by Brittany Darling, Vida Glow's resident Nutritionist
It's so easy to fall into bad habits, especially over the winter months. It can be really hard to build up the motivation to undo habits and worse yet, know where to start. I've compiled a list of bad eating habits you should absolutely stop right now!
#1 Stop mindless eating
It's so easy to go the whole day grabbing a muffin from here, a protein ball from there, a wrap or sandwich and maybe some Thai for dinner. Throw in a couple of coffees and a few half drunk bottles of water and not only have you spent $50 without blinking but you aren't being nourished at all by your food. Preparation is absolutely the key. Meals don't have to be complicated. A few stable ingredients can go a long way.
#2 Eating on the run or at your desk
If you are eating this way chances are you aren't digesting your food properly. For optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients, your body needs to be in a "rest and digest" phase vs in a "fight or flight" stress response. Sit down somewhere (outside preferably) and chew your food. It won't take you any longer to sit down properly to enjoy your food and your body will thank you for it.
#3 Picking & Snacking
I know as a mum this is my biggest down fall. I'll be licking and picking at my kids scraps constantly if I'm not careful! A piece of cheese here, finish off that piece of toast, and oh that little bit of birthday cake that was left in the staff kitchen. By constantly eating you aren't allowing your digestive system to work as efficiently as it should. You need a gap between meals to allow the digestive system to process foods properly and to make sure you are actually hungry for the next meal.
#4 Drinking too much with meals
Whether it's coffee, tea, water, juices or sodas, if you drink fluids before or with meals you will be diluting your gastric secretions and reduce the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Try limiting fluids 30 minutes before and after a meals.
#5 Don't leave food shopping to the very last minute
Of course it's going to seem easier to just get take away vs fighting the crowds at the supermarket after work. This is why I recommend a once to twice weekly shop of a few staple ingredients that can be used to make into tasty and quick meals. For time poor people, I recommend focusing on a protein and one vegetable for simple homemade lunches and dinners. Eg. Snapper fillet and large serve of rocket for dinner or roasted Brussel sprouts with lamb cutlets. Change up the vegetable and protein each meal to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients. Doing a big cook up of things that freeze and defrost well such as stews and soups is also a great way of saving time in the kitchen. Eating a rainbow is ideal in theory but what is the point in buying all the ingredients if they are just going to sit in your vegetable draw because it's too much work to prepare!