Poor Eating Habits

poor habitsDid you know that many of us are overfed but undernourished?  We eat plenty of food, but most of the food is a convenience or packaged and these types of food are stripped of nutrients.  When you are running late, do you drive through a fast food joint to grab dinner.  Or if you just got home from your son or daughter’s baseball practice, do you grab a box of hamburger helper and open a can of vegetables?  Do you starve yourself all day then gorge yourself at dinner?  Maybe you eat on the run, while standing or driving.  Bad eating habits is not just a lack of willpower.  It can be that sneaky habit you develop without realizing it.  It could be running out the door in the morning without breakfast.  Or sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of chips.  It could be that beer you drink on an empty stomach.  While this may keep you full it doesn’t provide the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.  These unhealthy eating habits affect our nutrient intake, including energy, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and fluid.

How does poor nutrition affect us?

Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduces our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.  It can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over a period time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:

  • being overweight or obese
  • tooth decay
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease and stroke
  • type-2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • some cancers
  • depression

It is estimated that healthier diets might prevent $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and the value of premature deaths associated with these conditions.  Good nutrition based on healthy eating is an essential factor that helps us to stay healthy.  If you are serious about eating healthier you need to shake it up.  Change those bad habits and start thinking differently.

Most of us are creatures of habit.  We buy the same foods and prepare the same recipes and live within our familiar routine.  The problem is we get so comfortable in our ways it is hard to give up those habits.  “Many people are skeptical about changing their diets because they have grown accustomed to eating or drinking the same foods, and there is a fear of the unknown or trying something new,” says John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Behavioral Medicine Research Center.  Even when you want to change, old habits die hard.  “Over time, habits become automatic, learned behaviors, and these are stronger than new habits you are trying to incorporate into your life,” says Foreyt.

Eating a healthier diet may be intimidating at first.  But once you start and notice the change of how you feel and how good the food taste.  Overtime your preferences will change and cravings will fade away.  Don’t feel discouraged if very thing is going along great and then you hit a rough patch and fall back into your old habits.  Just pick yourself up and start moving forward again.  It is time to shake things up and change those bad eating habits and start thinking differently.  If eating healthier seems like a big change for you, take it one step at time.  “Try to gradually incorporate new habits over time, and before you know it, you will be eating more healthfully and losing weight,” says Keri Gans, MS, RD, American Dietetic Association spokesperson and a nutritionist in private practice in New York.  Start slow and pick 1 to 2 changes to make.  Once you have accomplished those, pick 1 to 2 more.  Make it easy and something you can live with long term.   Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • be aware of your bad habits;
  • aim for two to five servings of fruit and vegetables each day ;
  • try to eat less sugary, fatty or salty foods; and if you have to only in small amounts;
  • drink fresh water instead of sugary drinks;
  • try some healthy recipes;
  • plan your meals ahead of time to shop for healthy ingredients;
  • enjoy eating healthy food with family or friends without distractions; and
  • make your snacks fruit or vegetables instead of chips.

Start slow, take your time and before you know it your lifestyle and eating habits will have changed for the better.

It is time to shake things up and take control.  For more information visit my website:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at:  Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.


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