3 Bad Dietary Habits That Are Easy to Break
Peril In The Pantry
Whether you’re trying to lose weight on your own or have undergone weight loss surgery, managing diet is absolutely essential. But, as anyone who has tried it can attest, making important changes like this is not easy and actual results may vary. Many may find that, even if they’ve been careful about the food they bring home, they’re still not shedding necessary pounds.
What’s happening? There could be many factors at play, but oftentimes dietary habits are at the root. To a degree that many may not realize, their own behaviors can severely impact weight status. Luckily, many of these are easily broken.
Let’s take a look at three of the most common bad habits.
1. Excessive Snacking
While many people understandably focus on making sure major meals are healthy and well-balanced, snacking can throw everything off-balance. Common snacks like chips, cookies, or crackers are loaded up with calories, salts, sugars, and other things that are fattening. What’s worse, people sometimes snack mindlessly, not even realizing the impact of these foods. Numerous studies have shown direct links between such eating habits and obesity. 
What can you do? Since everyone could use a little boost from time to time, one solution is to opt for healthier snacks. Choose fresh fruit instead of cookies for a sugar boost and consider opting for nuts without salt instead of those chips. Interestingly, according to the Cornell University Food Lab, eating behavior can be modified a great deal through home organization.  If you have unhealthy snacks or treats, try to put them in harder to reach shelves. Conversely, keeping healthier foods at easy access will passively push you to better habits.
2. Distracted Eating
Another diet-buster is so common it’s often overlooked: distracted eating. If you tend to eat dinner in front of the TV or your laptop, for example, you’re more likely to overeat. Put simply, if you aren’t focused on the meal itself, you’re more likely to miss signs that your body is satiated. It actually pays to be more mindful as you consume food and to slow down. Since it takes a little while for your body to tell you that it’s had enough, these signs can be easily missed.
The solution? Make sure that dinner is a distraction-free time: no TV, no laptop, and even no magazines or books during mealtime. This way you can focus on the sensory pleasure of the food and be more responsive to what your body actually needs.
3. Drinking Calories
Ok, so you’ve gotten rid of snacks, have tried to emphasize fresh foods, and healthier protein sources, but the pounds are being stubborn. Where else to look?
A lot of time, it’s in your beverage choices. Coke and other sugary soft drinks are, of course, a major culprit, and even “diet” options are loaded with unnecessary calories. However, the rise in popularity of things like vanilla-flavored lattes is also cause for concern because these often are packed with excess sugars. In addition, it’s well known that alcoholic beverages can also lead to weight gain, so it’s good to minimize drinking these.
Cutting out soft drinks will certainly help you easily cut calorie consumption. Furthermore, if you’re a coffee drinker, be mindful of sweeter or more sugary options; even replacing a regular latte with a nonfat milk option can help. And if you enjoy alcohol, try to be mindful of portion size—a glass of wine should be only 5 oz., for instance—and see if you can’t be more moderate about it.
Better Habits & Better Results
Ultimately, it’s easier than you think to make sure dietary changes are effective. The important thing with weight loss is that it’s a longer road, and you have to do your best not to get discouraged. Remember: it’s an individual process; what ends up working for others may not for you. If you’re struggling with obesity, talk to your doctor about what you can do. The sooner you’re able to take control, the better off you’ll be.
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- Bo S, et al. 2018. “Impact Of Snacking Pattern On Overweight And Obesity Risk In A Cohort Of 11- To 13-Year-Old Adolescents. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed September 5 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2489
- Frey, M. “How Can New Home Design Hacks Help You Lose Weight?”. 2018. Verywell Fit. Accessed September 5 2018. https://www.verywellfit.com/home-design-tips-to-help-you-lose-weight-3495757.