How to *finally* break those bad eating habits
We all have bad habits—nail biting, leg shaking, procrastination. But did you know there are bad eating habits as well? There are plenty of diets, workouts and crazy products out there meant to give you the *perfect* bod. More importantly though, is making sure you're eating in a way that's healthy and that's as easy as breaking these five bad eating habits.
1. Skipping breakfast
Who has time for breakfast when you have school at 8 am, woke up late and have to put the finishing touches on that science project? Not to mention your older sister is hogging the bathroom. You rush out the door and before you know it, it's lunchtime and you haven't eaten a thing all day. Sound familiar? When they said breakfast is the most important meal of the day they weren't joking. Not only does skipping meals slow your metabolism, meaning that your body takes longer to process and burn calories and fat, but having a good breakfast (not a donut and coffee, sorry) gives you the extra boost of energy you need to get through the start of the day.
If you don't have time for a full breakfast, ask Mom to stock up on quick and easy breakfast items like yogurt, smoothies, whole fruit or cereal bars. (Pro tip: You can even make a bunch of pancakes in advance, heat them up and wrap them in aluminum foil for yummy quick bite.)
2. Mindless eating
Have you ever been faced with an entire bag of chips that you were positive you wouldn't finish, but midway into your Netflix marathon, you feel your hand hitting the bottom of the bag? Yeah, us too. We call this mindless eating. A study at Cornell University found that the larger the plate or bowl you eat from, the more you end up eating without even realizing. This can lead to some serious overeating and calorie overload, because lets be real, we weren't sitting in front of a big bowl of strawberries.
Don't eat snacks straight from the container. You'll usually end up spacing out and eating a whole pint of ice cream you swore would last you two days (RIP cookie dough). Instead, opt for a small bowl or plate to eat from. This way you'll eat just enough to be satisfied, and not eat just because there are still snacks in front of you.
3. Eating too quickly
There are plenty of reasons why one might scarf down their food. Maybe you skipped out on breakfast and that chicken sandwhich at lunchtime looks like water after being stranded in the desert. Perhaps you're pressed for time and need to quickly finish your meal and continue on your way. Whatever the reason, eating too quickly is bad news. Your brain can't let your stomach know its full until about 15 to 20 minutes after you've started eating. If you've finished your meal in less than 10 minutes you won't feel full and will end up eating way more than necessary.
Slow it down, even if you feel you're in a rush. Take the time to fully chew your food before swallowing. Try and put your fork or spoon down in between bites to slow down your chowing. Drinking water in between bites can can also slow you down and make you feel fuller as you eat.
5. Not eating enough throughout the day
This one should be self-explanatory. Not getting enough food throughout the day is all around bad news. It can cause your energy levels to spike, slow your metabolism, lead you to overeat later in the day and generally make your body very upset with you. It can even cause less obvious symptoms such as mood swings and insomnia.
Try to stick to the three meals a day plan. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every meal doesn't have to be a feast if you're constantly on the go, but try and find the time to eat something substantial at these times of the day. If you really can't do three meals a day, make sure you have plenty of healthy, calorie rich snacks to make up for the meals you're missing.
What is one of your worst eating habits? Let us know in the comments.