- Diet & Weight Loss
3 Unhealthy Food Mistakes you Make on Purpose
Even the fittest among us, the ripped, the buff, the lean, the cut, can convince themselves that they are doing a great job with their diet when they aren’t. Maybe you know the pattern: Start eating healthy by cutting out sugars and bad fats, you cut back on processed carbs and replace them with veggies, fruits and lean proteins; maybe you even cut out alcohol or that daily latte.
Pretty soon you decide you’re doing so well that one little row of chocolate doesn’t matter. In fact, you can get away with some ice cream while you’re at it. We can be so convincing that even as the changes start showing up on our bodies we will still believe we are doing a great job of eating healthy. See if you are making the following mental diet mistakes and telling yourself you are still doing a great job.
One Nutrition Slip Leads to Another
This is when you tell yourself that whatever it is that you have given up in order to have a healthier body is now okay to eat/drink/smoke,etc. because you have been doing well. In other words, you see progress and decide that you deserve a reward. But remember, this isn’t a reward so much as a punishment.
For example, maybe you’ve given up alcohol because of the calories or the way it makes you feel the next day. Why hurt yourself by indulging in it again? Or maybe your weak spot is pizza. This is a treat that in most instances is loaded with sodium, fat and fast-acting carbohydrates. Talk about taking a hit to your gut!
Remember that these little slips can set you back days, and giving in to them creates a habit that will only lead to more cravings. When you have cravings, remind yourself that what you are really feeling is the need for comfort. Find out why and address the problem with meditation, exercise, or if you have to munch, a low cal veggie snack. Focus on the positive feelings you have when your body and mind are fueled with healthy food.
Settling for Unhealthy Food
Who hasn’t been so hungry that they easily justified pulling into the nearest fast food drive-thru and ordering an unhealthy meal? Or maybe the most convenient food in your time of need was that leftover pepperoni pizza?
Whatever it is, this is one habit that can lead to acceptance of letting your diet slip because “you were so hungry you had to get something in your stomach,” and it is a good way to pack on extra pounds. Granted, there are some exceptions, but managing your meal times and planning ahead can help prevent “hunger panic” and keep you on the right track.
Take a minute to plan your meals for the day the night before or in the morning. Make healthy meals and snacks if it helps. Most importantly, when you become very hungry, don’t panic. A couple of hours without food is not likely to kill you, and may even boost hormone levels and help you burn fat (so long as you don’t make it a habit, which will have the opposite effect.)
Fast Food Restaurants Cluster Around Schools
According to a study by researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachussets, fast food restaurants tend to be concentrated close to schools. The result is a variety of low nutritional quality food choices within walking distance of elementary, middle and high schools.
Another study demonstrated how the presence of these restaurants affected student's lunchtime eating habits. As might be expected, the closer to a fast food retailer the school was, the more likely students were to eat there.
As part of the School Health Policies and Programs Study, a study examining the availability of unhealthy food choices in the school was conducted. They found a prevalence of vending machines dispensing high-sugar, processed junk food in high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, respectively.
The study concluded that restrictive school health policies may be the answer to decrease the amount of junk food available in schools.
I’ll Make up for Eating this Junk Later
Living healthy is not just a matter of being strict about what goes into your mouth, it requires a new way of thinking. A mindset that thinks of binge drinking, twinkies and meals dripping with saturated fat as pain that causes more pain.
It is easy to say you can make up for blowing your diet later, except for the fact that many foods can cause a snowball effect, or are just outright hard on your body. Start consuming excess sugars from white flour, white rice, pasta and sweets and the body will quickly develop a habit of needing more of these faster than you can get rid of them.
High fat, high sugar foods contain a lot of calories as well. If you are trying to lose weight and get ripped, consuming an extra 6,000 calories in a week is like trying to reach the finish line in a marathon while people add weight to your waist at every mile marker.
It may seem hard to stay on the healthy track, but education and pleasure is the key. Learn new and delicious ways to eat healthy foods. Replace unhealthy drinks with healthy ones that you enjoy, and replace bad habits with healthy ones that empower you. Find a way to make healthy your pleasure and everything else will be a waste of time.
Should School Health Policies force Healthy Food Choices?
Do you think school health policies should mandate the restriction of junk food in schools?
Fast Food Maps
Want to find out how dense your hometown is with fast food restaurants? Check out Fast Food Maps at the link below.