Learn how to break bad eating habits and enjoy food without breaking the bathroom scales.
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Change Your StyleUsing food as an emotional reward, eating in a stressful environment, and multitasking through meals are just some of the eating styles that help pack on the pounds. Here are some tips for changing your current eating style for new and improved healthy habits.
Choose fresh food over fast food.If stopping at Burger Joint or Chicken Heaven has become a pattern, it's time for a change. You know the drill: Opt instead for fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meats and dairy. For healthier recipe options, check out Restaurant Favorites made Healthy and Pack a Lunch with a Healthy Punch.
Notice how hungry or full you feel.Pay attention to your body's signals. Instead of eating because of the time on the clock, eat only when you are hungry. This practice can make you more mindful of what you're eating–and remind you when you've had enough.
Eat when you eat.Whether it's compulsively counting carbs, calculating calories, or even worrying over the grocery bill, fretting over food adds tension to mealtimes. Instead, stop and notice the flavors, textures, and colors on your plate, and take time to appreciate each bite.
Know when to ditch deadlines.Multitasking through a meal may feel efficient, but because your mind is on your job, you tend to overeat–without enjoying a bite. If you must work through lunch, turn off your monitor, clear a space off your desk, and eat in peace for at least a few minutes.
Create a pleasant atmosphere.Harsh lights, loud music, and dinnertime arguments can up stress and encourage overeating. Even if you eat alone, take time to set the table, light some candles or listen to Norah Jones, and unwind.
Rethink rewards.Using food as a way to celebrate joyful moments or cheer yourself up after sad ones is natural. Just be aware of how often you do it, and look for other ways to handle those highs and lows. Instead of rewarding yourself with food, consider other options such as a pedicure, massage, the latest best-selling book, new lipstick, flowers, or a walk in the park with friends.