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Bad Eating Habits and How to Break Them

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woman with a burgerImproving your diet can help you to lose weight, reduce the risk of illness and give you a greater sense of well-being. Many people believe that living on a healthy diet also means giving up all the foods they enjoy, but it's often small changes that make a difference. Breaking some of your bad eating habits can help control cravings and increase the level of nutrients in your diet.

1) Eat a healthy breakfast every day.

Most health experts agree that starting each day with a good breakfast is important. It's not easy to fit this into a busy lifestyle, but starting the day with a meal rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals can bring major benefits to your health. Eating breakfast reduces the temptation to snack on candy bars and other unhealthy foods during the morning.

2) Drink more water.

Keeping the body hydrated helps flush out toxins and improve your skin. Feelings of hunger are often caused by dehydration, and research indicates that people who regularly drink water have an increased chance of controlling their weight. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help to reduce the temptation to overeat.

3) Eat little and often.

Starving yourself for hours then eating very large meals isn't a healthy way to fuel your body. Most nutritionists agree that eating five or six smaller meals a day is a better way to manage your weight and maintain energy levels. Each meal should contain a balance of carbohydrates, lean protein and fat.

4) Carry healthy snacks.

There's nothing wrong with eating between meals, but snacks should be low in saturated fats and sugar. Carrying healthy foods like grapes, nuts and bananas helps reduce the risk of reaching for a cookie or other sugary snack. Slices of carrots, celery and peppers are perfect snacks for when hunger bites. Macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds and cashews are great sources of protein when you're on the go.

5) Plan your weekly meals in advance.

Preparing a menu for the week ahead is a great way of balancing your diet and reducing the temptation to order takeout. If you know what you'll be eating at the end of a long day, there's less chance you'll call for a pizza. Planning your meals in advance means you can add healthy, fresh vegetables to your shopping cart along with other healthy ingredients. Don't be afraid to try out new recipes at home, and get your family involved in preparing and cooking meals to speed things up.

6) Beware of comfort eating.

The stress of modern life means comfort eating has become common. Eating sugary snacks or foods high in carbohydrates may give your mood a temporary lift, but they will do you harm over time. Going for a walk or calling a friend are a couple of simple and better ways to deal with the frustrations and fears you may face in daily life.

7) Cut down on pre-packaged foods.

Frozen meals and prepared foods are often high in sugar, salt and excess calories. Preparing more of your meals using fresh ingredients is an important, yet easy step in achieving a healthier diet.

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