Maintaining proper nutrition can be challenging, but it’s possible to improve by avoiding certain incorrect habits.
Eating on the Go
The feeling of satiety usually begins about 20 minutes after starting a meal. Fast eating increases the risk of not feeling full, leading to overeating.
Eating in a hurry also hampers the proper breakdown of food by saliva, making digestion more difficult. Additionally, it can cause excessive air intake, leading to bloating and gas formation.
Repeating the Same Foods
Repeatedly consuming the same foods can result in imbalanced nutrient intake, with excessive amounts of certain nutrients and deficiencies in others. Exploring new tastes and combinations in the kitchen helps avoid boredom and food monotony.
Not Clearing the Table Immediately
Meals can be a social or relaxing time to be enjoyed in peaceful solitude. However, it’s important not to be distracted while eating, such as by engaging in conversations or watching TV, as it can lead to overeating.
To avoid this, clearing the table immediately after the meal and then sitting back down to chat can be helpful.
Giving in to Emotional Hunger
Food can be comforting when experiencing emotions like anger or sadness, but giving in to the temptation of overeating should be avoided. Instead, distractions like drinking a glass of water, taking a break, going for a short walk, or engaging in other tasks can help. Distinguishing between “real” hunger and emotional hunger is crucial.
If the perception of hunger persists, consuming a small square of dark chocolate, which increases serotonin levels, or a handful of dried fruits can be an option.
Drinking Fruit Juices
Fruit juices may give the impression of being completely healthy, but it’s essential to be mindful of their content.
It’s best to opt for juices made from 100 percent fruit without added preservatives, flavorings, or sugars. However, even with these juices, moderation is critical due to their naturally high fructose content.
Drinking Sweetened Coffee and Tea
Limiting daily consumption of added sugars to a maximum of 25 grams, excluding sugars naturally present in food, is recommended. Therefore, it’s important not to add sugar to beverages, especially those consumed frequently, like tea or coffee. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can use stevia, a calorie-free sweetener.
Indulging in Excessive Appetizers and Snacks
When frequently eating out, indulging in high-calorie foods such as pizzas, sandwiches, flatbreads, and heavily topped canapés is common. Instead, opt for appetizers that include vegetable dips, fish carpaccio, or bresaola. If you can’t resist alcohol, choose a glass of red wine.
Snacks should also be taken in moderation. Breadsticks before lunch, a piece of chocolate with coffee, or a croissant may seem harmless. Still, they provide continuous nourishment that the body may not consume, leading to weight gain.
Giving Up Too Much
Following a balanced diet doesn’t mean having to give up treats entirely. Creating healthy and flavorful recipes is essential while occasionally rewarding yourself with something less healthy but satisfying.
Not Consuming Raw Vegetables
Starting a meal with raw vegetables is a great strategy, especially when appetite is high. High in fiber, raw vegetables help reduce glycemic spikes and bloating, promoting gut health.
Skipping meals, particularly breakfast, is a mistake to avoid. Breakfast should provide around 25 percent of daily calorie intake to energize and prepare the body for the day.
Skipping lunch or dinner can cause a hypoglycemic crisis, leading to low blood sugar levels that stress the body. The ideal approach is to eat smaller, frequent meals throughout the day.