Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unhealthy Eating Habits & How To Break Them

All of us are conscious of the foods we put in our body, but we also have our own vices and unhealthy habits:  Some of us have sugar cravings, while others cannot resist a salty snack. Perhaps you shovel in food too fast or can't say no to a second helping.  Whatever your habits may be, it's not always an easy habit to break.  There's nothing wrong with indulging in the foods we love, but it is all about moderation and eating the right foods.

Health coach and nutritionist expert, Arielle Fierman has some easy tips to help with the most common unhealthy eating habits under control.  *Included in this post are some of my healthy tips and suggestions for eating right. 

Speed Eating - Do you often find yourself setting your fork down after finishing a meal, only to look around and see that your fellow diners haven't finished eating yet?  It's not that you're eating unhealthy food necessarily, you're just gobbling food down so quickly that you end up taking in more calories than you need.  Here are some ways to take it easy and slow down.

Give Thanks:  Some people say a prayer or grace before a meal, but even if you're not religious, you should look down at your food, take a deep breath and say thanks before eating.  When you take a second to become mindful of what you're about to put in your body and grateful that you have something to eat, you instantly will slow down and feel calmer.

Let It Melt:  Imagine you have one small piece of the most decadent rich, fresh dark chocolate.  You won't enjoy it fully if you chomp down and swallow it.  Place the chocolate on your tongue, chew and let it slowly melt.  When you savor your food and chew it really well, it enhances the texture and flavors.  If you treat all your meals this way, you'll begin to enjoy food more and make eating slower a habit.  *Digestion will improve and your body will absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat.

Be Present:  Are you multi-tasking while you're eating?  Try to tune out of the digital world while you dine, and into the food in front of you.

Over-Eating - If your stomach is telling you you're full, but you just want one more bite, you're taking in more calories than you need.  Even if you are eating healthy foods such as wild salmon and quinoa, too much is just too much.  Here are ways to get portions under control.

Sit and Chew:  You can cleanse your body, lose weight and practice portion control by chewing properly and sitting down when you eat.

Get a Doggy Bag:  Restaurant portions are notoriously large.  When dining out, you should plan to eat only half of what's on your plate and take the leftovers home for a meal tomorrow.

Dine In Style:  Even if you're preparing a meal for yourself, try to make the experience a pleasant one.  Put your dinner on a nice plate, which will also help you see your portions.  After a stressful day, sitting down in a relaxing setting will help you slow down and eat less.

Sugar and Salt Cravings - Are your sugar and salt cravings out of control and you tend to grab a candy bar or potato chips a little too often?  The fact is that the more sugar and salt you eat, the more your body wants.  Here are a few ways to curb cravings.

Drink Water (Spring Water):  Sometimes the need for sugar or salt is actually a sign of dehydration, so instead of grabbing a candy bar or salted chips, you should drink more water.  Your body needs 8 fluid ozs. per day and it will also cleanse your body of toxins.

Eat Healthy Carbs:  Add more whole grains into your meals - quinoa and basmati rice are high in carbs and healthy for you.  You should also include some naturally sweet vegetables like baby carrots, beets, squash, and sweet potatoes for a healthier alternative.

Try Another Treat:  Very often cravings are linked to your thoughts and emotions.  Your cravings could actually be a need for something sweet in your life and not necessarily in your stomach. Think of non-food ways to give yourself something special.

More Helpful Tips:

  • Substitute processed sugar with raw honey or coconut raw sugar
  • Switch your commercial salt to Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink crystal salt
  • Don't eat out of the container
  • Don't binge
  • Don't eat late at night
  • Don't stand at the fridge and eat

Finally, try to make healthier food choices.  But you need to love the food you're eating.  I will always try to share with you great healthy recipes and inform you about healthy food benefits!  

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