change your eating habits to live a healthier life, then there are probably things you do each day that slowly sabotage those goals. But don’t worry, most of these bad eating habits are relatively simple to fix.
1. Not Drinking Enough Water. Water is one of the most important things our body needs to survive! If you feel thirsty, then you are already dehyrated.
The Fix: The easiest way to remember to drink water is to keep it with you. Take a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and drink regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
2. Skipping Breakfast. If you are trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast is not a good idea.
The Fix: A bowl of oatmeal, fruit or a healthy cereal can get your day off to a good start. If you’re rushed, have healthy breakfast foods ready that you can consume on the run. Try whole fruit, yogurt, homemade cereal bars, and smoothies.
3. Binging. If you are skipping meals and then gorging yourself? Or do you eat healthy all week and then eat junk food on the weekends? These are signs that you are a habitual binger.
The Fix: You might want to train yourself to eat several small meals in a day so you can avoid binging.
4. Emotional Eating. This occurs when you are driven by certain emotions to eat even though you’re not hungry.
The Fix: Don’t hide behind your emotions, instead recognize your anger, fear, frustration, sadness and channel that energy into something productive. Choose any activity you like as long as it keeps you out of the kitchen. Go for a run or walk, meditate, take up a hobby, spend quality time with a friend, or watch your favorite movie. Food should center around enjoyment not around negativity, so if you feel yourself reaching for the cookie jar after a hard day, consider a healthier outlet. Not only will you feel better afterward, you’ll avoid those extra pounds.
5. Mindless Eating. Eating while watching TV, texting, reading a book or scanning Facebook, takes your attention away from eating.
The Fix: Focus on what your are eating, chewing your food. This way you will enjoy your food and you will be better able to tell when you are full. Also, try have a designated place exclusively for eating. For instance, you can make sure that you only eat in the kitchen or dining room and not in front of the TV or other parts of the house.
6. Keeping Tempting Foods Around. It’s hard to resist temptation when it’s staring you in the face.
The Fix: Do yourself a favor and keep tempting foods out of your sight. If you’re going to keep snacks at home, stash them inside a cupboard. Better yet, don’t even bring them into your house.
7. Eating Junk Food.
The Fix: The solution isn’t to eliminate your favorite indulgences from your diet that will only make you crave them more. Instead indulge in your favorite foods in moderation as special treats, not every day. Better yet, try to determine why you have these cravings and work on it from that angle.
8. Eating Straight Out of the Bag.
The Fix: A key step when you’re trying to lose weight is to literally watch what you are eating. Keeping a food journal allows you to be aware of what and how much you’re eating. Get a handle on runaway portions by reading the food labels. Find out how much is a serving size and put that amount in your bowl or plate. That way you won’t get to the end of the bag and realized that you ate the whole thing and worse yet, you didn’t even enjoy it.
9. Endless Snacking.
The Fix: It’s actually best to eat either three square meals or 5-6 smaller meals per day. Also, try to have a specific schedule for eating.
10. Eating on the Run.
The Fix: Try to make time for yourself and build meals into your schedule. Eat while sitting down and enjoy your food.
11. Eating Too Quickly. It takes your brain 15-20 minutes to get the signal that you are full.
The Fix: To slow down your eating, physically put your fork down between bites, take smaller bites, and be sure to chew each bite thoroughly. Also, drinking water throughout your meal will help you slow down and feel fuller as you go.
12. Eating Packaged Food.
The Fix: For most people, it’s not realistic to get rid of these foods, but cutting back is the best option. Instead of using packaged food 7 days a week, try to limit it to 3 days a week. Another option is to scrutinize nutrition labels and pick the frozen entrees that have less sodium and fat and contain lean protein sources and veggies. You can also supplement the packaged food with fresh fruit and veggies, too. The goal is to make a healthy choice you can live with.
13. Eating Large Portions.
The Fix: The suggested serving sizes are often much smaller than the average person would eat at one sitting. Make a habit of glancing at the serving sizes and deciding if the calories, fats and sugars consumed are worth the size. To control portion sizes, think ahead about how much food will be enough. Serve yourself on a small plate or bowl and sit down at the table to eat.
Another easy option is to portion out your snacks. Avoid eating foods right out of the box or bag. Fill small sandwich bags with the serving size amount, and allot yourself one bag a day. This way you’ll be in complete control of what you are consuming.
14. Nighttime Noshing.
The Fix: To avoid eating late at night, teach yourself to think of the kitchen as being closed for the night. Find interesting things to do that take away the boredom like meditating, reading a interesting book or take up a hobby.