Most of our eating these days is performed as part of a specific, unthinking routine. Whether it is rolling out of bed and brewing a morning cup of coffee, or stopping at the same donut shop on the way to work, people tend to find comfort and convenience in a formula.
Yet many of these routines or habits can seem innocent when in fact they are directly contributing to obesity, heart disease, and other health problems. As it turns out, you need not do anything drastic to put on ten pounds a year.
Being able to recognize and adjust or eliminate them is integral towards a healthy diet and lifestyle. The following are some eating habits that are far less benign than you would think. Avoid them and you will save hundreds of calories and much discomfort.
Drenching Your Salads with Dressing
Salads are generally one of the healthiest foods you can eat, but this can be entirely negated through high calories dressings. Adding just a small amount of ranch can take a salad from three hundred calories to five hundred. Try not to mindlessly pour dressing on your salad.
If you are eating at a restaurant, ask for it on the side so that you can regulate how much is added. If eating at home, find the perfect amount that adds flavor without taking over the meal. Or better yet, find some low calorie or low fat dressings to use.
Getting Creative with your Coffee
A simple cup of black coffee has less than five calories. Yet some cappuccino concoctions can have over five hundred calories, many from fat. Adding milk, sugar, and whipped cream is the equivalent of injecting a piece of celery with butter.
It’s not unreasonable to add some 1% or 2% milk to your coffee, or even some sugar, but do you really need to get your caffeine in candy form? Find simple and low calorie ways to flavor your coffee and avoid the fancy chain coffee shop creations. You’ll cut a few hundred calories from your morning routine alone.
Cleaning your Plate
As kids, most of us were told that we were morally obligated to eat the entirety of every meal because there were starving children elsewhere in the world. While the logic of this is arguable, the dietary implications are outright sinister.
If you begin to feel full seventy or eighty percent through the meal, you may feel the need to power through and finish. Yet this means that you are eating twenty percent more calories than your body can even comfortably intake, much less actually needs.
Instead of packaging the remainder for leftovers, you eat significantly more than you should and likely find yourself feeling uncomfortably full later. Even worse, such chronic overeating can actually lead your stomach to physically expand, thus making it more difficult for you to feel full in the future. Next time you begin to feel full, listen to your body. If you really feel a moral imperative, contact your local food bank.