5 Top Tips on How To Break Those Unhealthy Eating Habits
We’ve all been there; whether it’s stuck at the office trying to meet a deadline, or out and about running errands, it’s all too easy to turn to bad eating habits. We pick on chocolate and sweets to fuel us through a hectic afternoon, or buy fast food as an easy option after an epic shopping spree.
We know we will feel guilty later, and as we sit back and let the ‘food coma’ set in, we think; ‘the diet starts Monday.’ But with these 5 tips, you can stay on track.
1) If you find yourself regularly binging-keep a food diary.
Food is pleasurable and comforting, so there’s no wonder why we sometimes want too much of it, even if it’s not good for us. After all, eating is one of the major ways we take care of ourselves. To beat these binge sessions take five minutes out of your day to keep a record of your eating habits. Jot down what you ate, or what you wanted to eat.
If something happens that causes you to comfort eat, note that down too. This can be something as dull as boredom or as important as a missed deadline. Writing it down and reading it back will help you to plan for a healthier tomorrow.
2) Make over -eating an effort
It may sound too simple, but stick those tempting foods in a hard to open container that ruins your nails, or stick it in a hard to reach cupboard that turns you in to Tarzan!
Alternatively, freeze dinners and only defrost the portion you need. Much of over-eating is to do with portion control. Give yourself as much as you need to satisfy your hunger; don’t over fill yourself to the point where you can’t move.
3) Give up grazing-“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.”
Don’t deny yourself breakfast, lunch and dinner. Skipping meals or eating the wrong foods can leave you feeling tired, deflated and even affect your health. Instead, help yourself to a breakfast high in protein, something like whole grain toast, oats, or a fruit smoothie.
When the clock strikes 11, have a healthy low GI snack such as a protein bar or some fruit, these will keep you energized and focused until lunch. For lunch, avoid options high in sugar or fat, they may leave you feeling sluggish and help to induce a nap in your afternoon meeting! Try something with sweet potato, brown rice or brown pasta. And don’t deny yourself healthy fats in the form of fish, nuts and yogurt; a little doesn’t hurt.
Choose wisely when opting for an afternoon snack, have something that will see you through, but don’t choose a high sugar energy drink or bar, it will leave you wanting more. Try not to go over 250 calories, a snack such a fruit will give you energy but still leave you ready to enjoy your dinner. For dinner opt for some steamed fish, grilled chicken breast or even a small helping of roast beef. Choose a meal that is low in sugar and simple carbohydrate foods.
4) Identify your eating triggers-boredom counts!
Identify your eating triggers and, again, like the food diary, write them down. Triggers can be influenced by anything from attempting to stuff emotions after a stressful day, or childhood habits that you can’t even remember starting! They can also be set off by sitting in certain places, for example think of how tempting it is to munch in front of the TV. End these triggers by following point 5.
5) Find a distraction!
Once you have identified your eating triggers you’re half way there, now all you need to do is find a distraction! Go for a walk or gym -sesh.Alternatively, if you get in very late, or if you are feeling too tired to venture out, try treating yourself to a manicure, doing needlework, typing, or even play an instrument. The key is to find other interests that are just as rewarding!