More than ever making healthy eating decisions is imperative. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information out there, and many people don’t know if they’re making the right decisions. Current research tells us that nutrition is not black and white and that figuring out which approach is best gets hard. It used to be that a high-fat diet was taboo, and now, as we outline in the Body Reboot book, people are beginning to understand that a high fat, low carb diet is not only effective for one’s health, but it can help people lose weight too. Before going on a diet, it’s important to have the right mindset. These surprising everyday habits may sabotage your weight loss efforts before they even begin. Give your health goals a chance by correcting these “bad” habits before they wreak havoc.
1. Eating too much sugar
One of the most obvious decisions you should stay far away from is eating too much sugar. Huffington Post reminds us just how bad sugar is and how it deviates you from your goals. Eliminate sugar and not only will the cravings lessen, but your body will thank you for taking care of it.
I don’t think I should even have to tell you at this point that added sugar is bad for you. It’s addictive, it contributes to heart disease, it may be linked to cancer, and it’s definitely linked to diabetes and high cholesterol. But that pint of Ben and Jerry’s you’re diving into during your movie marathon is so high in the stuff, and so is that Greek yogurt that’s masquerading as healthy.
Check the nutrition labels before buying. It should get easier to tell what’s healthy when the new nutrition labels roll out where added sugar has to be written.
2. Being too strict with your diet
The List says to ease up on yourself and instead of restricting yourself to eating everything that by your definition is “bad”, figure out a way to implement moderation. (The keto diet can also help because it “allows” you to eat yummy high-fat foods, dark chocolate, and more!)
While it's important to take care of your health, being overly stringent with your health plan can have negative consequences. Amanda Frick, lead naturopathic doctor for Harvey Health advised allowing yourself some wiggle room.
She suggested choosing the times you'll deviate from your diet plan ahead of time, which will help you avoid self-judgment. She shared, “Your mindset is so important; don't eat your cupcake with guilt. Instead, top it off with a little joy and move on to tomorrow.”
Mandy Enright, registered dietitian, nutritionist, and creator of the couples nutrition blog Nutrition Nuptials agreed. She told me, “So many of my clients feel if they make one slip up or didn't make it to the gym on the days they intended to go that all hope is lost. Get rid of the ‘All or Nothing' attitude.”
3. Snacking without thinking about it
Mindlessly eating is a huge culprit, as Inc. reminds us. Before you stuff a bunch of food in your mouth while you’re watching TV ask yourself if you’re really hungry. You should also ask yourself or if you’re thinking you need food to feel better about yourself or because you’re bored. Find other ways to cope with life's stressors — you’re worth it!
According to Gupta, “The average American consumes 25 percent of their calories from snacking. Frequent eating is easy. The hardest thing to do is to keep those small meals or snacks under control.” A snack can be a useful tool to stabilize blood sugar and avoid “hunger emergencies” that cause you to overeat at your next meal, but plan them in advance and keep them small. Gupta recommends that you portion them out or snack on veggies and fruits that come perfectly portioned already (like a whole orange or apple). Try to combine a carbohydrate with healthy fat or protein to keep you satiated longer.
4. Thinking negatively
Negative thinking is far too easy to get caught up in this type of habit. The List elaborates more on how thinking negatively can affect your decisions regarding your health. Get control of your negative thinking and you’ll have already won half of the battle.
Just as negatively judging your body will take a toll on your health, waking up with negative thoughts on your mind is also detrimental.
Dr. Oluchi Immanuel, physician and the founder of Fidem Wellness LLC, explained that waking up with those negative thoughts can actually make your day more challenging than it has to be. “Your mindset is an important factor in how well you will respond to the situations that you face,” she shared. Instead, she recommends trying gratitude first thing in the morning. “In the morning, list three things that you are grateful for and three things you will accomplish that day.”
Gratitude will help you start your day in an appreciative mood and will also give you a leg up in handling issues that come up later in the day.
VeryWell Health mentions that thinking about your past isn’t going to change anything. Press forward and don’t look back. This way of thinking will help you follow through and make healthier decisions moving forward.
Thinking about a stressful event from your past—whether it was five years ago or five minutes ago—isn’t good for your psychological well-being.
A 2017 study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that ruminating (compulsively focusing on one's distress as opposed to figuring out solutions) leads to increased depressive symptoms. The more people thought about a stressful event, the more likely they were to grow depressed. Researchers found that decreasing rumination helped alleviate depressed mood.
Be aware of how much time you spend thinking about the stressful events in your life. Rather than rehash things you can’t change, commit to putting your energy into more worthwhile causes—like planning for the future or enjoying the moment.
5. Drinking your calories
Some people love soda and other drinks high in sugar, but unfortunately drinking beverages that are high in sugar is no good. Inc.offers a few tips on what else you can drink besides drinks that have way too much sugar (and health ramifications).
Gupta doesn't just mean alcohol, either. “Eighty-eight studies have found a relationship between soft drink intake and increased calories and body weight. It's easy to drink a lot of sugar that your body doesn't need, even from natural sources such as fruit juices, which have over 20 grams (seven teaspoons) of sugar per cup,” he warns. Water should be everyone's beverage of choice. If you really need a little extra taste, choose sugar-free flavored waters or an unsweetened ready-to-drink tea.
6. Spending too much time on social media
Yes, social media has saturated our world, and even though it’s a fantastic way to connect with friends and family, as VeryWell Fit mentions, it can also have negative effects. If you feel zapped by social media do something about it. Limit your time or only stay on social media a few days out of the week. You are allowed to make these vital decisions and put your health first.
Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook or you enjoy playing on Pinterest, spending time on social media may be bad for your mental health.
Ironically, studies have found that social media leads to feelings of isolation. The more time people spend on social media sites, the more isolated they perceived themselves to be. And social isolation is bad for your mental and physical well-being.
Whether it’s a vacation photo or a picture of a new car, looking at other people’s social media posts may also cause you to conclude your life doesn’t measure up to your friend’s lives. And research shows envying your friends on social media can increase your risk of depression.
Additionally, studies show most people think social media will help them feel better—so they keep going back for more. But, in reality, researchers have found time spent on social media decreases people’s moods.
Instead of spending hours scrolling through social media, you’re better off investing your time and energy into in-person interactions. Have lunch with a friend, call someone on the phone, or schedule a dinner with your extended family. Real-life social interactions can greatly improve your well-being.
7. Scarfing down your food
Similar to mindlessly eating, Huffington Post says you should also be wary of scarfing down your food. It’s hard to enjoy your food if you’re too busy chowing down. A simple way to control your portions is by taking your time eating and thus, you’ll be more likely to eat less.
You only have fifteen minutes between classes, but you have three classes back to back to back so you have to eat something or you’re going to pass out by the end of the day. So you wait on line at Dunkin’ for a muffin. You finally get it and you realize that you’re down to seven minutes. And your next professor doesn’t let you have food. What do you do? You scarf it down so fast you’re not even sure if they gave you chocolate chip instead of blueberry.
Eating fast is a bad habit to get into because, the next thing you know, you’re doing it when you don’t have to. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to know it’s full, so those who eat fast are likely to be eating more than they need.
Read the Body Reboot book and find out why the keto diet is reversing bad habits and working for so many people. To get a free copy today, help us cover shipping. Visit this page to get a free copy before they’re all gone!
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Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally get healthy and achieve your weight loss goals!