Today's overburdened life schedules can make health eating a challenge, prompting many individuals to take on bad eating habits that may save time, but these habits also work against the achievement of healthy goals, including weight loss. By breaking these seven common bad eating habits, your body will become healthier and you will start to feel better.
1. Skipping Breakfast
Between hauling yourself out of bed to prepare for a grueling day of work ahead and trying to get the kids ready for school, breakfast has become a special occasion Sunday repast instead of a daily meal. For many, breakfast consists of a caffeine fix, with or without a cereal bar that gets choked down during the commute to work. If you skip breakfast, you will be dragging all morning until lunchtime. You haven't eaten since the previous night, and your body is hungry for nutrients to bump up sluggish glucose levels to utilize as fuel.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
Unless you happen to be a camel, you should not be going all day without drinking water. Inadequate hydration means that your body cannot carry out tasks efficiently.
The solution is as simple as drinking more water. Divide your weight in half, and the resulting number is the number of ounces of water that you should be drinking each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, then you need to drink at least 80 ounces of water daily. Drinking water can also decrease the amount of food that you think you are hungering for.
3. Not Planning Your Meals
If your refrigerator is usually almost empty when it's time to think about dinner, then you are not planning your meals. This results in hauling out the local takeout menus and resorting to unhealthy meals that are high in sodium and unhealthy fats. If your refrigerator is stocked with fresh whole ingredients, you can whip up a healthy and satisfying meal instead. Each week, plan the menus of every meal for the week ahead before you go shopping, and make a shopping list of all necessary ingredients to make these meals come together. When you hit the supermarket, purchase only those ingredients that are on your list, plus a few additional healthy items. This will eliminate the junk food in your house as well as those impromptu fast food dinners.
Everyone gets tempted to shift into pig-out mode on occasion. Overeating becomes a problem when you find yourself piling the food on your plate on a regular basis. Overeating has contributed to the obesity in America. Just because the fare at an all-you-can-eat buffet is cheap and you can manage to pack it into your belly does not mean that it's a good idea.
5. Late Night Snacking
Your body's metabolism tends to cycle with your circadian rhythm. As your sleep cycle approaches, your metabolism slows down, which means that those sneaky late night snacks from the kitchen are not going to be fully utilized as energy by your body. Instead, the calories end up being stored by your body as fat. If you generally get to bed early, then an early dinner should be your final meal of the day. If you go to bed later, then a small healthy nibble halfway between an early dinnertime and late bedtime is not inappropriate.
6. Swapping Calories (or Macros or Points)
Counting calories, macros or points can be helpful to those embarking on eating healthier in their first quest to lose weight so that they become familiar with what each food contains in a serving. However, counting calories can backfire when people try to cheat the system by assuming that they can eat whatever they want, as long as they do not exceed their daily total caloric intake. Being instructed to consume 2,000 calories a day does not mean that you get to eat 600 calories of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats plus 1,400 calories in cookies and donuts. Accept that eating healthy means taking in your entire caloric intake from healthy foods. This does not mean that you are banned from eating that piece of chocolate cake at a friend's party. However, feeling guilty about it can lead many to throw up their hands in defeat as they abandon their healthy meal plan for the rest of the week. Enjoy that piece of cake without guilt by limiting your indulgence to one serving only, and then moving on to resume your healthy caloric intake immediately afterward.
7. Eating On the Run or Too Fast
One of the most commonly touted excuses for eating poorly these days is that of not having time to eat. Shoving food down your throat as you run from one errand to the next usually means eating junk foods or salty, fatty convenience foods. Most healthy foods are not conducive to eating quickly or without utensils. These quick mouthfuls also do not satiate your appetite for long, which causes you to graze in the same harried manner all day long.
By breaking these bad eating habits, getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night and working out on four to six days each week, you will be on your way to a fitter physique, a healthier body, and a more vivacious level of energy.