Are you guilty of these common food mistakes? Fortunately, they’re mistakes easily fixed.
1. Eating too light a breakfast
While eating breakfast is a good thing nutritionally, the wrong balance of nutrients can leave you prone to overeating later in the day or cause excessive hunger midmorning.
Why does it happen? Popular breakfast cereals and plain toast with spread are quick but carbohydrate-heavy breakfast options. Ideally we need to add protein and use low-GI breads and breakfast cereals for sustained fullness throughout the morning.
Solution: Add an egg, baked beans or cheese to your toast in the morning or add some protein powder to your milk to increase the protein content of your breakfast.
2. Not enough vegetables at lunchtime
Salads and vegetables are packed with water and dietary fibre, which help to bulk up your diet and keep you full.
Why does this happen? Plain sandwiches, sushi and soups tend to be light in protein and vegetables, leaving you looking for something extra after you have finished your lunch.
Solution: Always carry a carrot, celery or capsicum with you to snack on with lunch, or make an effort to order extra sides when eating out to make sure you get at least one cup of salad or vegetables with your meal.
3. Too much coffee
In controlled amounts, coffee has few side effects and may even have some health benefits, but consumed at the wrong time, with too much milk and sugar, coffee can become excessive kilojoules we do not need.
Why does this happen? Drinking coffee with colleagues is an enjoyable pastime at work; a coffee break helps to break up the day and appears to be a relatively harmless habit. The issue is that milk-based coffees sipped over a number of hours are interpreted by the body as constant eating, which can disrupt the body’s natural hunger and fullness signals and lead to weight gain.
Solution: Aim for just one or two milk-based coffees a day, and try and drink them with meals. Stick to plain black coffee or green tea in between.
4. Eating dinner too late
It is common for families to eat at 9pm or even 10pm but the body should have 10 to 12 hours without food overnight for body-weight regulation and appetite control.
Why does it happen? Busy lifestyles and long commutes are just two of the reasons we are getting home and eating our meals much later than we did 20 years ago.
Solution: Eat your larger meal at lunchtime and stick to soups and salads if you find yourself eating after 8pm.
5. Eating too quickly
Long gone are the days when a leisurely meal was enjoyed over an hour or more each evening. Unfortunately, eating fast also appears to lead to over-consumption as it takes time for the body to register it is full.
Why does it happen? Too many commitments and overwhelming schedules have meant that eating meals can become just another thing on the to-do list.
Solution: Aim to spend at least 20 minutes sitting down to enjoy your meal. Practise putting your knife and fork down in between each mouthful and chewing each mouthful 20 times. Studies have shown you can eat up to 500 kilojoules less per meal simply by slowing down.MYNEWSHUB