The best way to change your bad eating habits is to do it very slowly. If you try to change everything all at once, it will seem too hard to maintain. Try changing one thing at a time. For example, perhaps you like a morning cappuccino. Decide to stop drinking your morning cappuccino and drink bottled water instead. Don't change anything else about your eating habits until you feel totally comfortable about that dietary change. Then move on to something else, like healthy snacks. Instead of that chocolate energy bar, pack a piece of fruit and a small tub of yogurt. Essentially fruit is natures snack food, it's also cheaper.
Once you're comfortable with this change, then move onto something else. You get the picture. When you've got your diet sorted out, then you can move on to getting some exercise into your lifestyle.
So it doesn't have to be an abrupt change you just need to understand more about what you are eating and what the energy value is and the nutrient value of the foods you are consuming, and make slow but sure changes to your lifestyle.
Why do you think overweight children come from families with parents who are also overweight?
In a way it is endorsement to the children that their eating habits and lifestyle habits are acceptable. Just like any of us what better role models than your parents. If they snack and eat unhealthily then the children will as well.
However having said this, there are other considerations to take into account. For example there is some tentative evidence that people who are obese are genetically pre-disposed to it. So if this were the case, these families may have an underlying reason for their weight problems. This does not necessarily mean that there is nothing that they can do to lose weight. Families who may have these genes who eat eat wisely and exercise will be showing their children how to eat, how much fun it is to exercise, and can maintain normal weights. So while genes don't excuse bad lifestyle choices, it may be a reason why they are more likely to become overweight.
Are much of our lifestyle habits linked to emotions?
Sure. Emotions and stress - all those things get factored into it. Everybody has times of emotional need.
I know from watching myself. When I get depressed and overworked, I lose sleep because I'm trying to get work done, or something has happened that I feel bad about. When I get into these situations, I definitely end up simply eating more than I would have normally, partly to try and make myself feel better and partly because I'm so tired, that my body is craving more energy (food).
The way to avoid allowing yourself to be controlled by emotional eating is knowing what to eat, how much to eat, what is healthy and maintaining enough down time and sleep. These all factor into just having a healthy lifestyle.
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