Eating habits can be the biggest factor in your overall health and well-being. Bad eating habits can lead to obesity, heart disease, and other medical issues. The earlier you recognize and address unhealthy eating habits, the better your chances of preventing these conditions. Here are some bad eating habits and tips on how to break them.
Eating Late at Night
Late-night snacking can lead to weight gain and poor sleeping habits. Eating late at night can also cause reflux, indigestion, and poor blood sugar control. If you are hungry at night, reach for something small such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Or, try drinking a glass of water or herbal tea to help satisfy your hunger.
It’s easy to turn to food as a comfort when feeling down or upset. But this emotional eating is often detrimental to your health and waistline. Recognizing when you are emotionally eating is the first step to breaking this bad habit. Try to find a new stress reliever. Instead of eating, take a walk or call a friend who will be empathetic. You can also vent and take some of your stress off your shoulders.
Eating junk foods doesn’t just help your waistline; the consequences may be worse than you imagine. Studies found that rats’ brains find high-sugar, high-fat foods addictive—much like heroin or cocaine. The answer is not to remove your favorite indulgences from the diet. The key is to determine what you want and spoil your favorite snacks in moderation as special treats, not every day.
Related: These Processed Foods Are Bad for You. Steer Clear!
Eating Too Quickly
Whether eating a meal or snacking, wolfing down your food does not give your brain time to catch up with your stomach. To slow down your eating, put your fork down between every bite. Take smaller bites and ensure you chew every bite carefully.
When you skip meals, your metabolism starts to slow. Breakfast offers you that energy boost you need to take on your day. Without that fuel, chances are, you will only overeat later. To fix this, always make a healthy breakfast you can eat on the run. If you are rushed, try simple items like smoothies, homemade cereal bars, yogurt, and whole fruit.
Always Eating Snacks
Snacking round-the-clock often on high calories is bad. Unfortunately, this is more than just an adult problem. Kids often snack on unhealthy junk food such as candy, soda, and salty chips. Keep healthy snacks within reach, like cucumber slices, carrots, hummus, air-popped popcorn, almonds, and yogurt. Do not stock your pantry or desk with cookies or potato chips you know you cannot resist.
Related: 21 Yummy & Healthy Road Trip Snacks To Curb Your Hunger
Do you eat while watching TV or scrolling through your phone? Do you finish a meal without paying attention to how full you are or what food you have eaten? If so, you are guilty of mindless eating.
To fix this:
- Start paying attention to how full you feel.
- Have a conversation with your dinner partners.
- Put away gadgets, take smaller bites and focus on the taste and texture of food.
Related: 6 tips for eating more mindfully
Keeping Unhealthy Foods Around
Having unhealthy snacks in your house can be a real temptation. Don’t buy chips, cookies, or anything else you know will open the door to overeating. If you have children, stock healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables, whole-grain crackers, yogurt, cheeses, and nut butter. These are much better options than pre-packaged snacks.
Eating on the Run
When you eat on the run, you may be more likely to eat than you need because you don’t have time to pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Try to schedule regular meal times throughout the day, and stick to them as best as possible.
Eating Out of the Bag
Eating out of a bag can be less satisfying than eating from a plate or a bowl, leading to eating more than you intended. Try to schedule regular meal times throughout the day, and stick to them as best as possible.
Going to the Grocery Store Hungry
Going to the grocery store hungry can lead to impulse purchases and binge eating. Always plan your weekly meals, make a shopping list, and stick to it. Eat a small snack before going to the grocery store, and keep your list in hand at all times.
Not Eating Enough
Not eating enough can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, and other health-related problems. Make sure you get at least three meals daily. Choose nutritious meals and snacks that provide the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Eating After You’re Full
Once you’re full, it’s best to stop eating. Continuing to eat even when your body tells you it has had enough can lead to overeating and weight gain. Listen to your body and stop eating once you’ve had enough.
Avoiding Food Altogether
Not eating enough food can lead to malnutrition and other health-related problems. It’s essential to get the nutrients your body needs, so ensure you’re eating nutritious meals that provide the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
This article was produced and syndicated on Health Makes You.