Bad habits could wreck our diet and efforts to lose weight and eat healthy, balanced food. There are several diet-derailing habits that can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Find out if any of these are trumping your best efforts and learn how to get back on track.
Skipping meals may seem like a shortcut to losing weight but contrary to popular belief, skipping meals does not promote weight loss, only a slower metabolism and poor choices later. When we let ourselves get to the point of starving we tend to consume larger portions and eat very quickly.
Eating on the go
When we don’t fully concentrate on our meals and the process of taking in food, we fall into a trap of mindless eating where we don’t track or recognize the food that has just been consumed.
Late night snacking
The timing of when we eat also plays a role in weight loss. Experts say night time snacking is often not a result of true hunger and can result in overeating. It’s more often associated with boredom, mindless eating or emotional eating.
Research shows eating outside of the home can lead to weight gain and fast food isn’t the only culprit. One study found that dining at full service restaurants is comparable and in some cases, even less healthy than eating at a fast food outlet.
Eating too fast
Gobbling down your food too quickly is one of bad habits that can lead to overeating because it doesn’t give your body enough time to realize you are full. Experts say pacing yourself during meals is key to maintaining a healthy weight.
The “clean your plate” rule
As a child, your parents probably told you to always clean your plate, but experts say this isn’t advice that should be followed. Weight management is a mind and stomach game. Both must feel satisfied for us to be successful. A full, small plate leaves us feeling more satisfied than a large, half empty one. Experts recommend making a small, balanced plate, then putting the rest of the food away.
Shopping on an empty stomach
Grocery shopping while hungry can lead us to make impulsive decisions and load the cart full of unhealthy foods. Never buy food in the shop on an empty stomach. When we are hungry, we are more likely to fall victim to temptation.
Have a light meal or snack, like a piece of fruit, before going to the store. Also, make a list before food shopping and stick to it. Eating before you shop could save you money as well as calories. One study shows that shopping on an empty stomach at the mall or online can even lead to spending more on clothing and other non-food items.
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