September 28, 2016 | 7 minute read
Published in Active Meaningful Years
Ready to boost your metabolism & lose belly fat? Here are the 10 worst eating habits you need to break now!
We've all done it, staring obsessively at the packaging of a product and putting it back due to its fat content. However, it's vital that you understand that not all fats are bad – in fact a lot of fats are essential, especially those that are found in nuts, olives, avocados, and fish. These healthy fats are essential for your everyday diet. There’s even fats that can boost your metabolism. So when your feeling a bit peckish, grab a couple of Walnuts. (See: 7 Metabolism Myths Busted)
Feeling a bit peckish in the middle of the night? Don't! Studies show that when food is consumed late at night, your body is more likely to store those calories as fat and cause weight gain. Case closed. A simple tip? Treat your kitchen like a restaurant and after dinner deem the kitchen closed. Although it's odd at first, stick with it. If that still doesn't work, brush your teeth and wash your mouth with mouth wash. No one likes eating with a clean mouth!
It's very easy to zone out at your desk, and this usually results in nibbling on junk. You won't realize that you have probably eaten 30-50% of your daily intake while being focused on your job. Tip: When lunch time hits, go for a walk, get your metabolism going, and eat away from your desk. Not only will you feel more refreshed, but you will eat less and feel more energized.
Everyone's grandparents have probably told them at one time or another to chew 30-50 times before swallowing. How silly! However, there is some truth to this, especially when it comes to saving your waistline. It takes your stomach 20 minutes to realize that it's actually full. So, inevitably if you shovel your food in without a second thought, you eat a lot more than you need to. Try chewing longer, taking your time, and enjoying that delicious meal you slaved over to make. Your pants will fit a bit better because of it!
Fad diets are bad diets. Diet drinks, low fat, zero fat, no calories, etc. These new marketing buzz words are everywhere, and we can't seem to escape them! So what is fact, and what is fiction? Here's an example: a Crispy Chicken Caesar salad at McDonalds that's advertised as their healthy option, packs on a gut-busting 900-1000 calories per serving. That's more calories than a Big Mac! Want to know what your favorite skinny vanilla latte with low-fat syrup is doing to you? Check out Starbucks' calorie counter here.
Have you ever gone grocery shopping while you were hungry, and grabbed a doughnut just because? Or maybe you grabbed a few too many pizza pops and pieces of fried chicken? Long story short, you make poor decisions when you're hungry. Eat a snack or have a meal first. When you aren't hungry or thinking about food, you are more likely to grab healthier options. RESIST THE TEMPTATION! (See: How to Eat for Exercise and Recovery)
We gorge on junk food because it's easy to grab and easy to eat with very little effort. The unfortunate thing is that these foods are usually full of saturated and trans fats (the bad kind), and sugar. The easiest way to avoid them is to not buy them in the first place (see above). When these sugary treats or high fat snacks are within your eye-line, you are 83% more likely to consume them than if you put them away.
I love love love breakfast. Eggs and bacon are my absolute favorite. However, if you are like me, you probably don't have time to cook up a big meal before rushing off to work. However, you may want to reconsider that. While you are sleeping you are essentially fasting, and your metabolism has slowed right down. In order for you to kick start it, you need to eat! Fun fact, people that eat breakfast are 91% more likely to lose weight than those that skip it.
Have you ever heard the expression 'drinking your calories'? Well with water you don't need to worry about that. You may be exercising and eating right, but if you are not drinking water, you are not doing yourself any good. Not drinking water actually slows down your metabolism, so anything that you ingest while low on water will actually break down at a slower rate than if you were fully hydrated.
We live in a world where we’ve all been brought up to ‘clear our plates’ and ironically, if you didn't finish your plate, you didn't get dessert. But, you need to start listening to your stomach – it'll tell you when it's had enough, and when that happens, put down your knife and fork. (See: Eating for Exercise and Recovery)
How many of these could you relate to? Tackling them all at once may be a bit overkill and hard to commit to, so start from the top and work your way down. The more repetitive you get with each item, the more likely they are to stick.