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How Changing Your Eating Habits Can Stop Impulse Eating

How Changing Your Eating Habits Can Stop Impulse Eating

We all act impulsively from time to time, but too many hasty decisions can be very detrimental to anyone’s health. For example, impulse eating will not harm you right away, but after a little while your body will definitely start showing the negative effects of those decisions. Impulse eating is not to be confused with binge eating, which is when people eat large amounts of food at one time. Eating on impulse is the same as someone who buys on impulse. You do it without thinking and usually regret it afterwards! At least impulse shoppers can usually return the item and get their money back, but with impulse eating, it’s too late – the damage is done. However, impulse eating is easier to fix than you might think. You can stop impulse eating today, by applying a few simple changes to your daily life.

1. Eat More (Often)

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BACON SANDWICHES

    This might sound counterproductive, but eating more regularly is actually very healthy for you and will prevent you from getting too hungry which often causes people to eat impulsively. (Have you ever tried grocery shopping when you are hungry and wondered the next day why you bought so much junk food?) Plan to eat a small meal or snack ever 2 to 3 hours, and make sure you include a lot of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, protein and food that is high in fiber. You will not only curb impulse eating, but you will also have more energy, and boost your metabolism while getting all your servings of fruits and vegetables.

    2. Breakfast – the Most Important Meal of the Day

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    Cereal With Strawberries2

      We’ve all heard this, but it is the truth! You know how you feel when you skip breakfast: hungry, lacking energy, brain fog, and even anger. And what happens when you get to work and see that someone has brought in donuts? Impulse eating happens. Before you know it, you’ve downed 2 donuts and are feeling guilty. Studies show that if you eat a good, balanced breakfast, you will be more able to say no to tempting treats. Plus, you will have more energy, think more clearly and just feel better about starting the day. If time is your enemy in the morning, there are plenty of make-ahead breakfast options. Google, Pinterest or any recipe website will provide you with many of these quick and healthy breakfasts.

      3. A Simple Water Bottle Can Stop Impulse Eating

        Doctors say that cravings and hunger can actually be thirst in disguise. When suddenly are tempted to grab some food you know you shouldn’t be eating, try drinking some water first. You will be surprised how often your body is actually thirsty instead of hungry. To do this successfully, you will want to carry a water bottle around with you. Look for a one that is leak-proof so you can carry it around with you wherever you go. Invest in a good water bottle because this is one habit that is extremely healthy for your body.

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        4. Cut Out Evening Snacks

        popcorn

          Evenings are when most people get “the munchies.” You are more relaxed after a long day at work, the kids are in bed, and most people take this time to watch some TV, a movie, or hang out with friends. These activities almost always lead to eating, and usually not the healthy kind! To stop impulse eating in the evenings, set a “cut-off” time for yourself so you won’t eat anything after 7pm for example. Once the cut-off time happens, brush your teeth and floss so that you will be less likely to break your own rule. No one likes flossing, and the thought of having to do it twice should be enough to deter any impulses that arise afterwards.

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          5. Take Control of Your Thoughts

          thinking

            This is the most important tip of all, because if you can’t conquer this one, you could be battling with all of the others for the rest of your life. Sometimes it feels like our thoughts and emotions govern our will, which in turn, governs our actions. However, it needs to be the other way around. Have you ever known someone who allows themselves to be governed by their emotions? They are usually up and down all the time and they do not lead very stable lives. When you consistently give in to impulse eating, it means you are not in control of your thoughts and emotions. In this area of your life, your emotions are dictating your actions.

            The next time you feel that impulse creep in, stop and ask yourself, why do I feel like I need to eat this right now? Take a couple of minutes and assess why you are emotional – maybe the impulsiveness is coming from stress or sadness. Or it could just be that you are so used to impulse eating that it’s no longer something that you even think about as a problem. Either way, you will need to stop, take a step back and remind yourself that you have a will, that it should dictate your actions, not your emotions. Emotions are not bad, but we should never be governed by them. This will not be easy at first, but over time you will be less likely to let your feelings dictate your decisions.

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            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

            So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

            1. Exercise

            It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

            2. Drink in Moderation

            I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

            3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

            Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

            4. Watch Less Television

            A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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            Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

            5. Eat Less Red Meat

            Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

            If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

            6. Don’t Smoke

            This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

            7. Socialize

            Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

            8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

            Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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            9. Be Optimistic

            Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

            10. Own a Pet

            Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

            11. Drink Coffee

            Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

            12. Eat Less

            Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

            13. Meditate

            Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

            Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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            How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

            14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

            Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

            15. Laugh Often

            Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

            16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

            Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

            17. Cook Your Own Food

            When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

            Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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            18. Eat Mushrooms

            Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

            19. Floss

            Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

            20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

            Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

            Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

            21. Have Sex

            Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

            More Health Tips

            Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

            Reference

            [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
            [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
            [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
            [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
            [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
            [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
            [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
            [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
            [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
            [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
            [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
            [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
            [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
            [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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