Eating Habits To Avoid If You Want A Lean Body, Dietitians Say


Whether you have a sweet tooth that’s hard to ignore or rarely find yourself missing out on a handful of crisps, virtually everyone has some less than ideal eating habits. While such eating habits are easily linked to weight gain, there are many seemingly harmless eating habits you can adopt every day that could cause you to gain weight – and you might not even realize the harm. what they do to your weight and health.

Before you find yourself struggling with the weight that you can’t seem to lose, read on to find out what eating habits to avoid if you want to stay slim, according to dietitians. And if you want to shed a few extra pounds, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.


If you wait until the night to enjoy your only high protein meal of the day, you could be doing yourself a huge disservice.

“Spread your protein intake evenly over three to four meals to maintain muscle health and stay lean. Most Americans don’t get enough protein throughout the day and eat too much protein at dinner,” explains Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, a consultant dietitian at Egglife Foods, who recommends consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner instead. If you want to make better choices when choosing your protein, be sure to avoid the most unhealthy proteins for weight loss, experts say.

snack with friends

Watching these meals and snacks to determine the right serving size can mean you are eating a lot more than you expected.

“I often tell my patients that if they choose a kid’s size or a small size the next time they buy ice cream, I bet they won’t feel deprived or wish they ordered the larger size. “, he explains. Elle Wittneben, RD, CSOWM, LDN, director of nutritional services at Greater Boston Urology. “Having a little more every now and then isn’t likely to cause weight gain, but if you consistently eat more food, those calories will build up over time,” Wittneben adds.

A woman in her 40s wearing headphones and eating popcorn while watching a movie on a streaming service on a laptop at night.

If you want to keep your body lean in the future, give yourself some time between your last meal and time to go hay.

“Even vegetables, for example, while incredibly useful, make the body work hard! If we don’t give the body enough time to digest and then rest, we are not allowing our cells, hormones and metabolism to function. to repair and restore yourself adequately. The end result is an uphill battle to lose weight, “says Kylene Bogden, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT, IFNCP, from FWDFuel, which recommends leaving a two to three hour gap between your last meal and bedtime.

For more incentive to ditch those midnight snacks, check out these Secret Side Effects of Eating Before Bed, According to Science.

woman drinking from white cup with straw
Shutterstock / Ollyy

While homemade smoothies can be a healthy part of your diet and can even help you lose weight, drinking the bottled ones you find in your local grocery store could have the opposite effect.

“Typically, these ready-to-drink smoothies lack protein and fiber and allow you to drink a lot of fruit and a few veg. Dietary fiber and protein should be included with every meal to help maintain your weight, as both keep you full longer and longer. satisfied ”, explains Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For tasty drinks that won’t sabotage your weight loss, check out the 25 Best Smoothies for Weight Loss.

eat salad

While eating several small meals throughout the day has long been touted as a recipe for weight loss, sticking to this habit can mean you accidentally eat more than you expect.

“Many diets or fad trends tell people to eat six small meals a day, but what if you aren’t even hungry to eat that often? It’s always best to listen to your body’s internal signals, eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re feeling full, ”explains Ehsani.

happy woman eating pasta for dinner

Listening to your body’s hunger signals is essential, but waiting until you feel hungry to eat could sabotage your weight loss or maintenance efforts.

“When people wait until they are hungry to eat, it prepares them to eat fast, overeat, and feel uncomfortable with fullness. Waiting to eat until hunger can trigger a binge eating or a loss of control of the feeding “, explains Sarah Williams, MS, RD, owner and founder of Sweet Balance Nutrition.

eat fast

Everyone is in a rush to eat occasionally, but eating too fast on a regular basis can make it harder to stay slim in the long run.

“Eating quickly often means eating more than you need to feel comfortably full and full. It takes about 20 minutes for receptors in the stomach to communicate satiety; eating fast and not giving your body time to communicate satiety can lead to overeating and weight gain, ”says Williams.

woman eating pizza and watching tv late at night on sofa

Turning off the television while you eat may help you maintain your weight more easily in the long run.

“When you’re not careful about what or how much you eat, you can miss the signals that you’re full and overeating. Even if you think you don’t have time, take 10 to 15 minutes to stop and pay attention to what you eat, ”says Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN, a Pittsburgh-based culinary nutritionist. “Your mind can enjoy the break and your body will thank you.”

Person in blue button eating from bag of crisps
Shutterstock / Aquarius Studio

While they can be convenient, eating processed foods can quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts.

“Processed foods, such as crisps, cereals and fast food, often contain a lot of added sugars and unhealthy fats to improve their taste. It contains a lot of calories, which leads to weight gain,” explains Kristin Gillespie, MS, RD, LD, nutrition consultant for Exercise With Style.

If you’re looking to lose weight for good, try our Top 200 Weight Loss Tips, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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