Trying to eat healthier? 4 things you need to quit doing. Today.
Been trying to improve the way you eat, but getting frustrated at the lack of progress so far? Consider whether one of these annoying habits is preventing you from reaching your goals. Confession: I struggle with #4 all. the. time.
Bonus: try quitting two—maybe even three!—of the four habits below for extra feel-amazing-ness.
4 things everyone trying to eat healthy needs to quit doing. Today.
1. Letting other people prepare all of your food.
You probably know by now that whole, unrefined foods are the way to go, and apart from fruits, veggies and nuts (which can be eaten raw), these typically necessitate preparation. Rely on food manufacturers to do the job, and you end up with a shiny bag or box of not-actual-food. Rely on restaurants to do the job, and you repeatedly buy what sells—excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt with some real food buried somewhere underneath.
With the preparation of your own food comes the knowledge of exactly what’s goes into it—and, therefore, exactly what goes into your body. And even if you cringe at the thought of spending an hour over the stove, countless daily staples can be whipped up just by plugging in a blender or food processor—hummus, pesto, BBQ sauce, ketchup and nut butters included.
2. Eating too much of the same thing.
Referring first back to #1, it’s incredibly easy to get the majority of your calories from very few food groups when relying on packaged and pre-prepared foods. Much of what comes in plastic wrappers and cardboard boxes in this century contains large amounts of wheat, corn, or both in some form. Regardless of the fact that wheat and corn derivatives are highly refined (i.e., totally lacking in nutrients) in processed foods, relying so heavily on so few foods severely limits the wide array of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly and look sexy.
The more mindful of what you’re eating you become, the more you’ll be pushed to get out of your normal routine and try new options, which exponentially broadens your exposure to that huge spectrum of nutrients. Then, of course, there’s the added bonus of falling in love with foods you’d never have heard of otherwise. Score.
3. Eating too many foods that will never rot.
Sounds kinda gross, but bear with me on this one. Rotting happens when bacteria eats up the nutrients in food. If it won’t eventually rot, it’s probably not worth your time. And if you’re not getting in on good nutrients before bacteria does, then what are you putting in your body?
4. Eating too many meals not at a table.
I’m totally guilty of this one. Like, all the time. Because as often as I try to pretend it does, my desk still =/= a table if I share it with an open laptop. Eating while working, watching Netflix or driving results in mindless eating, which in turn typically results in consuming way more food than you really need. If you must eat on the go, stick to foods that it’s okay to OD on: fruits and veggies.
PS: Want a handy, not-overwhelming rundown of other good food advice to live by? Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is exactly what you’ve been looking for.