8 Bad Eating Habits That Contribute To Weight Gain

Have you always struggled with weight? Are you gaining weight? Is your brain swimming from looking into the hundreds of diets, eating plans and weight loss schemes on the market?
You are not alone. More than 2/3 of adult Americans are either overweight or obese.

As we get older weight problems become more common because the metabolism slows down naturally. Also, many do not burn the food they eat because they lack healthy exercise habits. And, many of us have bad eating habits that have been around for some time, and those are sometimes the biggest culprits in weight gain and being overweight.

8 Bad Eating Habits To Avoid

#1 Eating Too Fast And On The Run

Eating too fast is a sure fire way to eat too much.

Why?

The reason for this is that the brain takes about 20 minutes to register satiety, so, if you gobble down your meal in 10 minutes the brain does not have time to realize that you are full, so you tend to over eat.

Several brain receptors communicate through the release of hormones when the body begins to receive nutrients and this communication process takes time to complete and register that you are satisfied, full and have in essence eaten enough food.

The key is to take small bites, chew slowly and pay attention to your food. Distractions, eating on the run, or while doing activities, such as, driving and watching TV are culprits in eating more than your body needs.

Paying attention to what you eat and how much is better achieved when you focus on your meal, not on making the next right turn or your favorite TV show.

On top of the physiology of the brain registering satiety, there is also the psychological fact that when you eat on the run you are paying less attention to what you are eating and so you are more likely to overeat.

#2 Eating 3 Big Meals Daily

Many eat more food than their body needs in one sitting. This is a typical culprit in obesity and overweight conditions among kids and adults.

The traditional 3 big meals per day with snacks in between is not the best option for those that want to maintain a healthy weight and definitely not for those that want to lose weight.

Do you know that bodybuilders, whose main goal is to maintain the ideal level of body fat, eat several small meals per day?

They do.

Eating every 3 hours, or 5 to 6 very small meals per day that consist of a lean protein, whole grain (brown rice) and vegetables or most with just a lean protein and vegetables is the most effective way to keep a healthy body weight and to lose body fat as well.

Benefits Of Eating Several Small Meals Versus 3 Large Ones:

• Increases and boosts metabolism.
• Keeps the blood sugars balanced.
• Eliminates ravenous hunger, another culprit in over eating.
• Eliminates crazy cravings because blood sugars are in control.

#3 Using Large Plates

To control portions use a 6” or smaller plate for all your meals. You would be surprised how such a small portion will satisfy you, while controlling calories and the amount of food you eat. Plus, on such a small plate a little bit of food looks like a lot more to the mind.

#4 Eating Snacks Out Of The Bag

This is one of the worst eating habits and it almost always ensures that you will eat too much of that cookie or those chips. Limit intake by serving yourself on a plate or in a bowl a limited portion and take it with you where you plan to eat it, but, leave the package behind.

#5 Eating To Relieve Emotions

Emotional eating, or overeating plagues many. People eat when they are sad, stressed, angry or bored. This results in the intake of food as more of a drug than for its intended purposes, which is for nutrition.

Find healthy outlets for those emotions, such as, exercise, Yoga, therapy, a bath, talking to a friend or mediation, just to name a few, and leave the tub of ice cream for an occasional treat.

#6 Skipping Meals/Starvation

Skipping meals and starvation is something to avoid at all costs. When you skip meals your blood sugars drop and so when you do eat, you will be ravenous and will likely eat way more food than your body needs.
Eating breakfast is most important, and studies have shown that those who regularly eat a meal in the morning weigh less than those who don’t.

#7 Eating Late At Night

One of the most common bad eating habits is eating late at night right before bed. This is because metabolism is at its lowest while you sleep. So, filling up on food right before sleep will not give the body the opportunity to burn it off as it does throughout the day.

And, since most people tend to eat junk, as is typical with late night cravings, it’s important to eat a balanced dinner and then avoid eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. If you must have a snack make it healthy, for example, a half a piece of fruit with a large glass of water.

#8 Eating More Than You Burn Each Day

Lastly, one of the worst eating habits people have is eating more calories than they burn each day. While this is more of a lifestyle, than a habit, it is a deeply ingrained habit that becomes one’s lifestyle.
Many are unaware just how many calories there are in the food they eat, nor do they know how many calories they burn per day.

It is important to use an online calorie calculator that takes into consideration your weight, age, height and daily physical activity to figure out how many calories you can eat per day to maintain or lose weight.

Those who are sedentary all day, for example, work at an office and don’t exercise at all, can have a lot less calories and still maintain or lose versus those that have active jobs or do an hour of cardio every day.