There are times when we can’t reach our weight loss goals because of a lack of discipline or other circumstances in life. But, more often than not, it’s because we picked up some bad habits along the way. Especially when it comes to food. You may have been committing them since you were young, and you may not even think that they’re bad to begin with. However, if you can’t get to or maintain a healthy weight, chances are you’re doing something wrong. Here are some of the worst food habits people have and a few tips on how to correct them.
One of the biggest mistakes is eating just for the sake of eating like we often do when we watch TV or at sporting events. The reality is that you may be consuming tons of empty calories without even realising it. One study found that people will eat more if the plate or bowl in front of them is larger. This study found out that people ended up eating more popcorn when given large sizes, even if the popcorn was stale.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t eat anything when watching a movie, however. Popcorn, for instance, can be a healthy option if you don’t use butter. You could use a mix of olive oil or avocado oil and soy sauce instead and get a similar flavour profile while adding some healthy fats to your diet.
However, the most important thing when snacking is making sure that you get a lot of proteins and that you make those calories count. That means that you should go with foods that will help you with your health goals.
If you’re going to be eating finger foods, throw away the chips and consider switching for something like nuts, toasted pita, and hummus, or even an assortment of cold cuts, raw vegetables, and a yogurt-based dip. The benefit of snacking on protein is that you’ll need to eat a lot less to feel full and you’ll feel full longer as well.
This can be one of the most damaging eating habits, and one of the toughest to stop as well. Eating during the night is a sure-fire way to destroy any weight loss goals you may have had. While some suggest that the idea that eating before sleeping will make you put on more weight is a myth, there was a mice study that seems to corroborate that fact.
It found that mice fed a diet that was high in fat at times when they should be sleeping put on a lot more weight compared to those that ate when they were active. Whether this applies or not to humans, eating at night is usually not a good idea, not only because you’ll be adding calories to your diet, but usually, the food choices we make at night are not the best.
Another thing you can do is brush your teeth right before you go to sleep. The taste of toothpaste acts as an appetite suppressant on many people and you’ll be less likely to eat with a fresh mouth. In the case that you do get a craving, try to see if you can wait 10 minutes. If you absolutely have to eat, try to go for something small and filling like a few nuts and some cheese.
Skipping Important Meals
There are many proponents of the one-meal-a-day theory right now, and it does have some credence when you look at the research, but it’s definitely not for everybody. In most cases, people break and end up back to square one.
This is why you should never skip a meal, and consider meal replacement bars instead. These meal replacement bars from Shake That Weight are just as filling as they’re delicious, and they’ll keep you full for hours. They’re not only sugar and carbs bombs either; they have a complete set of nutrients that will promote general health. They’re also a good source of protein, which is great for building and maintaining muscle mass.
Also, skipping breakfast is not the best idea if you want to lose weight. Not only do you run the risk of overeating later on, but it will also end up slowing down your metabolism. As a matter of fact, one study on a group of young Chinese students found that those who skipped breakfast gained more weight than the others over two years.
People often concentrate too much on the calories they take in when they should be worrying more about the type. Calories coming from proteins are not the same as calories coming from sugary drinks or starchy foods. Proteins support many bodily functions, while empty calories have to be burned or else will be stored as fat. So, again, if you’re going to be eating, make sure that it has a complete set of nutrients so you can at least get some benefits.
This is another difficult challenge a lot of people have to deal with. And the worst is that it’s often caused by trauma. If that is your case, then only seeing a professional will truly help. They might be able to get to the root of the problem and help you move towards a solution without being judgemental.
Another thing you have to do is monitor your eating and have a food journal. By being more mindful of what you eat, you may be able to identify some patterns. You could then start working on correcting them.
People don’t overeat only when they’re sad, however. There are times they do so in a celebratory way. Several studies show that people will tend to overeat when they have any type of strong emotion, whether it’s positive or negative. So, do the first step of documenting everything you eat, and really pay attention to your emotions at that moment.
Eating too Fast
Did you know that it takes about 15 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that it’s full? That means that if you eat your entire meal in 10 minutes, you might end up going over your limit without even knowing it.
If you have the habit of eating on the road or on the way to work, you should think about at least stopping somewhere and enjoying your meal. Not only that but eating too fast can lead to all sorts of digestive issues, so for the sake of your health and your waistline, take your time.
If you want to slow down when eating, you could try taking pauses between bites. Or you could take smaller bites. Another thing you could do is drink water while you’re eating. Not only will this slow you down, but you will feel full quicker.
Making the Wrong Fast Food Choices
A lot of people think that all fast food is bad, but it’s not always the case. There are plenty of ways that you can make some healthy choices at a fast-food restaurant. Cut out the bread and go for wraps instead of sandwiches. Go for grilled or baked options over fried. And make sure that you’re mindful of your food groups. Be careful of salads as well, as anything with a creamy vinaigrette could be hiding tons of calories.
Be more careful with what you eat and you won’t inadvertently jeopardise your weight loss efforts!