Avoid Unhealthy Eating Habits

Anyone who struggles with food and eating can fall into habits that may lead to what professionals call disordered eating. Ideally, food should be a source of bodily fuel — energy — and nothing more. When you eat with a mindset to fuel your body and optimize your energy, you will make much more healthy food choices and you’ll eat only enough to satisfy your hunger.

In an article published by WedMD about Avoid Unhealthy Eating Habits,
they mention that if you’re feeling stuffed after a delicious meal, yet you can’t resist the urge to order a dessert. Or you’re on a weight loss mission and starve yourself all day, then gorge yourself close to bedtime. Or maybe you nearly always eat while doing other things at the same time, like catching up on your emails, watching TV, standing up or while driving… If any of these scenarios sound familiar, your eating habits could use a tune-up.

People with unhealthy eating habits do not pay attention to the body’s normal biochemical hormones that tell us when we are hungry and when we are full. This is typically a major problem for emotional eaters that use food as a coping tool for life’s problems and uncomfortable emotions.

Unhealthy eating habits are often emotional related, many times subconsciously, and can have devastating effects on one’s health, mental state, even self-esteem. And of course, food never solves any problems or alleviates feelings, instead eating behind emotions not only piles up more body weight, it also piles up more problems on top of what already exists.

Disordered eating can take many forms, ranging from unhealthy eating habits to binge eating disorder, bulimia, or anorexia. But the most common form is overeating. Many overeat unhealthy high fat foods while stressed, sad, lonely, or heartbroken. This reactionary habit of reaching for food when problems arise also leads to guilt, shame, and low self-esteem as the eater lacks the coping skills to deal with life in a healthy manner and intuitively knows that food is not a solution.

Unhealthy Eating Habits, How To Tell?

There are ways you can tell if you are eating healthy or unhealthy. Here are ten unhealthy eating habits that anyone should avoid and are often indicators that one has an unhealthy eating habit or unhealthy relationship with food:

1. Eating in front of the television

When you sit down in front of the television to eat, the focus on what and how much you are eating is less than the focus of the television program and you tend to overeat, stuffing yourself rather than eating just to relieve hunger.

2. Eating sugary or salty foods

These, along with foods that are high in fat, tend to be the comfort foods that provide you with a temporary sense of relief but that do not cause a lasting period of comfort. These foods are consumed in huge excess during times of stress, sadness, loneliness, or as a way to cope with any problem or uncomfortable situation that may occur in your life. You tend to go back for more just to feel comfortable again.

3. You eat most of your food later at night

In such cases, food has become a way to cope with daily stressors. You skip breakfast, eat a light lunch and, when the stressors of the day have piled up, you take out your armamentarium of food sources in order to comfort the body and mind, rather than just to fill your stomach. Food eaten at night is eaten when your metabolic state is lower so more of this food goes to fat.

4. You prefer to eat alone

Deep down, you know what you are doing is unhealthy so rather than have food as part of a social experience, food is your guilty pleasure to be taken when you are by yourself and when no one is around to judge you or see what you are doing. When you eat alone, it remains your “little secret.”

5. You use food as a reward

Food becomes part of your everyday reward system. You tell yourself that, when you have finished a project or accomplished some goal that you will have something special to eat as a “reward” for good behavior. The foods you choose as part of your reward system tend not to be healthy fruits and vegetables but instead are junk foods.

6. You associate food with guilt

You know you are eating unhealthy, yet can’t find the willpower to resist, and feel ashamed when you are eating unhealthy. After you eat, you feel guilty about what you have done, much the same way as an addict or alcoholic feels after going on a bender.

7. You have no relationship between having a full stomach and the need to stop eating

Because you ignore body signals when you are eating unhealthy, you eat until you are stuffed and physically uncomfortable. You don’t recognize when your body has been properly fed and keep on feeding it anyway. This can also come from a distorted idea that you need to eat a certain portion related to your body weight. However, often this is not true. Especially when you grow older, and even more so if your metabolism is slowing down due to lack of exercise or movement.

8. You make unhealthy food choices

Unhealthy eaters forget that you need a balance between healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fats. Instead, you eat foods that provide empty calories so you are not only poorly fed but you gain weight eating the wrong kinds of foods. High fat and sugar foods stimulate “feel good” chemicals in the brain, and such food do stimulate pleasure centers in the brain, so it becomes very easy to turn to your favorite donut to feel better after a fight with a friend or co-worker.

9. You see food as a friend

You spend more time thinking about food as a comfort measure and as something to eat when you want company. Rather than turning to friends and family to comfort you when you are stressed, you turn to food, which never seems to let you down.

10. You are overweight or obese

You don’t become obese when you are strictly following bodily signals for hunger and satiety and you unintentionally eat too much. Eating to comfort emotions does cause obesity and the wide variety of complications that go with that kind of weight gain.

Take Charge Of Your Eating Habits

Anyone who struggles with food and eating can fall in one or more of the above unhealthy eating habits. But don’t let that discourage you to make some changes. One of the best ways to take charge of your eating habits is to tune into your body. With that we mean that you learn to eat when you are physically hungry and stop when you are full.

However, this is easier said than done, especially at the beginning of your change process as the feeling of being hungry can be really confusing. But, with a little practice, you can learn to understand the difference between your body asking for food (real hunger), or your mind playing games with you (fake hunger), and you can learn to control your unhealthy eating habits and replace them with more healthy eating habits.

Talking about healthy eating habits… Here is an interesting article about Emotional Eating and 9 Habits of Healthy Eaters.

You can find it here: 9 Habits Of Healthy Eating