When looking for what’s considered to be the biggest bad eating habit, there is a laundry list of them. But there are ones that come up over and over again.

bad eating habits

5 of the most common bad eating habits and why you should try to break them:

1. Skipping meals, especially breakfast- Regularly skipping meals rarely works as a weight control strategy. Skipping a meal makes you overly hungry for the next one, so you will probably just make up the calories along the way. Skipping breakfast leaves you starving by mid morning at which point where things usually go from bad to worst. Studies have shown over and over that those who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Eating while distracting- If you are eating while you sure surfing the net, working, watching TV, or studying, you are not focusing on your food. Not only will you enjoy it less, you tend to eat more when you eat mindlessly. Take time to sit down at the table and focus on your meal.

3. Using food for comfort- When you soothe a broken heart with a spoon and a quarter of ice-cream, you are training yourself to use food as a comfort whenever a bad day strikes. After a while, it’s not hard to find a reason to treat yourself. Bad day at work? A few cookies might help. Poor night of sleep? Maybe a doughnut will fix that. Ultimately the guilt you feel from eating something you shouldn’t just adds to your stress. Instead, distress with a walk, a few minutes of meditation or stretching.

4. Not practicing portion control- The huge plates of food we are served in restaurants and oversized bags and boxes of foods we bring home have distorted our sense of proper portion size. Try weighing and measuring foods for a while so you know exactly how much you are eating and try using slightly, smaller plates and bowls and even tall, skinny drinking glasses.  When plates and glasses looks full, you are more likely to think you will be full too when you eat and drink from them.

5. Eating too fast-Try to make a meal last for at least 15 minutes. Although it may be impossible for many, it does take about that long for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. If your meal is over in seconds flat, the calorie damage is done before your brain can tell you that you have overdone it.

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