Sometimes avoiding junk food can be a real challenge if you are short on time or have limited options available to you. However, Junk food can lead to weight gain, sap your energy levels, and derail your workout efforts. The unfortunate thing is that most people who have bad eating habits don’t know how much of a detrimental effect it can have on their fitness. To help you make better food choices and get you on the right track to a leaner and healthier you, here are five bad eating habits that you need to stay away from.
One of the biggest secrets of healthy eating is to listen to your body. Learning to listen to your body helps you to only eat what’s necessary to satisfy your hunger and stop before you overindulge. Therefore, to become in-tune with your body’s needs, you need to drop the habit of mindless eating. If you’re not aware what you’re putting into your body, you’ll constantly overeat without even realizing.
To start eating mindfully, think about the taste and texture of each bite you take. Take your time eating and keep in mind that it can take a while for your body to register that it is no longer hungry. This may seem difficult at first but the more you do it, the more connected you’ll become to your body’s hunger signals and the more natural it will feel.
Not only is snacking encouraged by nutrition experts, it’s also a great way to boost your healthy eating habits. When you snack on whole foods, you won’t feel hungry between meals and you’ll supply your body with a wide range of health-boosting nutrients. The problem is, most people snack on highly processed foods without knowing how harmful they are. Processed foods are major contributors to obesity and illness. Most processed foods contains chemicals and large amounts of added sugar.
So how do you pick the right snacks? Choose simple foods that contain one ingredient and stick to the outer rim of the grocery store.
Drinking Diet Soda
Diet soda is something that many people believe to be a safe drink because it contains zero sugar and so eliminates hundreds of calories while still allowing you to enjoy a sweet treat. However, diet sodas are actually loaded with artificial ingredients that damage your body in many ways and have been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and more.
The best way to ditch diet soda is to drink water instead. However, if you get bored with drinking water all the time, you can also mix up your intake and stay hydrated with coffee, fruit infused water, tea and smoothies. You can also add some limes or cucumber to your water for a natural flavor boost.
Eating Too Fast
If you’re a person who eats quickly, either out of habit or because you don’t feel like you have the time to sit down and eat for leisure, you need to quit this bad habit. It takes around 30 minutes for hunger signals to respond to the foods you eat and send signals to your brain. Therefore, if you eat too fast, you’re likely to eat much more than your body requires before your hunger signals respond to the foods. So slow down, savor each mouthful and take your time when eating.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep directly affects both your body and brain causing you to engage in unhealthy eating habits. Without enough sleep, your metabolism goes haywire and this will cause you to feel hungrier and crave unhealthy food. Not getting enough sleep also negatively impacts the areas of your brain that are responsible for logic and reasoning, setting you up to make bad decisions when it comes to food choices. This combination of a tired brain and increased hunger cravings makes you much more likely to break your healthy eating habits. By making sure you get six to eight hours quality sleep each night, you avoid these adverse effects and eating healthy becomes much easier.