One of the biggest factors contributing to weight and overall health issues is diet. However, eating healthy is not always easy, especially when you have bad eating habits that are difficult to break. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to break free of these bad eating habits and improve your health. Before we dive into the 9 bad eating habits you can break for good, let’s answer a few questions you might have about eating habits in general:

How do you change an unhealthy habit?

Changing an unhealthy habit is all about changing two things: your mindset and your environment. When it comes to unhealthy eating habits, you will need to eliminate triggers and unhealthy foods from your home. You will also need to think about everything you consume — from drinks to midday snacks — in order to develop a new way of thinking about food.

How long does it take to change eating habits?

This depends on a variety of factors including genetics, motivation, and the nature of your dieting goals. However, with enough determination, you can change eating habits in as little as a week!

What are bad eating habits?

Now it’s time to look at 9 bad eating habits that you CAN change:

  • Binge-eating – Eating excessive amounts of food in one sitting is a very unhealthy habit. It can lead to bloating, digestive issues, and weight gain.
  • Snacking between meals – The occasional snack is fine, but snacking between every meal is a quick way to lose control of your diet.
  • Stocking your kitchen with junk – The first step toward breaking bad eating habits is eliminating temptation. Stocking your fridge or pantry with junk food won’t help you change anything.
  • Eating dessert after every meal – Just like snacks, desserts are best in moderation. You don’t need to eat dessert after all or even most of your meals.
  • Ignoring calories – While calories are not the only important factor to consider, you shouldn’t ignore your caloric intake.
  • Ignoring your body – Your body often sends you signals about the food you eat. If you ignore the signs (bloating, excessive gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, etc), you’re not doing you or your body any favors.
  • Eating with entertainment – People eat in front of the television every day but eating while distracted makes it easier to overeat.
  • Eating right before bed – Eating right before bed is bad for your digestive system and can even lead to sleep-related problems.
  • Balancing good food with bad food – A lot of people think that they can eat lots of junk food as long as they balance it out with healthy food. While some junk food is acceptable from time to time, it shouldn’t make up half (or even 25%) of your diet.

How do I change the way I think about food?

Changing the way you think about food requires you to think about your diet like you would any other part of your life. For example, if you want to improve your performance at work, you consider different strategies to reach your goal. If you want to get higher grades on a test, you put in more effort when studying.

These same principles apply to eating habits. You need to think about your unhealthy eating habits and the effect they’re having on your life. Then, you need to consider strategies to minimize the chances of falling off the wagon. If you stay committed to your eating goals, nothing can stop you!