Late night meals, junk food, skipping breakfast, eating on the run or having concentrated juice rather than skimmed milk and simple water. What is the first step to begin breaking the habit of these unhealthy eating patterns that are leading to poor digestion, to weight gain, and an increase in the stress and imbalance in our lives? Accepting that this is actually a problem is where it all begins.
It is much easier to do something hard if we are aware of its worthwhile benefits. Enquire yourself: What are the benefits of reversing your bad eating habits? Then you need to consider the drawbacks if you pursue the same unhealthy habits. For instance, if you are developing a list to reduce junk food content in your diet, the following benefits/negative report would be highly useful.
• Benefits of change: more energy, feel better, lose weight, live longer
• Negatives of continuing: gain weight, lack energy, put self at risk for serious disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes)
• Bad Food Habit – Skipping Breakfast.
In order to boost your energy, fuel your mind and feed your brain and body a little something, breakfast is mandatory. Omitting breakfast leads to a craving for mid-morning snacks which are a key to calories and sugar. This then leads to obesity. Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. Skipping breakfast also tremendously lowers your metabolism rate. However, by eating breakfast every morning, you are able to be more focused and productive until it’s time to refuel at lunch. Additionally, breakfast helps reduce morning crankiness. Kids are shown to perform better at school when they have a good, healthy breakfast. All these reasons are enough for breaking the habit of not having breakfast
• Bad Food Habit – Speed Eating.
Another bad habit that needs to go is speed eating. Eating too much discourages healthy digestion and promotes overeating. Moreover, it deprives you of enjoying the meal. Deliberately engaging your senses can help you decelerate. The brain requires at least 20 minutes in order to register with the stomach. A recent study found that women who ate a meal in 30 minutes ate 10 percent fewer calories compared with those who stuffed themselves in merely 10 minutes.
• Bad Food Habit – Feeding your bad moods
It may be comforting at the moment, but eating your way out of your fears and frustrations, instead of dealing with them, can lead to a pattern of more crankiness as well as rapid weight gain. The stress of modern-day life makes it easier to surrender to the temptation of foods which are void of essential nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats and are also loaded with tremendous levels of sugar and dangerous fats. Likewise, a healthy meal with great ingredients can put you in a great mood. Emotional eating and drowning your sorrows in food has become one of the worst bad eating habits to plague the world today.
Researchers at Penn State University have found that poor eating habits can actually worsen a person’s mood, especially among women who watch their diet. Meals that combine of complex carbohydrates with lean proteins can enhance your moods such as tuna on 100 percent whole wheat bread, a turkey meatball with whole grain pasta and red sauce or a lean piece of beef with brown rice and vegetables.
• Bad food habit – Eating unhealthy calories
Since the beginning of time, we have been told that calorie count matters! While we see people exhausting themselves by counting their calories after each meal, they forget the most important ingredient of healthy eating – those calories should be coming from healthy foods! Although mathematically speaking, you will end up losing or maintaining your weight based on your net calories per day, but if those calories come from junk food, your diet will have a negative impact on your overall health. for instance, a mere net 1500 calorie intake from burgers and fries every day might, in fact, eventually help you gain slimmer waistline, but it will deteriorate your cardiovascular health; this means that the adverse aspect of this diet far outweighs the positive one.
While you have every reason to eat clean and healthy, one must recognize the challenge that is to be overcome in order to improve eating habits. It is unreasonable to spontaneously start a new diet and follow it, which is why you should begin with baby steps. For instance, junk food can be replaced with their similar healthy counterparts; instead of having ice cream, have frozen yogurt, substitute chips for dried fruits to snack on.
These changes might seem insignificant in the beginning, but are sure to bring a change in your physical and mental health; as they say: you are what you eat!