Much of what we do on a day-to-day basis is out of habit. Depending on what your habits are, they can sometimes be detrimental to your health and fitness goals. This is especially true when it comes to habits around food. If you are struggling to lose weight, or get the body you want, then you might want to take a look at some of your eating habits. Here are 5 of the most common unhealthy eating habits that you need to ditch today.
1. Skipping protein in breakfast
On a daily basis, you want to make sure that you implement good eating habits, and that includes what you eat for breakfast. That's why in my F.I.T. programs the breakfasts are all nutritious and protein rich. Eating a healthy well-balanced breakfast is vital in giving your body the right nutrients, to fuel yourself throughout the day. If you go for a carb-heavy breakfast, or one that is filled with sugar (e.g. a muffin on the way to the office), you’ll be sure to crash a couple hours later. This can often lead to poor food choices during the rest of the day. That’s why it’s important to include a good source of protein in your daily breakfast. This can come from eggs, good quality protein powders, full-fat Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, or some nuts and seeds. Not only will the protein help your muscles recover post workout, it will also keep you fuller for longer and you won’t suffer from that post-breakfast crash.
2. You eat on the run and always buy takeout
I know, if you are time poor it can be convenient to buy takeout for your meals. However, more than likely those meals are seriously adding inches to your waistline. The moment you let someone else cook your food, you lose all control over whether or not you are eating healthy. Even a takeout that could be perceived as healthy, can have hidden weight gainers like bad vegetable oil, sugar, and creamy dressings or sauces. Takeout meals also tend to be larger serving sizes, which can lead to overeating. Try to prevent eating takeout by always having some healthy homemade meals in the freezer. Simply cook in bulk the next time you are making healthy freezable meals like soup, curries, stews etc. Then you will always have a healthy option available when you are a little time poor.
3.You eat at your desk
Sitting and eating lunch at your desk is such a common habit that people do daily. In a busy workday, it’s easy to think that you can save time by scoffing down lunch, whilst still typing away. The problem is that, if you are eating whilst doing anything else, other than focusing on what you are putting in your mouth, it’s extremely easy to overeat and gain weight. Never mind the fact that you aren’t actually giving yourself a lunch break, which can lead to higher levels of stress and further weight gain. Taking a bit of time in the day to eat will help you relax more, and you will actually be more productive in the long run. This also isn’t just the bad habit of sitting at your desk whilst you eat, it can also be mindless eating when sitting and watching television, or whilst you are scrolling through your phone on social media. Make sure that when you sit down for a meal you aren’t being distracted by other things. Take your time to enjoy the meal and focus on what you are eating.
4. You eat packaged 'diet' foods
Don’t believe that just because it has the label of “low-fat” or “diet” that it’s good for you. So many of these processed “weight-loss” products contain sugar or other fillers to make them taste good. So, whilst they could be lower in fat you are essentially still consuming high calories with delivering little-to-no nutritional value to your body. You are far better off eating whole foods, which are as close to the food source as possible. Read the ingredient labels carefully and see just how much sugar and additives are put into these “health” foods. Common culprits for these types of foods are your “low-fat” breakfast cereals, yoghurts, ice creams, pre-made smoothies and even your low-fat pre-made meals.
5. You eat because you are stressed or upset
Emotional eating is one of the biggest weight gain habits I see women do daily. They have a bad day or get stressed out, making them go for a packet of biscuits, a block of chocolate, or a greasy pizza. When eating habits are based on emotions rather than hunger, your waistline and emotional state can suffer. This can become a major problem when you are using food to mask negative emotions, or to make you feel better. If you are an emotional eater, try to identify your triggers so you can get a better understanding of when you emotionally eat. Then create a new habit, using something non-food related, to make you feel good. Perhaps it’s taking a hot bath, going for a big long walk, or having a boxing session at the gym. Write down a long list of activities that can give you a quick pick-me-up.
Remember, bad eating habits are just something that has been formed over time. The key to fixing them is to know what your bad eating habits are and remembering that they ruin your results and preventing you from reaching your goals. After you have identified your bad habits, spend a little bit of time creating new, healthier habits to replace the old. If you are ready to smash out your health and fitness goals, then check out my F.I.T. programs.