5 Food Habits That Should End With 2017

December 18, 2017

You don’t need a new year. All you need is today.

The secret of fitness is finding the right balance between exercise and diet. This can vary from person to person based on factors like current weight, fitness level and lifestyle, the amount of daily activity, and future health goals. Take charge of your fitness by putting an end to the below food habits in 2017.

Distracted eating

Do you check your phone while having lunch? Or stare at the TV while eating dinner? All of these distractions take your mind off your meal and can contribute to weight gain and overall unhealthiness.

Evidence from studies shows that distractions during a meal tend to make people eat more. That’s because after you start eating, the stomach gradually turns off appetite by sending signals to the brain. It can take up to 20 minutes for these signals to reach the brain. If you don’t pay attention, you can end up consuming a lot more calories than you need. Mindful eating can also help you feel fuller and satisfied, making you less likely to binge on snacks. 

Emotional eating

If you find yourself munching on some snacks after a stressful day, you might have the habit of emotional eating.  This refers to the tendency of eating food - mainly junk food - for emotional comfort instead of satisfying hunger. It can strike anytime you are experiencing negative feelings like stress, sadness, boredom or tiredness.

Occasionally using food as a treat isn’t a bad thing. But when it sabotages your fitness efforts, it is time to end the habit. Doctors recommend developing positive habits to distract yourself from the urge to eat, like drinking a glass of plain water or fresh fruit juice, listening to music or reading a book.

Eating out constantly

Research reveals a direct correlation between eating out frequently and excess weight gain.  Many restaurant and take-out meals are high in calories and fat.

However, you don’t have to deprive yourself of a fun day out. Take a few minutes to plan your weekly meals before you go shopping, and set aside one day a week for eating outside. This can help prevent last-minute decisions to eat out and save your time, money and health in the long run. 

Eating straight from the packet

An essential step for staying healthy is watching what you eat. Snacks are an extra source of calories, and when you eat them straight from the bag, it’s easy to have several servings without realizing it. Before you know it, the packet is empty, and you are full of guilt.

Portion control is the key to enjoying your favourite snack without the guilt. Measure your snacks into smaller servings or portions to help you watch what you eat. For example, divide a family-size pack into smaller individual containers or pair a small part of your snack with a healthy option like fruit. 

Eating processed foods

Processed and microwaveable foods are convenient for a quick meal. But they are also loaded with preservatives, sodium and chemicals to give the food a particular flavour and texture. Heavy consumption of processed food can increase your risk of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol.

If you want to eat healthy but don’t want to cook from scratch every day, consider meal prepping. By planning your meals, shopping once a week and preparing your ingredients in advance, you can save time and still enjoy a delicious dinner within minutes.

Don’t put off your health goals until the New Year. Start practicing them now and get the momentum you need to achieve your fitness target in 2018.

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