Do you eat your kid’s leftovers? Or lick the baking bowl clean?
bad eating habits Breaking Bad Eating Habits is the Key to a Healthy WeightWhen working to achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle it is important to consider the things that we do during the day – things that we may not even realize we are doing. Such as, licking the cake batter from your fingers or eating the children’s leftovers – these are all things which may contribute to a slowing down of our weight loss or even cause weight gain. It is a good idea to spend some time taking note of the things we do without thinking when eating – keeping a food journal is something many people already do. Once you have identified your bad habits you will be able to set the changes you need to make in place.
Plan your meals
Not making plans about when or what you will eat leaves you vulnerable to making bad food choices. If you are going to be away from home for a long period of time it may be worthwhile taking some healthy snacks with you – a piece of fruit or ready prepared raw vegetables, a few nuts, seeds and dried fruit. These types of healthy snacks will help stave of hunger and remove the necessity of grabbing a quick, processed snack or even going to the drive through of your local fast food outlet.
It is an excellent idea to create a weekly menu plan, this can often be a great way of saving some money too as it means you are able to do all your food shopping in one trip. If you go out to work or school plan and prepare your own lunches to take with you, there are many healthy recipes for lunch box meals available online and in magazines. If you also plan your main meal and snacks you will be able to minimize the temptations of binging on food that just is not healthy.
Don’t reward yourself, or your children, with food
Using food as a reward is a big mistake and something that you should avoid doing with your children as you instil them with healthy eating habits. Children should realize that food is only for nourishing the body and must not learn to associate food with good or bad behavior. Promising yourself a ‘treat’ after a hectic day, or when you have worked hard at the gym, can ruin all your hard work in one fell swoop.
If you feel you, or your children, deserve a treat then choose non-food rewards – a pedicure or a massage for yourself; a comic or a trip for the children.
Do not let yourself ‘starve’ and forget fad diets
It is important not to go for long periods without eating – this will cause us to make the wrong food choices and overeat. When planning your meals take into account any times you are going to need to take food or snacks with you. Build your menu plan around eating small meals every three to four hours – this will prevent blood sugar swings by stabilising your levels and help prevent cravings.
In order to manage your blood sugar levels you should eat a variety of foods at each meal or with each snack. So, eat some healthy carbohydrate in the form of a piece of fruit or a few vegetables, along with some lean protein for example. A few nuts with half an avocado provides you with long lasting energy and heart healthy fats that makes them a great snack to enjoy at any time.
Never miss breakfast
You have probably heard, many times, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ – well, it is true. Skipping breakfast is a mistake many of us make when trying to lose weight. We convince ourselves that not eating will breakfast will help us lose more weight or enable us to eat more food later. The truth is that missing breakfast is more likely to make you binge and graze all day and, so studies show, cause you to put weight on!
Latest research shows that the best way to start the day is with a high protein breakfast, protein helps to feel fuller for longer and that means lasting until lunchtime without reaching for the donuts!
Try to avoid eating pre-packed and processed foods
As most of us lead increasingly busy lifestyles it is often tempting, at the end of a hard day, to go for a ready-made meal that needs no little or no preparation and, if it has the word ‘healthy’ across it may even be good for us. Sadly, this is generally not the case. Foods, which are labelled as ‘healthy’ low calorie low fat or ‘diet’ may, are often full of saturated fats, preservatives, sugar, sodium not to mention artificial colors and flavors.
A healthy, well balanced diet should consist, almost entirely, of fresh, natural foods prepared at home. Fresh food provides us with many essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that are simply not available or present in processed food products. Eat natural foods whenever and wherever it is possible and if you do use processed or pre-packed products be sure to check the labels – avoid any food products containing ingredients you fail to recognize.