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All of us do it, and no one is perfect. We all have some bad eating habit that we wish we could stop. The important thing to understand is that all habits are learned behavior and with the proper amount of effort they can be reversed.
Problem: Night Time Snacking
If you often find yourself heading to the kitchen and browsing the fridge at night. Eating before bed is a great way to sabotage weight loss and pack on the pounds. If you eat late at night and go to bed your body does not use that food for energy and instead stores it as fat. Not only that but going to bed on a full stomach and disrupt your sleep patterns and make it difficult to stay asleep.
The Fix: There are a few things you can do to fix this behavior. The first is that after dinner go to the bathroom and brush your teeth and think of the kitchen as closed for the night. While this is easier said than done, you might be more likely to go for option number two which is to make better snacking choices.
Smart Night Time Snacking Options
1. Popcorn: (not the microwaveable kind) Air pop some popcorn in some olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper rather than butter. This is a healthier alternative to those potato chips you might have been reaching for.
2. Bananas: Bananas are high in both potassium and magnesium and are also a natural muscle relaxant. Their carbohydrate content will help to reduce hunger and the natural relaxant properties will help you sleep better.
3. Greek Yogurt with Berries: A cup of greek yogurt is low in sugar and high in protein. It's sweetness will help curb sugar cravings and the protein will help fill you up. Add a handfull of fresh berries for added sweetness.
4. Hummus with Veggies: Baby carrots are great when dipped in hummus to satisfy cravings.
5. Dark Chocolate: Don't go crazing over this option. Eat only one or two squares of dark chocolate that is 70% or greater in cocoa content. It contains less sugar and is packed with antioxidants.
6. Fresh Berries: Berries are filled with vitamins and are less in sugar than many other fruits. They also contain more fiber than many other fruits, helping you feel fuller, longer.
Problem: Mindless Eating
Do you find yourself eating even after you are full? You're on the couch with a bag of potato chips watching your favorite TV show. The next thing you know your show is ending in a cliff hanger and are reaching the bottom of the bag.
The Fix: Fixing this problem is easy! Never ever eat food straight from the container it came in, if you do it will be hard to stop eating or even track how much food you've already eaten. Take control of the portion size before you start munching. Grab a portion appropriate bowl/plate, fill it and put the rest of the container back. Once you are done, you're done. No second helpings!
Problem: Skipping Breakfast
You might rush out and head straight to the drive-thru at the coffee shop for a liquid breakfast or even worse, you might even skip breakfast all together! Either way you are not making a smart decision.
The Fix: If you find yourself short on time in the morning make an effort to get up a few minutes early. If you are not a morning person, prepare healthy on-the-go breakfast options the day before. Eat foods that you can take with you. Smoothies, yogurts, or whole fruit are all great options.
Problem: Not Drinking Enough Water
Did you know that when you are dehydrated you are likely to experience side effects like the feeling that you are hunger. However, water is not your first choice when it comes to staying hydrated.
The Fix: You should be getting at least 8 glasses of water a day. You need about half your body weight in fluid ounces each day. If you find the taste of water bland try to infuse it with fresh fruit. Another way to go is to try and drink more herbal teas. Tea has many different health benefits and is a healthier alternative to coffee, soda, and fruit juice. You can read more about the best herbal teas for weight loss and see how Lemon Water could help you lose weight.
Problem: Eating Too Quickly
If you always are in a rush you may find yourself rushing your meals and quickly find yourself stuffed. Not taking your time to eat doesn't give your brain enough time to process that it's full. The end result is over eating and extra calories.
The Fix: Don't rush through meals and take time to eat and enjoy your meals. Between bites put your fork down and drink some water. Try to keep your mind in the present and take smaller bites. It might also help to count the number of chews you take before you swallow, this can also help you digest the food better.