4 Simple Tricks to Fix Bad Eating Habits
Do you wake up at night to grab a quick snack from the fridge? Or perhaps you have an ongoing love-hate relationship with food?
Sounds it’s time to break these habits and get your life back on track!
What you eat can make or break your progress in the gym. It also impacts your weight, mood, and skin health. Thus, it’s important to develop good eating habits and choose your foods wisely. Here are some tips to help you out:
The First Crucial Step: Clean Your Kitchen
No, this isn’t referring to the floors and counters.
As long as you have unhealthy foods lurking in the house, you’ll end up eating them.
Cleaning your kitchen is a way to cleanse your home of the bad foods and maintain a balance of good food. If you have a tendency to pick up anything and everything from the grocery store, cleaning your kitchen will be a bit of a challenge, so give yourself an ample amount of time to truly go through your kitchen to find what foods can be kept and what foods should be composted!
Start by going through your pantries and your fridge and getting rid of any of those guilty pleasure snacks. Cookies, chips, chocolates—those 3 C’s definitely need to go. Besides the obvious “bad foods” you may also want to double check the labels on other foods that you presume are good for you. While it’s important to have carbohydrates in your diet, shelves full of pasta won’t help your cause. Try and eliminate the amount of simple carbohydrates in your cupboards—like pasta and baked goods—because these are the carbs your body will burn quickly and in turn, you’ll feel much more hungry.
When you throw away the foods that are of poor value in your diet, you’ll need to replace them with foods that are more nutritious and have the things you need daily. Remember when I said that carbohydrates are important? Well, it’s true. Except, it’s the complex carbohydrates that you need. Complex carbs are the ones that have fiber and take your body more time to process—leaving you feeling fuller, longer. Good complex carbs include grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Along with carbs, you should also be adding protein and good fats into your diet to give your body the macronutrients it needs to function. Think along the lines of meats, legumes, nuts, and avocados to start with.
Re-Arm Your Kitchen: Keep Healthy Snacks at Hand
If you feel like the step above just stripped you of all your favorite snacks and go-to’s, don’t worry. There are such things are healthy snacks to keep you going! The most important part about having healthy snacks, however, is keeping them within your reach. You’re more likely to eat the foods that are easiest to access.
This means you need to keep a cavalry of healthy snacks and hand to have better control over your eating habits. Homemade granola, unsweetened trail mixes, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, chia pudding, and Greek yogurt with berries are an excellent choice. When you’re snacking, you’ll still want to keep in mind how much sugar and carbs are in the foods you choose, but in healthy snacks, they tend to be much lower and they’re usually the types of carbs and sugars that take the body longer to break down.
Take the time during your evenings and weekends to look for healthy snack ideas online and then prepare large batches. By doing so, you’ll have enough healthy snacks to last you and your family for the week. Store the snacks in single serving Ziplock bags or plastic containers so you can take them with you on the go, at work, or to the gym for a post-workout treat.
Breathe In, Breathe Out: Avoid Stress
Research shows that stress is a contributing factor to overeating, emotional eating, and weight gain. It not only affects your eating habits but your food choices too.
When you’re stressed, cortisol levels increase. This leads to cravings for sugar and fatty foods. At the same time, it promotes fat storage and interferes with your hormonal balance.
Although it seems impossible to do so in today’s society, you need to limit stress. A great way to do this is by having a scheduled “Me Time” where you can relax and enjoy something that makes you feel the most at peace. Meditation, reading, getting a massage, hitting the gym—whatever it may be, make sure you set aside time to do it! Without having time to counteract the stress, your body doesn’t the chance to decrease the cortisol levels and the tumultuous hormones. stressful situations can have you relying on bad eating habits to deal with the situation.
Deep breathing and proper sleep can help lower your stress levels too. If you can practice deep breathing and meditating during the day, you can use the same tricks to help you relax and fall asleep at night.
Don’t Eat For Fun: Keep Yourself Busy
Boredom and loneliness are often the culprits behind emotional eating & bad eating habits
If you find yourself binging on cookies when you’re home alone or when you’re feeling down, it’s time to break the habit. There are so many activities that you can do to help with boredom and lonliness—some that require friends, but for others, you’ll just need to engage with yourself. Here are some activities you can do to help keep yourself busy:
-call a friend and have a chat
-watch a movie
-sign up for a group activity like painting lessons
-step outside and go for a walk
-do some bodyweight exercises
-read the books you “never have a chance” to read
-do some light housework while jamming to music
The whole point is to keep yourself distracted. Do whatever works for you, whether it’s reading, running, or socializing. Soon you’ll see that you have more to do in a day than just eat out of boredom and loneliness & give you a better chance of overcoming the bad eating habits you have developed.
These are just a few the things you can do to break bad eating habits. If it’s not enough, set a goal and then find a way to make it happen. It could be a goal for weight loss, running a marathon, or fitting into your favorite jeans. It’s all in your hands.
Just give it a try!
Information for General Purposes Only
Information provided on this Web site and on all publications, packaging, and labels is for general purposes only and designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional.