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Beat Bad Eating Habits

The first step is to brace yourself for the challenge; it goes without saying that bad habits are hard to break. When you’re trying to eliminate something that has become a part of your life, you’re bound to encounter resistance and see your willpower seriously tested. You’re in for a marathon, one in which that old addiction will tempt you at every step, trying to lure you back into that old vicious circle.

First off, chill while you eat and just slow down. People who eat faster consume more calories because their brain doesn’t have the chance to recognize that their stomach is full. Instead of choosing finger foods that can be eaten quickly, always eat food from a plate with utensils. Salad is an excellent choice since the bulk of it fills you without ramping up the calories or clogging your arteries. Drink water before and 30 minutes after your meal.

Bad eating habits can ruin your life, they can turn you into an overeater, force you to lose control, and influence you to make poor and unhealthy food choices that will eventually make you overweight and obese.

Remove temptations. Keep food out of sight and store a minimum amount of food in kitchen cabinets and in the pantry. Never store your favorite foods. Keep on hand only those foods that require preparation before they can be eaten.

Do a little, not a lot. By cutting 500 calories per day for a week, you will have lost 3,500 calories, one pound a week a nice, natural weight loss that won’t freak out your metabolism. A good, brisk walk each day can cut out 250 calories, and skipping dessert (but not breakfast) can do the rest. Go slow and gentle: don’t try to lose a lot of weight at once. Experiment with what you’re willing to let go of: the Grande latte you usually enjoy at 10 AM; the buttery movie popcorn that’s become a nightly habit. Target foods you don’t especially love and stop eating them.

Rate your hunger. Ask yourself, “how hungry am I on a scale of 0 to 10?” 0 means you’re starving to anyone who gets between you and the fridge! 10 means you’re so stuffed you can’t eat another bite you might explode! Eat when your hunger falls somewhere between 4 and 8, but stop eating when you feel you’ve reached 7 or 8.

Planning your food a day in advance ensures that when that emotion or a challenging time of day hits, you are not tempted by incompatible foods as you try to combat old habits. Plan your meals and ensure you have your trigger times well covered and plenty of healthy food and/ or options all day long so that you no longer have to resist the temptations. When you do this, the old emotions and trigger times of day will still happen, the difference is you made the choice about your food intake yesterday when your emotions did not have a grip on you.

Keep going. You got this!

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