Many of us make unhealthy choices at meal time. I'm no saint. But the worst part is that many of us might not even be aware of our food related missteps. Maybe we can help shed some light on the subject, read on to start breaking your bad eating habits.
Eating “Diet” Foods
Be aware of foods that claim to be 'low-fat,' 'low-calorie,' 'low-whateveritisthatstrendyatthemoment"directly in their title. Think 'diet' frozen dinners, for example. Avoid these foods because they tend to be less satisfying which means you likely reach for a snack shortly after. Furthermore, your body burns about 50 percent more calories metabolizing whole foods than it does processed ones.
Not Listening to Your Stomach
Don't eat the food just because it is in front of you. So many of us grew up being told we had to clean our plate and those habits persist into adulthood. Check in with yourself now and then during your meal. Stop eating when you are full, not when your plate is clean.
Making Meat the Star
Categorically, there is nothing wrong with meat but making it the star on your plate isn't exactly a good call. Meat contains essential vitamins and minerals but it also contains more fat and calories than foods like vegetables. Think of meat as a side dish. Your plate should have twice as much produce as it does meat.
Eating Directly Out of the Box
I'm not afraid to admit that I am incredibly guilty of this one. Paying attention to portion control is important. The odds of sticking to one serving, when eating from the box, are slim. Look at the serving size and portion your packaged foods and snacks on to actual dishes. It will make you much more aware of exactly what you are eating.
Not Setting Your Silverware Down Between Bites
Eating too fast prevents your brain and stomach from being able to catch up to your mouth. Your brain is not able to recognize that it is full until at least 20 minutes into your meal. Try putting down your fork in between bites to slow yourself. You can also try chewing more slowly, 15-20 chews for each bite.
Don't be afraid of fats any longer. There are lots of healthy fats, (like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts) that are essential to a healthy diet. They add flavour to your dishes but also make you feel fuller longer. Plant based fats also increase appetite suppressing hormones and these have been shown to boost metabolism. So, next time you're feeling snacky, grab a handful of nuts.
Eating at Your Desk
Being distracted while you eat can lead to overeating. People who multitask during their meal times underestimate how much they have eaten by 30 to 50 percent. They also underestimate how full they feel compared to people who focus only on their food. And there is more! People who multitask end up eating more calories at day's end than those who don't.
Keeping Junk Food in Sight
You may have heard by now that high sugarvand high fat foods, have addictive properties that really aren't unlike those found in cocaine and heroin. Why tempt yourself? Workers who had candy on their desk in clear dishes ate 71 percent more than workers who had candy in opaque dishes. It isn't necessary to give up sweets completely but hide it away. Keep healthier options front and center in your fridge and cupboards. Hide the junk food from yourself, even better if you can hide it in nondescript containers.
Are you guilty of any of these? Fess up here!
Have You Taken The BodyRock 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge?
We've put together a 7 Day Guide that helps you to buy the right foods and prepare the meals that are going to help you eat well and create healthy habits in your lifestyle.
Learn More about the Clean Eating Challenge