5 Tips to Avoid Unhealthy EatingAugust 27, 2019 9:25 am Comments Off on 5 Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Eating
So the weekend has arrived. You’ve been so healthy all week, except last night when you had a little too much wine and cheese to ‘wind down’ after a hectic work week. Healthy eating may go a bit out the window on the weekends as there’s often food related catch ups with friends, celebratory meals and a dessert or 2 or 3. And the problem is, you can’t change your social calendar just to make sure you stick to your weight loss program. Perhaps it’s not the weekend that you struggle with, it could be snacking at night or during the day, big food portions, high calorie drinks or emotional eating.
These are all real struggles that many people on weight loss programs face. Once you get in the habit of allowing yourself to participate in unhealthy eating habits it can be difficult to change, but it is possible. Here are 5 tips you can try:
1. Eat small, regular meals during the day.
Do you tend to skip meals during the day? The problem with this is that while some can do this and still eat healthily later, most people get hungry or start craving sugary or fatty snacks and others eat bigger portion sizes or whatever they can find in the fridge when they finally do eat. Try and have a regular eating routine including your 3 main meals and 1 to 2 healthy low-calorie snacks during the day.
2. Avoid night-time snacking.
Snacking at night comes easy when you finally unwind and relax for the day. The problem here is snack choices aren’t usually carrot sticks and the amount consumed can really stack up the calories. This habit is hard to break but some simple things you can do include; go to bed earlier, do something to occupy your hands (e.g. knitting or play a board game), brush your teeth, phone a friend and if you must eat, choose vegetable sticks, cherry tomatoes, sugar-free jelly or have a cup of tea.
3. Make better choices when eating out.
Sometimes when we eat out, we almost feel like we have a license to eat unhealthily, and while it’s ok to indulge occasionally, this is a habit we shouldn’t do too often. What can be done? Choose venues that have healthier food choices, select healthier options from the menu, skip the chips or mash and choose salad or steamed vegetables instead, choose tomato, lemon, vinegar and vegetable-based sauces and dressings verses cream, butter or cheese based ones.
4. Limit the cake, chocolate or dessert consumption.
If you’re a sweet tooth, sweets can be hard to resist. Try having a sweet allowance limit for the week and sticking to it, e.g. 2 per week. By doing this, you still get to have your sweet treat, but you’re not overdoing it. Rather than having an unhealthy sweet, have a healthier option instead e.g. a fruit, sugar-free jelly or low fat/sugar yoghurt.
5. Manage stress or emotional eating.
Address the issue and put together a plan of what you will do rather than eat unhealthy food to deal with emotions. Do something non-food related that you enjoy e.g. catch up with a friend, get your nails done or go to a sporting match, get regular exercise and improve your sleeping habits.