We all do them. Me included. And these are the things that will completely unravel a fitness and nutrition plan. All that hard work down the drain. What are they?
Bad Eating Habits
And what makes this even tougher is that we don’t always know we are doing them. They sneak in and before we know it our very own habits are usurping our otherwise hard work. Ugh!!
Let’s discuss what these habits are so we can name them, avoid them, and come out victorious.
1) Eating Too Fast
Our culture is so fast. We live at a pace that is just unhealthy and one of the main areas is our eating. We shovel food in way too often. We eat the biscuit in the car while we drop off the kids. We eat dinner in front of the TV. What happened to slowly eating and enjoying every bite? I am guilty of eating dinner over the kitchen sink or by the kitchen counter. You know. Finish the meal so you can do the next thing. Well, food is meant to be enjoyed and savored and our body is hardwired for that. It takes about twenty minutes or so for your brain to register satiety (that full feeling). So, if you take your time to eat you will ultimately eat less because your brain registers the satiety no matter how much you eat. If you shovel the food in like a dog eating a treat you will eat far more and probably come out feeling stuffed and sick. Be mindful of your food. Enjoy it. Savor it. Slow down.
2) Drinking Our Calories
UGH!! Guilty! I do love my coffee, lattes, frappacinos, and smoothies. It is quick (see above), portable, and delicious. Most of this stuff is full of fat and calories and no good. How often do you feel full and happy after a drink? Okay, maybe for a little while but it doesn’t last. Your body wants solid food and more of it. Get your nutrition from real meals and save the drinks for special treats. You will be more content.
3) Emotional Eating
This is the thorn in my flesh. It doesn’t matter what the emotion is for me. Happy? I celebrate with food. Sad? I grieve over food. Angry? I take it out on food. I feel good for a few seconds as the food is going in. But, then I feel so yucky. I feel guilty for giving in to my emotions this way and I feel angry with myself for being weak. Then that just makes the original feelings that much worse. It is a terrible cycle of defeat and I hate it. It is okay to feel and embrace your emotions. That is healthy. But, reacting with food is not healthy. We need to find other outlets. Go for a run? Friends? Writing? Art? Whatever it is find an outlet that will build you up and not tear you down by undermining your goals.
4) Licks and Tastes
Did you just lick the spoon after making your child a peanut butter and jelly? Did you lick the beaters after making cupcakes for the classroom? What about grabbing few crackers while packing a lunchbox? HaHa! I caught you. It is hard to say but those licks and tastes add up and they add up quick. You may be completely on plan for an entire day but it means nothing because of those random licks and tastes sprinkled throughout the day. I know it is hard because you don’t even think about it. We need to be more aware of what we put in our mouths.
5) Skipping Breakfast
I think this one goes with number one above. A lot of us are in such a hurry in the morning that we choose to save time by skipping breakfast. Unless you are following a specific nutrition protocol called ‘Intermittent Fasting’ it is pointless and not healthy to skip breakfast. Your body needs that energy in the protein and carbs of breakfast especially after not being fueled during the night. You will also be hungry and more likely overindulge later in the day. You might become more reactionary in your eating due to hunger instead of intentional. Slow down and take a few minutes every morning to eat your breakfast. Maybe even enjoy breakfast with your family.
6) Eating Too Late
I think eating too late goes along the lines of mindless eating. It is a myth that eating to late will cause weight gain. You are fine if you are staying within your caloric needs. But, what kind of eating is late night eating usually? It is usually in front of the TV or computer while you watch a favorite TV show. You are not focused on what or how much you are eating. That includes drinks (ex. wine). All these things add up quick. You will also benefit more from going to sleep than staying up for that TV show and snack.
7) Eating Junk
We live in a junk food society. We are in a rush and love convenience food. The truth is that NONE of this food is beneficial for our body. I don’t care what the claims are. That food in that package is no good. Throw the plastic wrapping away. I also don’t care if it is “diet” food to help you “achieve our weight loss goals.” UGH!! Okay, that will just have to be another rant (ahem….blog post) for another day. Focus on REAL food. What do you think is better? An apple with a spoonful of natural peanut butter or that pre-packaged “protein bar?” These junk foods do taste good. Trust me. I know. I do LOVE Cheeto’s. But, they are so bad for our bodies. They do not fill us up and they only leave us wanting more. Thus, an obesity problem in our country. What is the solution? Shop the outside walls of your grocery stores. Stick to foods that will spoil if you don’t get them in the fridge quick. Eat foods that were once alive be it vegetables, fruit, milk, and/or meats. Your body thrives on those foods because those are the foods your body is supposed to eat. Stick to those and you are far more likely to hit your goals.
How do all these points add up?
Well, I think it comes down to being mindful and intentional about what we eat. We need to slow down and think about how we fuel our bodies. Eating is a process that we need to consider with care.
Let me know your thoughts!! As the great Roberty Kennedy used to say, “I am always listening.”