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5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Healthy Eating Habits, Revealed

by Marissa on September 5, 2012

Now that Summer is officially over, the Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with offers for cleanses and workouts to get you back in tip top shape in time for a new season.

Personally, I feel very grounded in the Fall and I’m all about turning over a new leaf by shaking up your workout routine and changing your eating habits for the better.

But let’s look at a few ways all those good intentions can get de-railed if you’re not careful. When in doubt, opt for long-term change instead of short-term fixes.

1. Dining Out: Going out to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days of the week is a surefire way to ruin your healthy eating kick. Yet it’s so freakin’ easy to get stuck in this rut with busy schedules and an active social calendar, right?

Plus, you hear all the time that it IS possible to dine out and still eat healthy food IF you make smart choices. In fact, I’m probably as guilty as anyone for making this a bad habit.

You have to cook at home more often than you dine out. I’m saying this from personal experience and because I truly believe it from the bottom of my heart.

I’ve seen the difference in how quickly and effectively I can reach my health and fitness goals when I’m not chowing down on restaurant food five nights a week. I feel better, I sleep better, I look better. Same goes for my boyfriend.

I’m not going to lie and say that cooking at home is easier than picking up the phone for delivery or logging on to Seamless Web. It’s a commitment you need to make and it can take very little time IF you’re prepared. Most weeknight meals we make don’t take longer than 30 minutes.

If you have the will to eat at home – like wanting to drop those last five pounds (trust me, it works) – you will find a way.

2. Eating What Your Man Eats: I joke with David that when I was single and living alone it was a lot easier to eat what I wanted, when I wanted without the temptation of fried foods and sweet treats. I joke, but it’s kind of the truth. My man eats pretty darn healthy most of the time and more so now with my influence but he’s a guy and sometimes bags of chips show up in the pantry or fries are ordered alongside a salad.

It took me awhile to figure this one out so I’m sharing my secret: let him do his thing, and you do yoursListen, you can still break bread together. I’m not saying you can’t have a few of his fries or a lick of his ice cream, but don’t be tempted to go all the way all the time. You’ll just feel crappy.

Cooking at home is an even bigger challenge because no guy (at least the ones that I know), want soup and salad for dinner. That’s why I created this eCookbook, Man vs. Healthy. It’s a compilation of my guy-approved recipes so that when you’re cooking for two – or more – you’re armed with some healthy, hearty recipes you can be certain he’ll love and will be good for your waistline.

For example, David loves potatoes and pasta. Foods I never prepared for myself before we met but that he requests. I’ve health-ified these foods to make them nutrient-dense and tasty — something we can both enjoy without packing on the pounds.

3. Letting Emotions Control What and When You Eat: Don’t feed your needs. They don’t want food. Everyone feels stress, anger, boredom, heartbreak, doubt and a boatload of other emotions. You are not alone. You need to know this. One of the worst things you can do is to eat over your emotions or let them control you.

There are too many other ways to cope than to let food become a coping mechanism – or a reward for that matter. I know this is easier said than done. I’ve been there many times before and sometimes feel tempted to go there again.

Instead, let yourself have a good cry or pick up the phone and vent to a friend who loves you and will listen. Celebrating a victory? Buy yourself a hot new miniskirt or indulge in your favorite massage.

Getting your needs met can be as simple as asking for what you want. Need a hug? Ask for one! Need a listening ear? Speak up! At the first sign of a craving or compulsion to eat, determine whether you’re really hungry, take a deep breath, identify how you’re feeling, drink some water.

Do some work to get in tune with your emotions and how your body responds to them. It’s not always easy, sometimes it’s totally uncomfortable, but it’s worth it.

4. Partying Too Much:
Another one of my “I learned this from experience” tips: the more you drink, the more you eat what your body doesn’t need or want. Besides, alcohol has little to no nutritional value. Duh.

Maybe you’re not a “drunk eater” and maybe you are but either way you’re screwed because alcohol is poison and it stays around in your system. Let’s be honest, how many of us want salad the day after a night of too many cocktails?

I’m not talking about tee-totaling here. I love a glass of wine or a spicy margarita as much as the next girl. Go ahead, enjoy yourself and have a cocktail or two if you wish, but do yourself a favor and leave it at two – not five.  And drink some water, while you’re at it!

My best advice on this topic is to look for ways to find enjoyment from life sans liquor. Make plans with friends who aren’t hooked on the hard stuff and resist the urge to match your friends drink for drink. I could write an entire blog post on this topic, but I’ll spare you. For now, know that cutting back will give you tons more energy and you’ll eat better food. Try it!

5. The All-Or-Nothing Mentality: This one I see all the time in my coaching practice: “Well, I ate a cookie after lunch so I might as well, have the pizza for dinner and wash it down with some ice cream and a few glasses of wine.”

This mentality can break you.  

Try having a mini-breakthrough like my client did the time I told her to “think of every meal as an opportunity to eat something healthy.” It’s true. No need to go off the rails for one little slip up.

This is the same reason I don’t believe in “cheat days.” Have a cookie if you want it once in awhile, especially if it’s a really delicious one made from high quality ingredients.

No need to roll backwards down a hill just because you did one back flip. 

I hope you’ve pulled some nugget of information or inspiration from this. If you have, be sure to share it on social media with the buttons below OR share in the comments one small change you’ll make this week to your diet or fitness plan to kick off Fall. 

If you’re looking to get back on track with your healthy eating habits and stay there, look out for the Total Reset Plan Fall edition which launches October 1.

In the meantime, get on my list for free updates and exclusive offers. Click here.



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Can't wait for the fall Total Reset Plan and any new recipes! Loved my experience in spring!


Love this post! Really good info that resonated for me. Thank you for sharing your insights & tips!! :)

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