If you’re the first one done eating, you’re probably eating mindlessly and are not savoring your meal in healthy ways. Wolfing down your meal within a few minutes can lead to indigestion and it can also lead to becoming overweight.
Instead, you should eat more slowly and taking part in whatever conversation is going on around the table. Your internal signal to turn off eating takes about 20 minutes so if you finish sooner than that, you’ll still feel hungry even when you’ve eaten enough… which typically results in eating more food than you really need.
2. You Eat Food that has Been Created in a Factory
Instead of cooking with fresh ingredients, you might be choosing to eat processed foods, which are high in preservatives and are usually high in salt and/or calories. Take the time to cook a healthy meal with fresh ingredients. Find a nice selection of home-prepared meals you can put into your own personal cookbook. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what’s gone into the food and you have the piece of mind that comes with knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body.
3. You Shop in the Center of the Grocery Store
Most of the time if you find yourself going up and down the center aisles of the market, where canned and processed foods reside and less time in the periphery of the store that holds fresh produce, meat and dairy you are eating foods that are high in preservatives, salt and sugar instead of real whole food. Remember, food that does not need refrigeration is usually processed (except whole grains of course). Spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store because this leads to eating healthy fruits and vegetables instead of eating unhealthy, processed foods.
4. You Eat Right Out of the Bag or the Box
If you find yourself eating potato chips right out of the bag or ice cream out of the carton, you’re probably not eating the right portions leading to a tendency to eat more food than you need or intended. This is a sure fire way to obesity. Instead, portion out your foods so that you can stop eating when that portion is gone.
5. You Eat From The Drive Thru Regularly
Unless you are ordering a salad every time, which most of us don’t, eating from a drive thru regularly is not conducive to good nutrition. Most drive thru restaurants offer fast food, which is greasy, fat filled and lacking in any real nutrients. Eat more whole food, which is food typically made up of one ingredient and is unprocessed. Fresh fish, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are whole foods and usually not available at the drive thru.
6. You Eat in Front of the TV
When you find yourself eating in front of the television, it usually means you’re probably eating mindlessly and not paying attention to how much you are eating.
7. You Eat a Narrow Variety of Foods
If you just eat the same limited types of foods each day, you stand a good chance of missing some key nutrients in your diet. Colorful plates are healthy, filled with many colors of vegetables and even fruit for dessert to get key nutrients from plant foods.
8. You Eat to Appease Emotions
Emotional eating or overeating is always unhealthy. This usually takes place when people are bored, angry, tired, upset, stressed, or lonely. It always occurs when one is not truly hungry, but instead trying to use food to cover up emotions and the food of choice is almost always junk food.
Just like drugs, junk food stimulates pleasure centers in the brain because it is loaded with sugar, fat or factory created flavoring with no nutritional value. Emotional overeating can be a serious problem that can lead to obesity, depression, guilt, and anxiety over the eating itself.
9. You Eat One or Two Giant Meals Daily
It is much healthier to eat 5 to 6 small “meals” each day instead of one or two large ones. When you eat small meals several times per day you keep the metabolism revved and never let your blood sugar drop. When you starve yourself the whole day and then down a big meal, you will not maintain optimal energy levels during the day and you risk gaining weight.
10. You Eat More Calories Daily than You Burn
The simple formula for weight loss and management is to eat less calories than you burn so to create a calorie deficit. This is true for men and women, and becomes more important as we age and our metabolism slows naturally. Calorie calculators can determine how many calories you need to either lose weight or maintain it based on your age, weight, and activity level.
How do you change unhealthy eating habits?
The takeaway is simple: Eat To Live… Don’t Live To Eat!
Take the time to evaluate your diet and eating habits. Make the necessary changes before it is too late, because prevention is worth a thousand cures. Make small changes every week, instead of drastic shifts where you will feel the biggest impact.
- Be mindful of your eating habits and commit to at least one change each week.
- Ask for help and support from family and friends.
- Educate yourself on healthy food and healthy eating habits.
- Make a list of goals and look at it every day to keep it at the forefront of your mind.
- Use positive affirmations to instill a healthier thought process toward food and eating.
Keep with it and before you know it, new healthy choices and patterns will become habits, just as the old unhealthy ones once were. You can do it!