by A. Grano on December 31st, 2010 at 9:53 pm
Many of us are constantly struggling to reach contentment with our weight or some aspect of our health in general, and often it’s the little habits we may or may not be aware of that can set us off track nutritionally.
Aside from maintaining a healthy weight, proper nutrition is essential for all systems of the body to function properly. A balanced diet influences physical and emotional health, gives us energy, promotes normal sleep patterns, and can even boost the immune system.
The following are 3 common pitfalls we may engage in, and while the occasional working lunch is ok, be sure to maintain overall balance consistently in your diet and lifestyle.
Eat Well on the Run
Sometimes it’s impossible to take a full break for meals, but that doesn’t mean you have to rush through your meal or settle for fast food. Whether you’re eating at your desk or in your car, pack some healthy go-to foods such as apples and peanut butter, carrots and celery, granola bars, fruit and nut mixes, yogurt with fruit, hard boiled eggs, and cheese and crackers.
Stop Mindless Snacking
I can think of countless times I tried to coax a bad mood with a handful of candy, or devoured half a bag of chips while being engrossed in a TV show or surfing the internet.
Sometimes it’s emotional eating, other times boredom, or other times just eating because food is there and it tastes good.
What happened to hunger? While it’s not a good idea to wait until you’re starving (which often leads to over-eating), be cognizant of empty calories and stick to healthy snacks and balanced meals when you truly are hungry.
Practice Portion Control
The Japanese call it Hara hachi bu, which means “eat until 80% full”. Most restaurant portions could serve up at least two meals (fat, sodium, and calories aside).
When dining out, ask for a takeout box before you begin eating so you can wrap up half your meal and avoid the temptation of finishing your plate. At home, use smaller dinner plates and fill half with veggies. The Small Plate Movement explains the health benefits of going from a 12 inch to a 10 inch plate: a two inch drop in plate size results in 22% fewer calories on average being served, which can add up to big results!
It’s not always easy to break bad eating habits, especially when other members or your family or friends may not be cooperative. However, the health benefits of eating well are worth the effort!
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