There are a lot of bad diet and exercise habits out there, but three in particular stick out to me as being especially detrimental to your nutritional health. If you can relate, you're not alone. These are very common reasons for trips to the dietitian.
1. FORGETTING TO EAT
Believe it or not, this one is common. Busy schedules, stress and inaccessibility are some of the reasons I hear for forgetting about food. For some, it can be a good thing to lose focus on food because it can help a person recognize food as a necessity, not a comfort. For others, forgetting to eat leads to a slowed metabolism and poor energy levels.
To fight the habit of meal skipping, wear a watch with an alarm, or keep post it notes on your desk or in the car. It's also helpful to wear a few bracelets or rubber bands and remove them as you have snacks and meals. Have quick snack or meal components available, at work and at home. Some people find it helpful to furnish a bowl to grab from on the way out the door. Be sure to set it in plain sight!
2. BEING A WEEKEND WARRIOR
Whether you're a workaholic or just a busy parent, waiting until the weekend to eat on a schedule and exercise is a bad idea. It never works! Other people have the opposite problem -- they do “well” during the week, only to undo their efforts on the weekend.
Instead, think of weekends as a great time to get groceries, determine meal plans, get longer exercise sessions in. Use the weekend to bump up your good habits that were started during the week. After all, it's the weekend, right? Might as well make it a good, solid finish.
3. EATING LARGE PORTIONS
This problem is more easily solved when eating from home. If you eat out more than once a week, you'll have trouble eating smaller portions at home. You won't be satisfied with smaller amounts. It's hard to throw food away or take leftovers home when the food at restaurants is so enticing. But if you took a trip to the “back of the house” in most restaurants, you might not want to eat out as much. Loaded with unhealthy fats, salt and sugar, restaurant foods are often higher in calories and fat than what's found on nutrition information materials. And it's hard to resist the temptation to clean your plate, which is clearly more than just one serving.
On the contrary, if you eat well at home, your palate will quickly change to accept the real flavors of foods instead of craving all of the additives like salt, sugar and fats. Eating at home will also allow your stomach to shrink and be satisfied on smaller portions.
Overall, you have to be willing to try new foods and have a positive attitude about cooking and exploring new tastes. But straight from the mouths of many, “It's so worth it!”