Being overweight or obese is no laughing matter. Not only does it have the potential to cause major health problems but it can also instigate mental issues and low self-esteem. If you are 100 lbs. overweight or more according to your BMI, you are considered obese. This is a cause for concern because you can develop high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and more. In addition, you might feel like a social outcast. Even worse, studies show that those experiencing obesity are four times more likely to exhibit signs of anxiety and depression. Even when you go to social functions, you feel as if everyone is watching you, watching what you eat, watching what you wear and talking about your weight behind your back. Even if you’re just slightly overweight, you run the threat of continuously gaining weight due to bad eating habits. However, things can change with hard work, focus and determination. Yes, you do need to become more active, but even more, you have to change any bad eating habits you have. Online courses can effectively help you learn how to get beyond the diet hype. The first steps are to figure out your weaknesses and tackle them one by one.
A List of Bad Eating Habits:
- Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is widely considered one of the most important meals of the day. It gives your body the fuel it needs to function at its best. Nonetheless, if you are always in a rush to get to work or elsewhere, it just gets too easy to skip and put it off. However, that would be a bad eating habit. So, what happens when you skip breakfast? You get drained of energy and that might lead to snacking all throughout the day. Also, if you are in a hurry and hungry, it might cause you to make bad food decisions. For example, instead of having a healthy, satisfying breakfast at home, you indulge in several of the donuts a co-worker brought to the office in addition to drinking sugar and heavy cream-filled coffee.
- Eating Your Feelings
There is a reason some meals are labeled “comfort foods.” Still, you do not want to eat comfort foods for every meal or all day long because you are not feeling well, emotionally. Consider your actions when you are stressed? If you have a tight deadline at work, does that cause you to finish an entire tub of ice cream or munch on a couple of candy bars? If you are having a bad day, do you end up inhaling a bag of potato chips? You don’t need to feel all alone with your symptoms. There are easy ways to help you combat stress eating.
- Having Large Portions
Sometimes your eyes are hungrier than your stomach. Maybe you grew up in a household that taught you to finish all the food on your plate because, 1. It is the polite thing to do and 2. There are starving children in the world who would love what you have. If you want to fill up your plate, you can start by getting smaller plates. This gives the illusory effect that you are eating a lot of food when, in fact, you are not. In addition, try to finish what is one the plate first and wait a while before eating again. You might find you are already full.
- Filling Up On Sugar, White Flour, and Caffeine
Sure, sugar is delicious and salt makes everything taste better. Moreover, you just can’t get going in the morning without caffeine, right? Well, first of all, the problem with sugar is it is addictive. In addition, it is hidden in many of the foods you probably eat on a regular basis. You know what makes non-fat foods taste so great? Added sugar. That’s right, they replace the fat with sugar. So, how exactly is that better for you? The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces and it modifies your metabolic rate. This means that your body stores even more fat, and it becomes much more difficult to lose weight.
Furthermore, caffeine raises your insulin levels. This slows down your fat burning processes throughout the day. What about white flour products? They also promote fat storage and blood sugar swings. Your best bet? Cut down on processed foods, sugar, white flour, and caffeine. If you work out regularly, you will not need as much caffeine. Also, high fiber whole foods steadies your blood sugar levels, which helps give you more restful sleep.
- Starving Yourself
So, you might be thinking, “If I want to lose weight, I have to stop eating.” Well, even if you are already obese, your body still needs fuel to burn. Also, not all eating is bad for you. Eating the right foods actually helps your metabolism. You know what happens when you eat after starvation? Your body goes into what is called “survival mode.” It lowers your metabolism as a conservation effort. In addition, anything you eat after starving yourself is immediately stored as fat. Do these facts change your mind about starving yourself? You do not have to stop eating. You just have to make the right choices with the right portion sizes.
- Binge Eating
Are you the type of person that eats like a rabbit all day then comes home to a buffet of foods for dinner? How about the weekend? Do you starve yourself during the week, and then eat a smorgasboard of unhealthy foods on your days off? The effects of this bad eating habit is just as bad as starving yourself. It is a vicious cycle that cannot be changed unless you replace it with something else. The good news is you can quickly learn how to stop binge eating.
What You Can Do
Once you have identified your bad eating habits, you should change them right away. The problem is when you don’t, they become a habit. Do not starve yourself. Look at labels and stay away from foods with excess sugar. Try sugar-free desserts instead, they are just as satisfying. Eat high fiber whole foods, which keep you full for longer periods of time.
Focus on lean proteins such as chicken, fish and even eggs. Make it a priority to set aside time to prepare healthy meals you enjoy, so that you are less tempted. Keep from binging by eating more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. If you are an emotional eater, look for healthier outlets such as exercise, social outings and writing in a journal. Moreover, you do not have to worry about bland meals. You can even eat healthy Thai food if you like. By taking these steps, you can start breaking your bad eating habits leading to a healthier you!