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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 September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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