There are two major things that come into the equation when getting the body you want.
1. A good exercise routine
2. A healthy well balanced diet
You can be a total saint at the gym, but if you are still continuing on with your bad eating habits then you wont be getting the best results possible. In fact you might not be getting any results at all. I’ve always spoken very openly about how I don’t count calories, and I allow myself treats. I believe in having a well balanced healthy diet that you can maintain in the long term. However there are some key bad eating habits that can definitely be kicked to the curb. So if you are one of those people who snack mindlessly, emotionally eat, have late night pantry raids, eat on the run, or binge eat here are some key tips to break your bad eating habits.
Bad Habit #1: You’re a mindless eater
I’m always amazed at how many people I see at cafes, sitting there and eating whilst on there phones, not paying any attention to what they are putting in their mouths. I also know of so many people who will sit at their desk and eat lunch whilst still tapping away on their computer, or sit down for dinner in front of the television or Facebook. Mindless eating is when you are consuming food but doing something else at the same time. The problem with mindless eating is that when you aren’t paying attention to how much eat it can be so easy to eat too much.
Look at the situations where you eat mindlessly and then see where you can change the behavior. If you are one to sit on your phone at meal times, put your phone somewhere else when you sit down for a meal, or turn the television off at dinner time. Make sure you get up and away from your desk to eat lunch at work. Mindless eating isn’t a hard problem to fix, it’s more just about recognizing when and how you do it, and then changing that.
Bad Habit #2: You’re an emotional eater
This is a problem I hear a lot about from the women on my programs. Emotional eating is a way that a lot of people seek comfort from food when they are feeling low or having a bad day. The problem with emotional eating is it creates a bad relationship with food. Rather than seeking a healthy way to deal with that problem, comfort is generally sought from unhealthy comfort food like chocolate, chips or pizza. This then leads to guilt, which then leads to feeling even worse, and so the cycle of comfort eating gets set off again.
This can be a hard habit to break but it’s definitely not impossible. If you are an emotional eater, it’s good to sit down and recognize what your triggers are. When that trigger event occurs, rather than seeking comfort in food, find another non food related activity that can help you feel better. Things like going for a walk, a chat on the phone with a good friend, watching a comedy or smashing out a serious gym session are all ways that can help boost your mood and stop you reaching for that packet of biscuits.
Bad Habit #3: Being super restrictive and then binge eating
Now this is another one of those habits I see all the time. Girls wanting to get drastic weight loss or results fast - they put themselves on super restrictive diets where they get left feeling deprived, then go on a major binge totally reversing any hard work put in.
I really can’t stress enough about how much extreme restrictive calorie counting diets are not good in the long term. Weight loss may happen yes, but they are so hard to maintain and weight will generally just come back on the moment you return to normal eating patterns or bad eating patterns. Never mind the metabolic damage you can do to your body by going on them. My rule when it comes to a fit healthy lifestyle long term, is find healthy food you enjoy, don’t starve yourself, allow for treats (and then don’t feel guilty if you have them), and be patient with your results. That’s why on my F.I.T. programs, I’ve created a nutrition plan that allows for healthy treats (that seriously feel like you are being naughty), eating a lot of good healthy food that nourishes your body and gives you energy, never leaves you feeling hungry and will still help you get results.
Bad Habit #4: Raiding the pantry just before bed
You get through the day being super healthy and then come night time, post dinner something uncontrollable takes over and you raid the pantry, undoing all your hard work. Late night snacking is one of the worst culprits for impacting on your results.
A lot of late night snacking isn’t actually because you are hungry. It comes from boredom, habit, stress, fatigue or emotional eating. If you are a late night snacker, really try and narrow in on why you are walking to that pantry before bed. If it is because you truly are hungry then perhaps you need to look at the amount of food you are eating during the day. As per my above point, if you are on a restrictive diet that leaves you hungry, this could be why you need to snack late at night. Instead of this, try and eat a little bit more of healthy food during the day so hunger doesn’t strike late at night. If it’s out of boredom, try and sip on some herbal tea or hot water. If you really must snack, then find something super healthy, like vegetable sticks to nibble on.
Bad Habit #5: Eating on the run
You run out of time to cook so you just grab the closest thing that’s available to you when you get hungry. This type of eating often leads to unhealthy choices, as you get caught out hungry and just go for that quick and easy take away. There can be healthier choices when you go for takeaways, but more often than not, it’s unhealthy and will affect your results.
Learn to prepare your food in advance. I have some awesome tips on food prepping for the week in my blog post here. As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so make sure you get organized. When you do get a chance to cook, double or even triple the recipe. That way you have prepared meals for another day and you will always have something healthy on hand. If you do end up caught out, try and find the healthiest take away option you can. I always go for something like grilled fish, brown rice and steamed veggies.
These are some of the most common bad eating habits that can easily de-rail all that hard work you are putting in at the gym. Habits are just a learned behavior, so they can be unlearned. Hope you guys found these tips helpful. If you have any bad eating habits you need to break leave me a message below and I’ll try to help where I can.