How to Fix the 7 Most Common Bad Eating Habits

By: Sara Wells

Break your bad eating habits one chew at a time. Below, simple solutions for the most common eating offenders.

Related: 8 Diet Rules Meant to Be Broken

Tip #1: Make a Plan and Stick to It

Consuming the same simple, locally grown or organic foods week to week will help prevent you from resorting to last-minute fast-food (and unhealthy) meals. Avoid using treats, such as ice cream or other sweets, as a reward for a hard day.

Related: The 2011 FITNESS Healthy Food Awards

Tip #2: Don't Munch on the Run

Our brains feel gypped if we aren't mindful of the food we're eating. Make a point to eat breakfast and dinner at a table as often as possible. Otherwise, you may end up conditioning yourself to eat anytime, anyplace -- like when you're lying on the couch watching TV.

Related: 15 Ways to Eat Healthy

Tip #3: Avoid Noshing in the Car

You can quickly become trained to eat whenever you're behind the wheel. Plus, it's harder to keep track of what you're eating if you're driving and munching.

Related: The Best Fast-Food Salads

Tip #4: Have a Healthy Snack 30 Minutes Before a Meal

It can take as long as half an hour for fullness signals to travel from the stomach to the brain. The sooner you start eating, the sooner your belly will get the message to your brain that you've had enough food.

Related: Healthy and Refreshing Smoothie Recipes

Tip #5: Downsize Your Dishes

Unless our plates are full, we tend to feel cheated, like we haven't eaten enough. So use a dessert dish for your entree.

Related: Outsmart Your Appetite

Tip #6: Bust Your Eating Triggers

If watching your favorite reality show triggers a craving for bowlfuls of your favorite snack, give up eating in front of the TV.

Related: Weekend-Proof Your Diet

Tip #7: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

It will help you maintain a healthy weight, and it can prevent compulsive eating because, like food, it produces stress relief and a feeling of well-being.

Related: 5 Equipment-Free Cardio Exercises

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