healthy eating pitfalls

The Most Common Healthy Eating Pitfalls, and How to Overcome Them

After years of working with clients on developing healthier eating habits, I have become an expert on the most common pitfalls for weight loss. But I’ve also discovered the most effective ways to overcome them! Read on to discover the most common diet-busters, and my favorite practical solutions, so you don’t have to fall into the same traps!

Problem: Eating too quickly


Slow down! Eating slowly may help you lose weight. A recent study found that slower eating cut caloric intake and also lessened hunger. It takes time for your satiety hormones to be activated and for your stomach to tell your brain it has had enough! To slow down, try putting your fork down in between bites, or eating with friends and family while enjoying a nice conversation.1

Problem: Liquid calories


Consider investing in a soda-water maker. Bubbly water with fruit slices is a healthy take on traditional sweetened beverages and is way more refreshing. If you need more motivation to cut out sugary drinks, research shows that including ordinary sugar and high fructose syrup--the sweetener found in most sugary beverages—in your diet is linked to a higher risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.2 On top of that, consumption of sweetened beverages is also linked to a higher risk of diabetes and weight gain. If you really need a treat, try ice-coffee - a ½ cup of unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened soy milk or skim milk with 6 oz of coffee and lots of ice is 30-45 calories.

Problem: Buying sweets


Shop from a list. Supermarkets are designed to get us to buy things impulsively. This is why candy and sweets are placed enticingly by the check out stand, and staples like milk and eggs are located all the way in the back of the store. Outsmart the supermarket by shopping with a grocery list! This way you’ll know exactly what sections of the store you need items from, and you won’t even have to walk down the chip and soda aisle! Learn how to outsmart sweet cravings!

Problem: Snacking throughout the day


Make the healthy option the easy one. Being at home and close to the kitchen can make mindless snacking way too easy. To avoid reaching for the bag of chips or the box of cookies, spend some time over the weekend prepping healthy snacks such as chopped bell peppers, apple slices, or celery stalks. If you still find yourself snacking on junk throughout the day, set a new rule that the kitchen is off limits once mealtime is over.

Problem: Mindless over-eating


Tune into your body during meals. Minimize distractions that cause you to ignore your fullness cues, like television, cell phones, email, and social media. When you eat while you’re distracted, whether it be from watching a show or doing work, it can prompt you to eat more and potentially gain weight, according to recent research.3 Instead, by letting mealtimes be for a time for eating, you can be more mindful of what you are eating and, leading to less overall consumption and greater satisfaction. Get more tips on making mindful eating work for you!

Problem: Food cravings


Often times we have food cravings for reasons other than hunger, such as thirst, boredom, or stress. These food cravings tend to be for high-fat, high-calorie foods, not a healthy snack. To test whether you’re actually hungry or if you’re eating for an emotional reason, drink a glass of water when a craving strikes. Then wait at least 3 minutes. If you’re still craving food, you’re likely actually hungry. So grab something healthy - such as an apple with peanut butter or celery and hummus--to satisfy your body, because if you’re truly hungry even healthy foods will sound yummy.

Now that you know the most common pitfalls, make a plan so you can avoid them! Anticipate which pitfalls might affect you, and visualize yourself overcoming them. Next time you’re tempted by a sweet craving or mindless munching, try one of these solutions to sidestep the issue and build a healthier you!

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