Most are currently thinking about losing weight. I highly encourage and recommend you to NOT diet.  Yes, that is what I said. Do not adopt someone else’s idea of how to eat.  You need to learn how to eat not what to avoid. And, any plan needs to be sustainable for your life.  Instead, choose a couple of small behavior changes that are attainable for you!  Remember simple is sustainable!

Here are 10 habits that you could ditch and start towards a healthy weight:

1. Eating low-fat foods. Stop buying low-fat foods.  If the fat is taken out it is typically replaced with another ingredient.  Often these foods are also more processed.  Fat allows for satiety.  Focus on heart healthy fats.

2. Lack of adequate sleep. When we do not get enough we are more likely to overeat. Our body needs energy from somewhere. If we didn’t get it from rest then we will more likely eat more.

3. Lack of support/accountability. Number one research proven method for weight loss is food journaling. And, I’m not talking about just counting calories, fat, sugar, etc.  Seek the advice from a registered dietitian and learn how to eat for you.

4. Skipping meals. Research shows those who skip meals, are 4.5 times more likely to be overweight. Especially if breakfast is skipped. Skipping meals causes metabolism to decrease and the bodies starvation mode to store fat.  Also, when you skip meals you will increase hunger later and are more likely to overeat.

5. Eating quickly.  Remember slow and steady wins the race.  This is definitely true when it comes to learning your satiety cues.  It takes 20 minutes to let the brain catch up with stomach to recognize satiety.  Slow down and savor the flavor of your food.

6. Multi-tasking while eating. Those who watch tv, work or read while eating typically are distracted and eat mindlessly.  Allow yourself to enjoy your food and don’t be distracted while eating.

7. Eating on larger plates.  Not only have portions increased over the years. So have the size of our dishes.  When we eat on a larger plate we fill up the plate.  Try eating on your salad plate.

8. Serving food from the table.  While having family meals is essential in establishing good eating habits, keeping the serving dishes on the table more likely promotes over-eating.  Keep the serving dishes off the table.  Serve a single portion, eat slow to recognize satiety and only go for more food if you are still hungry.

9. Taking too big of a bite. When eating a big bite you consume more food and decrease the likelihood of knowing when you are satisfied.  Cutting and taking smaller bites allows you to slow down and savor the flavor of your food.

10. Not drinking enough water.  Dehydration is often confused as hunger.  It is also often confused as being tired and needing caffeine which also dehydrates you further which can increase your hunger.  See the cycle that is created.  Next time you feel tired in the afternoon reach for a glass of water before that caffeine.

Here’s to you investing in your health and adopting healthy habits to work towards a healthy weight instead of trying to overhaul your diet.