We all are guilty of following fad diets or following stereotypes that are just not true. So called healthy foods are flooding the markets but under the label they are something else. It is inevitable to get drawn to the attraction of all the hype on media and give in to these fads every now and then. But beware as they might have short term or long term side effects that you don’t want. This article provides information about such unhealthy food habits we consciously or ignorantly tend to follow which should be AVOIDED.
1. Don’t skip meals
It has been proven that people who skip meals are more likely to gain weight over people who don’t. People skip meals usually because either they are trying to lose weight or they get too caught up in their busy schedules. Skipping a meal will not help you lose weight or in any way. People who skip meals are more likely to binge on snacks or coffee or energy drinks, which is a totally unhealthy food habit and may cause you to gain a lot of weight. Take time out from your schedule and enjoy your meal. It will give you a break and supply much needed nutrients to your body that will help you get through the rest of the day more effectively.
2. Don’t Overeat
Excess of anything is bad. This holds true even for ‘healthy’ foods. Some of these so called healthy foods are loaded with sugar. Same is true for energy drinks. So another unhealthy food habit we indulge in is ‘overeating’. Overeating may increase your daily caloric intake and lead to weight gain. No matter what you eat, you should always eat it in moderation and pay attention to portion size. It is best to create a diet chart for yourself or log what you eat everyday. This will help you keep track of exactly how much you are eating.
3. Don’t leave out carbohydrates
This is the most overhyped fad and eventually unhealthy food habit for people trying to lose weight. While processed carbs like white bread and polished white rice are bad for you, it does not mean all carbs are bad for you. Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy for the body and if avoided, may cause weakness and sluggishness. Carbohydrates keep you fuller longer and avoiding this may cause you to binge on other snacks. Include carbs in your diet for a balanced meal. Choose unprocessed complex carbohydrates like brown rice, whole grain bread and whole wheat pasta over processed carbs.
4. Don’t leave out food groups
People tend to hear or read about fads like gluten-free diet or no carbs after 7 pm or no dairy diet. Keep in mind that most of these fads were created for people who actually had a problem consuming that food group. If you are not one of those people who are either allergic to or intolerant towards a food group, do not unnecessarily remove it from your diet. Leaving out certain food groups is an unhealthy food habit which may create nutrient deficit in your body. This deficit will need to be fulfilled by supplements later. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if for any reason you think you need to leave out a food group from your diet, and get viable substitute options for the same.
Related: Foods to eat for Weight Loss
5. Don’t focus on any single foods
No one type of food can create magic for you. People trying to be healthy tend to be drawn to too much chicken or broccoli or protein and other such foods. They think the more they consume of these foods, the better it is for their health. The truth is you need a balanced diet in order to stay healthy. The balance might be different as per your goal, whether it is weight loss or muscle gain or fat loss. You may even need to up your intake on certain foods. But overloading on any one type of food while consuming a non balanced diet will not do any miracles for you in the long run. Focus on eating clean foods instead and get rid of this unhealthy food habit.
6. Don’t consume energy drinks
Water is the best drink. Period. Stick to water for most of your fluid intake. There are a lot of energy drinks in the market that claim to have health benefits. The truth is that most of these are high in calories or sugars and should not be consumed on a daily basis. Some of these may be okay to consume during athletic events as a quick source of energy, but daily consumption will only lead to weight gain. It is best to stick to the basics sometimes. While drinks like milk, black coffee and green tea are good for you and should be consumed in moderate quantities daily, a majority of your fluid intake should still come from H2O.
7. Don’t use sugar alternatives
Zero sugar foods and drinks are another fad gaining more and more popularity all over the world. Aspartame, agave nectar and honey are some of the alternatives to sugar being paraded as healthy foods. None of these are proven. A small quantity of pure honey is a good source of carbohydrates, but by no means should it serve as an alternative to your sugar needs. If you want to cut out sugar, just cut out the sweet stuff such as chocolates, caffeine etc. It will become a habit in a week or two and you won’t even crave it anymore.
8. Don’t snack excessively
Every fitness expert swear by eating small meals spread throughout the day. The rule of three meals per day has transformed into the rule of eating six smaller meals. While this may be a healthier option and take you to your goal faster, you should be careful. A lot of us fill the meals between breakfast, lunch and dinner with junk foods or have a complete meal for a snack. Snacking often leads to overeating and the body gets used to eating 5-6 full meals a day, leading to significant weight gain. Stick to raw fruits and vegetables and healthy dips like hummus for snacks, that too in moderate quantities.
9. Don’t eat fast
Every time you eat, savor your food and eat slowly, chewing each bite completely. Research has shown that there is a time gap between when you are actually full and when your brain thinks you are full. Eating slowly not only makes you enjoy your meals more, but also helps you feel fuller while eating less food. Eating fast and stuffing your face without chewing will not only lead to indigestion, but also leave you craving for more, causing you to overeat. Put down your spoon or form in between each bite if you need to, and don’t consider it a task. Instead, take pleasure in your meals and enjoy each bite.
So, we hope the above list will help you get rid of the unhealthy food habits immediately.
Eat right, Eat clean!!