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How to Break an Unhealthy Eating Habit

We are creatures of habit, and the longer a habit sticks with us, the harder it gets to break or change it. This is especially true when it comes to eating habits – unhealthy ones that is. Do you have a habit of eating a croissant every morning? Or binging on chips or cookies while in front of the computer? 

Before we tell you how to break these unhealthy eating habits, let’s take a look at the most common ones people find themselves victims of:
– Binging and eating out of the bag
– Eating on the go or while being distracted
– Skipping breakfast
– Starving yourself and ending up eating too much
– Eating close to bedtime
– Not knowing what you are eating
Emotional eating 

Here are our tips to break these eating habits and create healthier ones in the long run:

Make the connection: After you identify the habit, ask yourself why are you doing it? What is triggering it? Do you eat chips or cookies while working on the computer? Do you tend to eat junk if you haven’t slept well the night before? Do you stop for donuts at the same shop every week while returning from a road trip?  

Find an alternative: How about you change the road you take home and avoid seeing that donut shop? You can also try to replace the chips with healthy snacks like carrots or celery. Whatever alternative you try to think of, make sure it feels good, because that feeling is what got you falling into the unhealthy habit initially. 

Take baby steps: Don’t expect to make drastic changes overnight. Habits are not that easy to break, but you can take small steps and make simple changes in your routine to make the process easier. Aiming at getting 8 hours of sleep is a good start, and you can also make an effort to eat your meal seated at the lunch table and not surrounded by distractions. 

Seek support: People who care about you will want you to feel better, so ask your partner, colleague, or friend to help you. Could your co-worker make a cup of tea with you in the afternoon instead of attacking the chocolate drawer where you hide your guilty pleasures? Could you and your spouse watch TV in the bedroom and away from the kitchen instead of the living room to break the snack cycle?

Finally, don’t give up if you don’t succeed from the first try. You are not weak and you will have the willpower to break these habits and find a healthier routine that will benefit you for long. 

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian

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