How to curb those unhealthy habits and speed up your journey to a better you.
If you’re anything like me (and I’m sorry if you are), then you might have some monstrously bad food habits — the kind of habits that make you sit down at home whilst trying to recall if you’ve had 3 or maybe 4 donuts since you woke up that morning. Or perhaps you order takeout food 3 times a week like a German train schedule just like I did when I was a lazy student sick of pasta and chicken. You probably want to eat less too.
Even if you don’t, I guarantee that there are some aspects of your eating habits that annoy you personally, tiny things that over the course of a lifetime can contribute to that extra belt notch and tighter shirt. But how can you change these things? It’s surprisingly simple actually, a combination of simple ideas and careful considerations can help you to curb that annoying snacking habit for good.
Or at least until after you’ve hit the beach this summer
Don’t Skip Breakfast
By ensuring you get a hearty breakfast and eating in the morning, you are able to maintain stable blood sugar levels— keeping you feeling fuller for longer and reducing the chances for a snacking break.
In fact, whilst studying the contributing factors to long-term weight loss management, it was found that almost 80% of successful dieters ate breakfast every day during their weight loss journey. The best choices for breakfast are packed with protein and contain whole grains — but stay away from sugar-heavy breakfast bars as they can be deceptively bad for your eating habits, especially if you decide to have more than one because they are so candified.
Sleep Like You’re Dead
If you really think about it, the longer that you spend sleeping, the less opportunity you have for eating. And whilst this is an excellent reason all by itself, the more compelling reason to avoid skipping those zzz’s is down to the energy difference you need to stay awake.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you aren’t able to properly replenish your energy levels overnight, this means that you will start to overconsume calories to make up for this energy deficit or end up being left half-awake all day. But this extra consumption isn’t just limited to just small snacks and meals, caffeine-laced drinks used to stay alert can also play a large contributing role to your poor eating habits.
Did you know that an extra coffee every morning can equate to an additional 3000 calories a month
Here’s How To Eat Less! Drink, Drink and Drink More Water
Your stomach is a remarkable machine, it has the ability to sense when it is full and let you know when it doesn’t need any more food (not that we always listen). So, by drinking more water in a day, we can convince ourselves, that we are quite literally fuller than we ought to be.
Water is essentially negative calories
By keeping your stomach well-stocked with water, you will also curb food cravings as the same signals responsible for hunger also aid in reducing unnecessary snacking and teaching you how to eat less.
Exchange TV Time For Hobby Time
For most of my adult life, the main contributor to my overeating is boredom, which is ironic as it is usually when I am watching TV that I find myself reaching for my snacks and drinks. Many of us find that we try to fill the gap with chocolate and candy, but whilst it may help in the short term, long term it can be devastating.
If you choose to instead spend your time indulging your hobbies, you will find that you think far less frequently about your hunger levels — and if that hobby possesses a physical component, then that is two birds, one stone.
Try taking up a new hobby, I always recommend painting.
If You Can’t See Them, They Can’t Feed You
Everyone claims to have a baseline level of willpower, a certain level of driving feeling that helps you to stay on course and resist temptation. But put all of your snacks next to your desk, and watch it all fade away.
By keeping your snacks out of sight and away from eye-level shelves, you can significantly reduce how often you think about eating outside of mealtimes. This technique is a time-tested method used by grandmas everywhere, next time you visit, be sure to check the top shelves for all the best snacks and see for yourself.
Even if we are hungry, it is far easier to ignore these cravings if we cannot relate them to anything around us, I still crave gyros and I haven’t been to Turkey in over 5 years.
This one should be obvious, but skipping that orange chicken for a home-roasted alternative is one of the best ways to kick your poor eating habits. The food that you make at home will almost always be far healthier than anything you could hope to find between the pages of a menu, and you will be able to eat more of it, too!
Fast-food restaurants have built their reputation by ensuring that food is as delicious as possible, but that often means adding copious amounts of hidden extras such as sugar and enhancing portion sizes to keep you coming back for more. Without taking proper care to audit your take-out meals, you will quickly fall prey to their tactics.
Eating Your Feelings is Not How to Eat Less
Whether it’s a hard break-up, or your boss really chewed you up, reaching for dessert is almost certainly one of the best ways you can drown your sorrows and start to feel better. Except your brain doesn’t agree.
Each time you do this, you condition your brain to crave bad foods whenever you are upset and possibly worse, you can condition yourself to feel this same emotion when eating dessert at entirely unrelated times.
It is a vicious cycle that will always lead to even more overeating to compensate.
There are only two ways to avoid this, one of them is avoiding stress (good luck with that), whilst the other is to find a better mood booster.
Be a Better You, For You
For me, life used to be about little more than eating, and when it wasn’t I was always thinking about what I would be eating in the future. Recognising these simple triggers and mechanisms helped me to shed 112lbs in a year. One year! Learning how to eat less was essential to this.
You can accomplish exactly the same with just a few nudges to your food habits, and you even have the benefit of learning from my mistakes. So go forward and think about how even the smallest changes can have incredible impacts. All it takes is dedication, the right attitude and a little time — and then no one can stop you.