Do you find yourself skipping breakfast, only to grab a bagel and pieces of chocolate from your coworker’s desk once you get to the office? Does the vending machine call your name daily at precisely 3 p.m.?
And what about all those extra nibbles that go unaccounted for throughout the day?
These habits may seem innocuous enough, but over time, they’re much more detrimental to your health (and waistline!) than you think. It’s tough to detach from behaviors you’ve developed over years, but the truth is this:
Breaking bad eating habits is manageable.
The first step: recognizing your bad habits and having the desire to change them.
Some of the no-noes on this list are easier to banish than you may think.
For example, if you’re the kind of person who mindlessly grabs at a bowl of pita chips while watching the kids or creating a spreadsheet, the fix may be as simple as a little planning. Pack 100-calorie snack bags at home to stash in your purse or keep at your desk to curb your appetite and help you avoid overeating.
There’s even some good science behind this “little bag” theory. A well-known study from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, found that foods served in big containers can trick people into eating more than they would if the vessel
l was smaller. Apparently, after researchers gave moviegoers popcorn in large and medium-size buckets, they determined that those who ate from the bigger containers downed 34 percent more of this buttery, salty snack than the folks who received the smaller portion.
You can incorporate a couple of other sneaky tricks into your day and evening to discourage vending-machine visits or late-night fridge raids. You might try keeping a water bottle near your computer or on the kitchen counter to remind you to fill it up and drink regularly. Research shows that drinking water may help you to lose weight, possibly by decreasing how much you eat.
And if cravings tend to hit you after dinner, head to the bathroom to brush your teeth earlier than usual.
With a clean mouth, you may be less likely to break out those yogurt pretzels when you settle in for a Netflix session.
Avoid extra calories by learning the eight most common eating mistakes, as well as smart tips for overcoming them once and for all.