Dec 25, 2020

7 eating habits to stop in 2021

 2021 is almost here. Most of us make resolutions at the beginning of the year. As I mentioned in an earlier post, "Habits, not resolutions" is the right strategy to reach our goals, be it in any area of our lives - fitness, health, career, passions, etc.

Small, daily habits are a much better way to incorporate changes in our life than taking up larger resolutions.

I plan to share a few ideas related to food and our eating habits. If one or more of these resonate with you, do consider adding them to your list of habits for 2021.

There are good habits to add to our routine and there are not-so-good habits that we consider removing from our routine.

Here's a list of 7 eating habits that are detrimental to our health.

(1) Having coffee/tea along with breakfast

After having a nutritious, wholesome breakfast, do you like to grab a cup of coffee/chai immediately to wash it all down? The point of eating a nutritious meal is all lost, thanks to this habit. Coffee/tea prevents the absorption of nutrients from our food. Tannins present in tea binds to the key minerals found in food (calcium, magnesium, iron) and our body doesn't end up getting the nutrients. Avoid coffee/chai after a meal or if you MUST, then have it after a gap of 30-40 minutes.

(2) Having milk along with dinner

Cow's milk is a complete meal by itself. It is heavy in nature and our body needs time to digest it. Having it along with dinner hampers digestion. Have an early dinner (around 7 PM) and if you MUST have a glass of milk, have it around 9 PM.

(3) Having a banana immediately after lunch/dinner

Banana or any fruit for that matter is easy to digest. Having fruits immediately after a meal interferes with digestion. The fruit digests quickly and starts to ferment, while the food consumed is still getting digested. 

(4) Constant snacking throughout the day

There is hardly any gap between mealtimes as we constantly munch something or the other. Even before a meal is fully digested, we keep adding more and more new foods to our stomachs. This habit interferes with our digestive juices. After eating a wholesome meal, there is no need to have a snack after an hour or so. Give at least a gap of 3 hours between main meals. And during this gap, avoid eating anything.

(5) Starting the day with tea/coffee

Guilty as charged. Among all the habits I have listed, this is the ONE habit that I need to stop. And this is the hardest to stop after years of conditioning. Tea/coffee increases acidity and also interferes with our appetite.

(6) Eating according to clock time and not as per our appetite

Eat only when you are hungry. If you are not hungry yet, wait for the hunger pangs. Hunger is a signal to indicate that our digestive system has processed the previous meal and is ready to accept a new meal. We can feed the right foods when our body is ready to digest them. There is no point in eating a super nutritious meal at 1 PM when we are not yet hungry.

(7)Eating a late dinner and immediately going to bed

Undigested food in the stomach interferes with our sleep cycle. Our body spends more time digesting the food and less time in other restorative activities that are typically taken care of during sleep. We end up feeling bloated, heavy, and sluggish in the mornings. Try to have an early dinner and give at least a gap of 2 hours before going to bed. I had summarized the benefits of having an early dinner in this post.

2021 is the year I'm gonna stop this long-ingrained habit #5🙂 Wish me luck!

Which of these habits do you plan to stop in 2021? 

P.S. Thanks to my friend Sakthi! Conversations with her triggered me to write this post :-)

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