Your eating habits play a major role in your weight loss, weight maintenance and overall health. Eating habits basically refer to eating-related behavior that you have developed through repetition over time. If you feel that your eating habits are not exactly healthy, here are some easy ways to help you tweak or improve them.
1. No Emotional Eating
Emotions and eating may seem like two completely unrelated things, but your feelings actually play a big role in your eating habits. In fact, research has shown that the most common cause of overeating is emotional eating. How many times have you found yourself finishing one candy bar after another when you feel depressed, or digging into a tub of ice cream when you get home from a stressful day at work? Chances are you were not feeling hungry during those times but eating helped you cope with your negative emotions. Eliminating emotional eating from your habits is one of the best ways that you can improve your health and lose weight. Instead of gorging on junk food when you feel anxious, sad or bored, find other ways to deal with your emotions. Take up a hobby, enroll in a class that you’re interested in or work out to release your stress.
2. Drop the Fast Food
Given today’s hectic lifestyles and busy schedules, it’s easy to rely on fast food for convenience. If you’re too busy taking care of your children, doing errands and attending to your work then you probably don’t have the time to prepare a home-cooked meal everyday. It’s much easier and faster to order take-out from fast food joints. Eating fast food regularly can be detrimental to your health since these foods often lack nutrients and are packed with trans fats, sugar and other harmful substances. To make sure that you still eat healthy meals despite your hectic schedule, prepare healthy foods in large batches. For instance, you can set aside some time during the weekend to cook several dishes that you can just store in the fridge. During those days that you don’t have the time to prepare a meal, you can easily heat up portions of the dishes that you’ve stored.
3. Make Gradual Changes
The eating habits that you have today have taken a long time to develop, so it’s not very realistic to expect that you can change them overnight. Instead, start with small steps. For instance, if you want to start eating more vegetables, try to incorporate them little by little into the usual foods you eat. Perhaps you can add spinach to your sandwiches or soup. When you eat out, don’t order your usual side dish of French fries. Instead, opt for a baked potato or some salad.
4. Eat Smaller Portions
If you tend to heap food onto your plate during meal times then there’s a chance that you could be overeating. Start training yourself to eat less by eating smaller portions. Start with only a single helping of the foods you want to eat. Split dessert with a friend when you dine in restaurants. You should also learn to chew slowly to give your stomach time to feel full.