Obesity is a major problem in the United States, and unhealthy eating is one of the main causes. You may not be able to control your genes, but you can control certain habits and things you do. What you eat daily may be undermining your efforts to live a healthier life.
Take a look at these ten behaviors to find out if you have unhealthy eating patterns.
1. Skipping Breakfast
If you don’t have breakfast, you’re more likely to be hungry later in the day and overeat. Skipping breakfast may also lead to other poor food choices, such as fast food or high-calorie snacks.
To help you develop some healthy eating habits for your morning routine, here are a few suggestions:
- Try eating eggs for breakfast at least three times a week. Choline, an important nutrient found in eggs, improves memory and boosts metabolism while preventing fat accumulation in your body.
- Other good options include whole-grain toast with peanut butter or avocado slices on top; oatmeal with nuts and fruit; Greek yogurt and fresh berries; or scrambled tofu with vegetables (the last option is great if you’re vegetarian).
2. Eating out of the bag
One of the most common and least-recognized ways to overeat is eating straight out of a bag instead of using a plate or bowl (especially with calorie-dense snacks like chips, nuts, or candy).
You’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten because it’s harder to see (and count) what you’ve already consumed. Sitting down and eating from a plate gives your body time to register that you’ve eaten, so you’re less likely to get hungry again soon after the fact.
3. No fruits and vegetables in your diet
Fruits and vegetables are the most fiber-rich and nutrient dense part of the diet, which can help keep your digestion regular.
- They contain antioxidants that help fight free radical damage and inflammation (free radicals can increase your risk for cancer).
- They also contain phytonutrients, which may protect against chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
- Missing out on them can lead to several nutritional deficiencies as well (like iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and vitamins A, B, C).
4. Late-night snacking
Have you ever had a late-night snack, and then gone off to sleep? If so, then you know it’s an unhealthy eating habit!
- It tends to overload your digestive system as your body is unable to digest the snack leading to problems like bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and ulcers, and GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) in severe cases.
That’s why nutritionists and fitness experts recommend that you don’t eat after 8 PM.
5. Drinking too much alcohol
A glass of wine or a can of beer in the evening can be relaxing but overdoing it can add up liquid calories and mess up your diet. What’s more, too much alcohol puts you at risk of many life-threatening diseases like diabetes, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, and even cancer.
- The American Heart Association suggests a maximum daily limit of alcohol (which means no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women) which doesn’t harm the body eventually.
6. Too much sodium
Processed, pre-packaged snacks contain too much salt and this sodium in your system causes fluid to build up and increases blood volume and pressure inside your arteries.
Limit the amount of sodium you eat—no more than 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt), with an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults.
- One of the ways to do this is to prepare food from scratch in the comfort of your home.
- Also, you can add spices and herbs to balance the taste rather than adding heaps of salt to your food.
7. Eating- on-the-go
It’s hard to cook healthy food every day when you have so many other things to do. So, you choose fast food, easily available within minutes of your order and what’s more there are so many options too. Fast food has a high quantity of trans-fats, salt, and sugars leading to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke and even cancer.
- One way to remedy this habit is to allocate time for meal planning on weekends to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs without hampering your work schedule.
You need time to sit down and enjoy your meal.
8. Skipping Carbs
You think you’re making the right choice by banishing carbohydrates and sugars from your diet. But it leads to binge eating and increased ketones in your blood which might be more harmful than you might think.
- Instead of skipping sugars altogether, look for healthy natural alternatives like fruits and vegetables (like oranges, bananas, berries, sweet potatoes, and beets). Natural sugars in food and fruits is not as harmful as the processed sugars from high fructose corn syrups and artificial sweeteners.
- A healthier alternative would be to consume complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, and oatmeal.
9. Not drinking enough water
Water is essential for life and your body needs this precious resource to function properly.
- Present-day diets often have a lot of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol that dehydrates you more than those drinks provide hydration. Dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue.
- Poor hydration also leads to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney stones and even cancer.
By drinking water regularly, you will be able to boost your metabolic rate and help control weight gain. It improves fat burning by up to 30%, thereby helping in reducing cravings for food thus helping lose weight faster!
10. Distracted Eating/Snacking
Distracted eating, such as watching TV while you eat or during a meal, often leads to overeating. When you are distracted while eating, you might not taste your food or feel as full as you would be if you were paying attention to your meal. You may also eat too quickly and eat when your body does not really need it. So, be mindful when you sit down to eat!
Remember, slowly incorporating change into your diet is the key to success. And it’s okay if you fail now and then and give in to cravings, don’t worry about it; what matters is that you don’t stop trying. Talk to us @ 718-DORAL-55 if you need more information.