As people learn more about nutrition, most bad eating habits are something one is aware of. But there is a lack of understanding on how to counter these. While we know that overeating is bad, for example, but what do we do about this? For weight loss and optimal health, it is important to get rid of bad eating habits. Read on to find out 5 of the worst eating habits and how you can work around them.
Bad Eating Habits and How to Break These
Table of Contents
#1 Poor Meal Planning
One of the biggest problems with nutrition is poor meal planning. Last minute eating choices, opting for fast food on the go and not planning the weekly meals better can have adverse impacts across the year. Save money, effort, time and cut down on calories using meal planning. Try to add healthy portions of wholegrain, salads, green veggies, and other healthy, nutritious foods brimming with vitamins, minerals and other essential elements integral to preserving the health of the body.
#2 Excessive Outside Eating
Restaurants and takeaways are known for their massive portion size, and sodium-rich, processed foods. Instead, make the effort to prepare meals at your home and useful tips such as ordering nutritious food while outside. Salty and fat-rich foods which are processed and devoid of nutrients are almost everywhere. Instead, you need to be able to read the food labels and assess the freshness and wholesomeness of food. Another no-no is sugar rich food, which is almost inevitable should you choose to eat out. Apart from candies, cookies, and sodas, there are so many unexpected sources of sugar that include bread, condiments, and even salad dressings. Check the inventory of complete sugar in the diet and check to fend off empty calories.
#3 Mindless Eating, Giant Portions
This eating habit goes hand in hand with obesity. Whether you are sitting in front of the television and gobbling junk food or grabbing a sugar-rich meal on the move, it will do a lot more than satiate you. Refined fat and sugar will lead to paunches, unhealthy medical states and worse if you do not curb this bad eating habit. Eating smart and for the right reasons is important. Don’t consume food when you are distracted or on a tight schedule.
Eating food mindlessly can have a serious consequence on the health of the individual. Leaving the house for office or work without nutritious packed meals because you are short on time, means you will instead have to opt for processed foods that are kind to your taste buds, but not your waistline. Try to cut down on this by measuring portions, eating packed healthy meals and avoiding a calorific overload. The perfect portion of optimal sizes ensures that you eat smart and right. Rather than avoiding calorie-dense foods, try and eat smaller portions as this will lead to satiation and safeguard your health too.
#4 Liquid Calories: When Juices Are Not A Health Option
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, juices, and other such drinks can prove disastrous for your health. Instead, you need to sip on calorie-free beverages such as seltzer, non-sweetened tea and water if you want to hydrate yourself and keep your body healthy, without going into a glucose overdrive.
#5 Not Eating Enough= When Less Is Not More
Less food does not mean more weight loss. Not taking enough calories in a day hits energy levels, stimulates the appetite and leads to overeating later/ This is why you need to exercise portion control and have heavy breakfast followed by lighter meals throughout the day. Not eating the right number of meals each day is one of the most common bad choices when it comes to meals. Numerous people have 1-3 meals in a day. The eating habit of turning to such a small number of meals means your body is overloaded with enough food to up the metabolic rate. Fewer nutrients are being used resulting in more fat being channeled away. This limits metabolic growth and leads to unhealthy and impaired metabolism which harms health and appetite too. Eat 5-7 smaller meals in 24 hours of the day and space them apart from each other by 2-3 hours allowing metabolic rates to remain optimal.
In case the diet is not monitored effectively, this can cause a problem in the metabolism. Check to see that daily calorific intake come within a similar range each day. Moreover, the average everyday intake must be the same after several weeks. Don’t push intake levels to extremes because you would them damage your body and create metabolic overdrive or imbalances. There may be a difference of as much as five hundred calories within a day and calories that are roughly within the same range can prove beneficial for your daily metabolism.
The body will start starving if your metabolism is damaged and your body is deprived. The body may enter starvation mode, storing fat and using muscle mass instead of calories for energy, which can prove harmful in the long run. Skipping meals like breakfast or dinner is an inconsistent factor that is a bad habit. Most commonly, people in a hurry skip breakfast. But this does not work out well. The most critical meal of the day is breakfast. If you rest all night and if your body then has no fresh nutrients for fueling energy needs, this can create nutritional deficits and again can induce the starvation mode.
Another problem is when you don’t eat enough and then succumb to a late night supper snack. This can cause your body to store more fat. Carb consumption can also add to the calories, as starchy food is rich in calorific value. Eating too little or too much is a serious issue and you need to ensure that a balance is maintained for healthy intake and optimal weight. Eating more or less than the body needs can trigger weight gain or loss, excessive muscle building or strength loss. As with anything, eating in excess or extremes can have serious consequences.
Eating the incorrect kinds of food can lead to serious medical problems. Too much salt or sugar can trigger cardiovascular diseases. Excessive sugar causes coronary heart disease, diabetes, periodontal disease, and arteriosclerosis. Salt in excess can trigger a bone loss, hypertension, neurological disorders, cancer, and stroke. Diet needs to be formulated to give a nutritious boost to mental and physical health, instead of depriving the individual of healthy growth.
What You Can Do
Filling the kitchen with nutritious foods and artfully planned dinners and lunches to lose weight is not enough. Sometimes, even the most carefully formulated diet will not work. It is way more than your kitchen cabinets which need an overhaul if you want to break the grip of bad health habits. Break poor eating habits today and get real and positive results in the bargain. The key is to discover behaviors that do the most damage. Scanning the list of daily eating habits that trigger empty calories, undesirable fat or added sugar to your diet can prove beneficial.
Check out which unhealthy eating habits have taken a grip on you and weed them out. Ideally, the behaviors you follow should impact the waistline. When critical practices are identified, it is easy to seek solutions and see real results on the scale. Once actions are identified to eliminate, these should be set aside for better actions. The smart move is to change an eating habit that’s bad and to replace it with one which feels good. Choose a new habit to replace an old, ineffective one and this will serve as a beginning for change. The solutions also need to be modified to fit the lifestyle. Getting creative and developing personalized solutions makes sense.
Change Your Habits Instead of Judging Yourself
The first problem faced in picking up unwanted or undesirable eating habits is the lexicon used to describe the eating routines. Attaching a sense of judgment to behaviors can stand in the way of weight loss. Addressing eating behaviors sans judgment is helpful. Whether one is working with a pro or changing unwanted and unhealthy habits, a gentle and slow approach is the best. Targeting a single habit at one time, it is important to set a goal to find a replacement for boosting healthy nutrition and wellness.
Make the Shift to a Snack-Free Kitchen
Once the judgment is set aside, it is essential to bolster healthy eating habits by working on an ecosystem for success. The ideal place to commence is the kitchen. Keeping calorie-rich foods on the kitchen counter is not one of the best ways to encourage a healthy eating habit. Don’t leave empty calorie or junk foods within easy reach or eye level in your cabinets. Check if the central shelves are occupied with leftover, sugar-rich drinks or fatty treats and sweet drinks. The food storage habits encourage mindless eating, as per Cornell University studies.
Make the Shift to Healthy Habits
Storing empty calorie junk foods foods in a position where they are less accessible is a better way out. Put all those salty and sweet snacks and chips in your lower cabinets or just out of reach. Work a litttle to get them in the clear. Clean up the kitchen counters and replace cookie jars with a bowl of fruits. Do a complete fridge overhaul so when the door is opened to browse, the healthiest foods are right within reach.
Don’t Ignore The Calorie
If one loves to cook, one needs to be ahead of the curve when it comes to weight loss or healthy eating. When healthy meals are planned and cooked at home, it becomes easier to concentrate on portion control and nutritious, helpful ingredients. Adding calories that are not accounted for means giving up healthy weight loss. Another good way to not ignore the calories is to suck on mints or chew sugar-free gum.
Don’t Get Into Distracted Eating
The most effective way to overeat and accumulate unwanted pounds to the waistline is working on distraction-filled eating. If one eats in front of the TV or PC, you turn into a distracted foodie. Even eating with magazines and books takes the attention away from the meal. If one increases a sense of involvement in the meal, eating slower, enjoying the food and recognizing signs of hunger and satiety ensures that one eats the right amount. Create the most satisfying experience at meal times. Set the table, put your food in portions on plates rather than eating from a plastic container or box and turn off the television when dining. Put newspapers and magazines aside and focus on the sensory eating experience. The practice is known as mindful eating and is the key to understanding and maintaining a healthy weight.
Don’t Binge on Foods You Sneak In With
Sneaking in food is unhealthy habit clients need to change. Many times, we practice nutritious habits of eating only when others are around. Eating well in the day when others are watching is one thing, nibbling on foods that one typically avoids on the sly is another. Research found the link between eating on your own and risking a metabolic syndrome. So, you need to study why you want to break away from healthy habits when alone. Certain clients feel free to do what they want when no one looks. If this sounds familiar, the food plan may turn out to be restrictive. Healthy, nutritious foods are available for snacking if one is genuinely hungry. Always plan further and ensure healthy snacks like fresh, healthy fruits, pre-cut vegetables, whole grain crackers or dried fruits and nuts when you feel the desire to nibble.
Don’t Neglect Reading Beyond the Food Label
Advertising labels on food packages can make foods appear healthier than they are, moreover. For instance, a cookie box may advertise that the ingredients are GMO-free, organic and all natural, but they are still high on fat and calorific content. Added, extra sugar and empty junk calories can be a real problem. Studies have shown we tend to eat more when foods are seen as healthy. So, make sure you ignore the claims of packaged foods. Read the label and scan nutrition facts to get data about regulation by a federal government. One can also study the ingredients list to ensure the food contains nutritious ingredients, or no trans fat or added sugar.
Don’t Feel Obliged to Finish Food
A clean plate lifestyle espouses it is a done thing to finish the food on the plate, even if one is already full. The emphasis on good manners results in a problematic eating habit that causes individuals to overeat. To worsen matters, if one is a distracted or fast eater, one may eat past point the point of satiety or fullness. The best way to avoid overeating food is slowing down eating practices so one can feel the satiety sensations as one gets full. Don’t neglect mindful eating. Chew thoughtfully and let your senses feel a fullness as you eat slowly and you’ll be able to cut down on the calories you consume.
Don’t Count Out Food Share Calories
If you are cooking for others, nibbling on the meals of kids occassionally may seem like the easiest way to feed oneself. If this is made into a regular activity, it can become an unhealthy habit. Maintaining your healthy weight can be tough if one is not aware of the amount or type of food consumed. Eat from your own plate instead of sharing food. This is especially true for mothers with kids.
Don’t Eat Without Serving Food From the Box
Have there been more times when one has one grabbed a box of cereal and eaten it straight from the box? When one consumes snacks, crackers or even chips, does one scan the serving size or place a one serving in a bowl or on the plate? Eating from a box or bag is easy and it can cut down on piling up dishes in the sink. But think about what it does to your waistline? It can add so many calories to the daily total. Inside cereal boxes, it is essential to know how much to consume if one wants a single serving. For those snacking on chips or snacks, around 10 to 20 chips on a small plate are essential before actually proceeding to munch the snacks.
Don’t Order in Often
If one stays in a city where food delivery is convenient, it can actually become a real problem, when it comes to regulating your eating habits. It is easy to order too much food and overconsume as a result of this. Many of the items available for delivery are oversized and replete with calories and fat. The wallet and the waistline will benefit if you plan ahead and have nutritious meals when ready to cook. The focus should be on preparing meals in advance or purchasing a few portions controlled meals and stashing these in the freezer. Not every frozen meal is healthy, but scanning the nutrition labels can help to make the smartest decisions. If one orders in, ordering an aperitif or splitting the meal into two equal halves before eating may be a better option.
Don’t Consume Liquid Calories
A tasty cappuccino or latte can be a great way to begin the morning. But drinking coffee may boost sugar and calorific consumption more than one realizes. Most drinks at coffee stores provide an entire meal filled with calories, sugar, and fat. If super-sized sodas and alcoholic beverages are added to the mix, more calories may be consumed from drinks than healthy, nutritious foods. Check the nutritional facts for coffee drinks before ordering. There are plenty of low-calorie coffee choices, and one needs to know what to order and how to steer clear of unhealthy eating habits. Small skim cappuccinos provide a boost of calories and protein in equal measures. Another strict no-no is soda instead of water at lunchtime. If you drink copious amounts of soda every day, you can cut enough calories to lose a pound or make a smart swap. If one takes a glass of wine or vino, portion control needs to be kept in mind. A single glass of wine contains just five ounces, so do remember this while opting for the different choices before you.
Breaking the Bad Habit
Studies have studied behavior modification for years. As per one research study, the average length of time it takes to change a habit is around 66 days. Based on the individual, it may be anywhere between 18 and 254 days. The timing of habit-linked change is a controversial and complex topic. Changing a habit in 20+ days is a question mark. New research into how neuroplastic the brain is indicates it would take longer. For this reason, it is important to be patient and gather the resources.
Talk to others around for support and assistance. Perhaps the spouse is eager to replace a nightly cookie treat with evening or late noon snacks of fruit for supporting the efforts or a friend is willing to forego a visit to an ice cream store. If one is set goals to change a poor eating habit, ensure that your efforts are measured and timely. Check-in for accountability and assess progress. Make modifications as required and always celebrate even the smallest steps towards success.
Staying motivated is a challenge. It is hard to stick to a healthy habit during the time of stress. It is easy to miss out on focus. So, it’s essential to maintain this. The answer may encourage one to embrace healthy habits with renewed interest and vigor.
Don’t Be Set in Your Ways
Most individuals are creatures of habit. One buys the same food from the same grocery store, preparing the same recipes and live within a familiar routine. If one is serious about eating healthier and losing weight, one needs to shake it up, changing poor eating habits and thinking differently about diet and lifestyle. We are so comfortable in our ways that it is tough to give up on old habits. Most individuals are skeptical about making a change to the diet because they are accustomed to consuming the same types of food or beverages and there is fear of something new. Over time, habits become learned and automatic behaviors and these are stronger than new habits one is trying to include in life. Even individuals who change bad eating habits can fall back on previous ways, during times of great stress. When you are weak or vulnerable, automatic responses come in the way of what is good for you. Once you hit a tough phase, and feelings of stress and depression set in, you can become prone to emotional eating.
Tackling bad eating habits means being aware of the bad habits you seek to fix. Figure out why these habits exist in the first place and what mindsets they support. Figure out how to slowly change bad eating and exercise habits into healthier ones. Try to incorporate new habits across time, and you will lose weight and eat in a healthy way. Eating a healthier way can be a tough habit to cultivate. But once there is clarity regarding how good you feel after eating healthy food, there’s a better chance of succeeding.
Start Small, Think Big
Making smaller changes in diet and lifestyle can boost health and trim the waistline. Start each day with a nutritious breakfast and get close to 8 hours of sleep every night, as fatigue can trigger overeating. Eat meals at a table, sans distractions for best outcomes. Another important way you can cut down on excess food is by eating meals with a partner or family. It is important to eat when hungry and stop when satiated. It is also important to reduce portion sizes by 20% or give up on seconds. Small things like opting for lower-fat dairy products can help. Make sandwiches with whole grain bread and use mustard instead of mayo. Switch to milk coffee or latte using skimmed milk. Eat a nutritious meal or snack every few hours. Using cooking sprays and non-stick pans reduce fat in recipes. Opt for different cooking methods such as baking, poaching, baking or grilling. Stay hydrated and give liquid calories a wide berth. Eat smaller calorie dense food portions and larger amounts of water-rich goods like salads, soups, and veggies. Flavoring foods with vinegar, mustards, herbs or lemon rather than fatty sauces are the key. Alcohol needs to be limited to 1-2 drinks per day.
Focus on Being Mindful
A key to conquering bad habits when it comes to eating is to pay more attention to what you put into your body. Read labels. Become conversant with the key ingredients. Be clear about the calories, when you eat or drink something. Once you gain awareness of what you are eating, it becomes easier to see how to improve the diet. Keeping a food journal may be effective, too.
Be Specific About a Plan
Create specific action plans you can follow. Whether the focus is on eating more fruit, having breakfast each day or getting to a gym often, spell out your options. Eat a piece of fruit instead of snacking on unhealthy junk foods and stock up on cereal and fruits for quick meals. Opt for a gym on a regular basis and break it down into certain times. Tackle new small goals each time. These will eventually add up to massive changes. One need to set specific and measurable goals.
Focus on dealing with stress with exercise, relaxation, meditation or whatever works for you. One does not fall into those bad habits during stress or use food to cope with the situation. Skipping breakfast or ordering takeouts too often? There’s no way to begin your day better than a full, hearty breakfast. Ward off brain haze and stock up on fuel for your body. Include lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain cereals and more. Oatmeal cooked with fat-free or skimmed milk or fortified soy milk and sliced almonds and berries can help.
Cut on Caffeine/Coffee
Too much caffeine can come in the way of sleep and make one shaky and cause energy loss later in the day. Keeping the caffeine intake under control by limiting coffee intake to lower than 3 cups a day. Watch what you put into it as too much sugar is not good for your teeth. Try switching to tea or decaf, stay hydrated and eat small frequent meals.
Pack Lunch For Office
The key is planning ahead by thinking through what to eat for lunch and adding those foods to your shopping and grocery list. Stock the fridge with tasty yet nutritious food to set oneself for success. Try meal prepping and batch cooking so lunch is less effortful.
Eat Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies add more color, texture, and flavor plus vitamin, mineral, and fiber to your plate. Consider picking fruit or veggie never tried before as you go to the health store. Frozen or canned are wonderful alternatives.
Cooking meals at home does not have to take too much time and energy, because the best move is to plan ahead. Choose options that are nutritious in advance. Try berries with low-fat cottage cheese and fiber-rich cereal. Opt for oatmeals topped with seeds and nuts. For lunch, try salads, soups, and hummus with veggie dippers. Pre-cut veggies, tofu, leftovers are all a good idea for dinner.
You are what you eat is an ideal saying because it holds true both ways- whether you choose a healthy diet or an unhealthy one, the consequences will be equally apparent. So, from skipping meals to eating out too much, consuming unhealthy snacks, drinking calories, not reading nutritional labels more efficiently or eating massive portions can have serious problems. Eat from smaller dishes and never take food directly from a package or container. Eating at night is not a good idea either. After dinner, stay out of the kitchen and don’t raid the fridge. If hunger pangs still strike, choose mint or tooth brushing to take the food’s taste and desire away.
Snacking 24/7, eating too fast or gobbling junk food on the run can prove to have adverse consequences. Take breaks, eat leisurely and make sure that you do not push your body to either extreme when it comes to eating food. Emotional eating, succumbing to stress and using food as a tool is also something to watch out for. We live in modern, stressful times and it becomes essential to create the best nutritional intake to sustain our body to meet these challenges. Eat right and soon you too will have perfected the art of eating smart. If you are looking for some healthy nutritional supplements, you may check Predator Nutrition .