New Year – New You: kick those bad food habits!
Now’s the time to adopt some new routines so you can start the year eating better and feeling fitter.
Bad habit… speed eating
Eating too quickly means you’re more likely to miss the ‘I’m full’ signals that the stomach sends the brain, so you end up over-eating. Gulping your food down in a rush can also result in indigestion.
How to break it… Slow down, chew your food thoroughly before taking another mouthful, and focus on what you’re eating. Take a 10-minute break before reaching for a second helping or another course then ask yourself if you’re still hungry before you have any more.
Bad habit… finishing your kids’ food
Food eaten from someone else s plate doesn’ t count right? Wrong! The handful of chips or that unfinished pasta that you pinched from the kids dinner all mount up.
How to break it… Sit down with your children at teatime and have a small snack such as a piece of fruit, a yogurt or a couple of oatcakes with houmous or soft cheese – this way you’re less likely to pick at their leftovers. Another great tip I heard came from someone who hated brown sauce but she always put it out at meal times – when the kids had finished she squirted it all over the leftovers – that way she was never going to pick at the food! Extreme but It worked for her! You could just try scraping the plates as soon as the kids are done!
Bad habit… getting stuck in a food rut
Many of us are happy to stick to the same few safe meals week in, week out, especially when we need to get something on the table quickly. However, if you eat the same foods all the time you’re much more likely to miss out on important nutrients. What’s more, it can lead to cravings and bingeing as you start to find your meals dull and unsatisfying.
How to break it… Resolve to try at least one new recipe or food each week. You’ll find plenty of delicious seasonal ideas on websites such as Good Food each month and of course, we always bring you new ideas to try right here on our website! And with up to 50,000 products stocked in the average supermarket, there’s no excuse for not cooking with a variety of foods. So next time you go shopping, try something different.
Bad habit…mindless munching
A handful of peanuts or crisps while you’re preparing dinner or a few too many chocolate biscuits while you’re watching TV – we eat for all sorts of reasons and it often has more to do with habit than genuine hunger.
How to break it… Think about what you’re eating. Make a rule that you can only eat when sitting down at the table, as this will make you focus on what you’re eating and help to avoid unconscious nibbling and over-indulging.