Healthy eating can be challenging when you get busy or stressed. Stay on track by avoiding these 5 major eating mistakes:
1. Drinking calories. Don’t drink sodas, fruit juices, sweetened coffees, or other beverages with calories. Consume alcohol sparingly. Drinking sugar packs on the pounds! Stick to water, mineral water, or tea (you can sweeten it with stevia if you need to).
2. Eating too much at night. When you do not eat often enough during the day, by the time you get home from work, your brain realizes that you have not eaten enough calories yet, and will turn on the ravenous appetite. Then you eat whatever you can get your hands on quickly, and way too much of it.
You should eat for what you’re going to do for the next three hours. If all you plan to do after dinner is to sit on the couch and watch TV before you go to bed, you don’t need many calories. Most people who struggle with their weight do not eat enough during the day, then eat most of their calories at night before bed. This is a very harmful habit – in fact, that’s how they make Sumo wrestlers!
3. Eating unhealthy convenience foods. Most packaged “convenience” foods are loaded with sugar and chemicals, and low in overall nutrition. Stick to vegetables and protein (organic when possible), and skip stuff that comes in a wrapper.
4. Eating when you’re not hungry. If you turn to food when you’re thirsty, bored, lonely, or stressed, you’re going to pack on the pounds before you know it. Before you reach for something to eat, double-check that food is really what you want. Reference the 10-second reality check quiz in my 3 Steps To Kill Your Sugar Cravings handout.
5. Using external cues. Throughout our lives, we are trained to use external cues (like an empty plate) to tell us when we’ve had enough to eat. Check in with yourself to be sure that your “start” and “stop” cues are coming from YOU and not from some external source.