Today’s fast paced lifestyle has spawned a culture of unhealthy eating habits that seem to be becoming the norm. While food companies cash in conveniently, what suffers in the long run is your health.
I’m pretty certain I’m in the firm majority of people who wake up too late in the morning, and seem to be rushing through the day in the hope that I can make up for my eighteen extra minutes of sleep (which confirms my theory that the snooze button is the root cause of all tardiness). My inevitable routine has me rushing from one place to another in a mad dash to get to work on time, and the day continues at that pace until I promise myself as I get into bed, that I will wake up earlier, not replace breakfast and lunch with seven cups of coffee, not follow unhealthy eating habits, and start using my gym membership – tomorrow. Perhaps I’m normal? Perhaps the world is full of people like me, who mean well, but find it close to impossible to transform these eating habits when you come face-to-face with a chocolate croissant. Who would choose an egg white omelet with whole wheat toast instead?
Unhealthy eating habits can mean many things. In the most basic sense, it would mean you deny your body proper nutrition – this could be in the form of crash diets, skipped meals, junk food, binging, etc., to name but a few. While these develop gradually and may not cause immediate ill effects, they will inevitably give rise to all sorts of health problems once youth and tolerance gives way to age and susceptibility. The following are some of the most common eating habits that are extremely unhealthy.
I know it can be hard to get some food inside you first thing in the morning, especially if you’re behind schedule, and really aren’t hungry. Of all the meals to skip, breakfast should be the last in your list, because your body needs nutrients to get going. Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day, and whoever said that you ought to “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”, seriously knew what he was talking about. Eating nutritious meals at regular intervals, makes sure your body is consistently receiving the nutrients it needs to function properly, in fact upping the number of meals to 6 or 7 while cutting down on portion size may actually work in the body’s favor.
Low fat high carb, high protein low carb, high protein no carb – it’s enough to make at least me go round the bend, and reach for the nearest bag of chips for solace. There’s a reason why school biology teaches you about a balanced diet, because it’s the healthiest. There are 6 essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Cutting out any one group completely, as is advised in many crash diets that masquerade as lifestyle changes, can be detrimental to your health in the long run. The best way to ensure that you achieve a meal plan that suits you best, is to experiment with the balance of food in every meal – healthy eating through a plan that suits you should make you feel satiated, nourished, charged up, and bright, with a general feeling of well-being.
Convenience foods are just that, aren’t they? Convenient. No need to slave over a hot stove at the end of a long day, just slip the package out of the freezer, nuke it for a few minutes; or open a tin, and heat up its contents. That’s it, dinner’s done. Packaged, frozen, canned, and fast food are a hard habit to break, because they make life so much easier. However, many essential nutrients are lost, and food additives put in to make sure that can stays on the shelf long enough for you to reach for it. Surviving on packaged food is one of the main unhealthy habits in college students. While there’s much talk about all things organic and the varied benefits of organic food, it can be prohibitively expensive. When making a choice, always reach for fresh ingredients; while they may require more effort, they’ll make up in taste flavor and health benefits.
Yes, I know it’s practically impossible to face the morning without a caffeine kick, especially when all the coffee in Columbia won’t make you a morning person, it certainly wouldn’t work for me. However, cutting down on caffeine will have all sorts of benefits – at least that’s what they say. While you may well be skeptical still, you could try switching to decaf, for all the good it may do, though organic coffee offers several benefits and may be a better but more expensive bet. Don’t forget that caffeine comes in all sorts of forms – tea, sodas, and sugary drinks all contain it, and this makes the soda accompanying every meal one of the most unhealthy habits in children. Replace it with water, or at best fruit juice, and keep the soda an occasional treat.
The effects of such eating habits are manifold. They can lead to a whole mess of disorders and health problems, especially if they aren’t tackled early. Not only will they leave you looking tired and wan, with dull hair, skin, and lack luster eyes, they can lead to gastrointestinal problems, lowered immunity, sleep disorders, and stress. Making small but gradual changes in your unhealthy eating habits will not only improve your health, but will also bring about general well-being. Eating healthy is the best way to stay healthy!
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.