When it comes to making resolutions for ourselves, many people focus on losing weight or eating healthy. However, good health — both physically and mentally— extends beyond just the foods we eat, and there are bad eating habits we should get rid of as well in order to be healthier overall. Diet and nutrition is important, but the way we eat and our relationship with food matters as well.
"Healthy eating habits are the result of small choices made everyday, and these turn into our life," says Rebecca Lewis, in-house RD at HelloFresh. "Outside of contributing to glowing skin and fit bodies, food nourishes us from the inside too. When we are eating healthy, we perform better physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally."
Whether you're looking to get in better shape, adapt a healthier mindset, or even just repair your relationship with food, it can be helpful to take a look at your everyday eating habits and figure out what needs to be adjusted. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we don't take the time to mindfully asses how we eat and plan our meals.
If you're looking to adapt some healthier eating habits this year, consider kicking these seven bad habits to the curb.
1. Mindless Eating
"When you eat, just eat," says Lewis. "Many of us eat mindlessly while doing something else, and suddenly we haven’t registered that we just ate a whole bag of chips. Taking the time to savor foods will help prevent overeating."
2. Emotional Eating
Whether you're eating out of stress or celebrating a new job, emotional eating can lead to poor food choices such as junk food, according to the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. Try to combat stress with other activities, and celebrate positive accomplishments in other ways. Although you deserve to treat yourself every once in awhile, try not to make an indulgent treat a frequent habit.
3. Eating Too Fast
"It takes 20 minutes for your brain to send signals to the stomach that it's full," says Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, MS, RD, CDN, CDE over email. "People tend to overeat and often complain of being overstuffed because they are unable to notice satiety cues. My solution is when you've eaten around half of your meal, stop and just relax. Most of the time, the feeling of fullness comes and you have enough leftovers for lunch the next day."
4. Not Eating For Long Periods Of Time
"If you eat breakfast at 8 a.m. and cannot eat lunch until 2 p.m., eat a small snack in between," says Malkoff-Cohen. Skipping meals can cause you to make poor food choices later, according to a study in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice. "Keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day makes you less inclined to raid the candy jar at work," she says.
5. Adding Extra Salt To Food
Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and kidney disease, amongst other side effects. "Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, add a blast of flavor with fresh herbs, citrus zest, and spice blends," says Lewis.
6. Not Drinking Enough Water
"Drink enough water throughout the day," says Lewis. "Often the desire to eat is triggered because you’re actually dehydrated." Dehydration can also cause a number of other issues, including fatigue and moodiness. Drink a glass of water in the morning to kick off your day, and try to have one before every meal.
7. Eating On The Run
"Planning is the key to success in life, and it’s no different when it comes to healthy eating," says Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN, CDE over email. "If you are going to be out running around all day, bring a snack or meal with you. When we are 'starving,' healthy often loses to convenience. Meal planning saves a ton of money, reduces stress, and improves control."
Everyone has different needs for their body, but keeping in mind these habits can keep you on track when it comes to healthy eating.
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