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How to Break Unhealthy Eating HabitsHow to Break Unhealthy Eating Habits


Break Unhealthy Eating Habits

Overcome your unhealthy eating habits once and for all. The key is identifying the small things about your routine and environment contributing to unhealthy food choices.

Change Your Routine

Grabbing an unhealthy snack or fast food for dinner results from a failure to plan ahead. You might be a night owl who wakes with barely enough time to get out the door for work. Maybe you engage in time-wasting activities you don’t realize, like browsing the Internet or checking social media more often than necessary. These habits take away from the time you need to plan and prepare healthy meals, leaving you to fall back on your old unhealthy eating habits.

Take a few minutes at night to prep a healthy breakfast like no-cook apple oatmeal. Double the amount of healthy foods you make, like soups and salads, so that you have leftovers for lunch. Take better control of your time and set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier so you can eat a healthy breakfast or pack your lunch. Set limits for your screen time. Saving small blocks of time throughout the day will quickly add up.

Empty Your Wallet

Vending machines provide many unhealthy, convenient snack options on a busy afternoon. If these snacks tempt you to ruin a good day of healthy eating, get creative with ways to make obtaining them more difficult. Get rid of the spare change in your wallet and desk drawers. If you carry cash, leave smaller bills at home. By making these snacks more difficult to access, you will be less likely to make an impulse purchase while also giving yourself time to think twice about grabbing an unhealthy option.

Be Prepared When Hunger Hits

Part of creating a healthy relationship with food is to eat when you are truly hungry. If mid-morning or afternoon hunger hits, don’t deny yourself if you need some fuel. Always have a healthy option available. Fruits and nuts are ideal shelf-stable options, but if you have a fridge, consider keeping hummus, veggie sticks, and yogurt nearby. A balance of carbohydrates and protein will keep you full and restore your energy.

Turn Off the Screen

All types of screen time lead to mindless eating. When you focus on something other than the food you eat, you are more likely to overeat and make poor choices. Whether it’s the television or your smartphone, step away from the electronics while you are eating. By taking just a few minutes to give your meal your full attention, you can control your portion sizes and enjoy healthy foods more often.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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