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. It's just a matter of becoming aware of them and knowing how to change. Here are the some of those bad habits and how to fix them so that you can reach your goals of living a happier, healthier life!
While it may seem logical to skip meals to save calories, it's actually counterproductive! Skipping breakfast, however, is the worst of all. After going all night without eating, your body needs fuel to wake up and start its metabolic process. Skipping breakfast can result in feeling sluggish throughout the day as well as slowing down your metabolism. Your body needs a steady stream of calories throughout the day to function at its best. Try eating 5 smaller meals scheduled throughout the day or 3 main meals plus two 100- to 300-calorie snacks. This way you'll feel energized and your metabolism will stay on track.
Eating for Comfort
This can be a particularly dangerous habit as it can lead to steady weight gain. Don't hide behind food. Instead recognize your anger, fear, frustration, sadness and channel that energy into something productive. Go for a run or walk, watch your favorite movie or call a friend and chat. 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.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is one of the most important things our body needs to survive! The human body is about 70% water! While there's been debate about the figure of 8 glasses of water a day (or more if you work out), there's little doubt that most people don't drink enough plain, pure water. If you make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day,then you'll probably feel less hungry. Drinking water also helps rid your body of toxins. Drinking sodas and coffee deplete your body of water. You don't need to stop drinking your morning coffee to break this habit, just supplement it with a glass of water. The easiest way to remember to drink water is to keep it with you. Take a reusable water bottle with you to work, school or wherever you go and drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. The general rule is that if you feel thirsty, then you may already be dehyrated.
The convenience of packaged and microwaveable meals can't be denied! After a long day, cooking from scratch is probably far from your mind. Unfortunately these miracle meals often pack in extra unhealthy fats, sodium and sugar. Scrutinize nutrition labels of any prepared products, and choose those that have less sodium and fat and contain whole plant protein sources and veggies. You can also supplement the convenient products, if you opt to use them (such as prepared marinara sauce) with fresh fruit and veggies, too.
Not Paying Attention to Portion Sizes
When you grab that package of cookies, do you really look at how many cookies make up a serving size? Most of us don't, and this can lead to rapid weight gain. The suggested serving sizes are often much smaller than the average person would eat at one sitting, meaning that the nutrition facts are doubled or tripled. Make a habit of glancing at the serving sizes and deciding if the calories, fats and sugars consumed are worth the size. Another easy option is to pre-portion out your snacks. 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. As for meals, portion control is important as well. Switching to smaller dinner plates might seem simplistic, but it can make a big difference.
This column was contributed by Allison Evans of Fit & Fab Living.