8 Ways To Break Your Bad Eating Habits

Bid farewell to eating habits of the past.

2020 was a difficult year in so many ways  – and many of us put healthy eating on the sidelines and reached to comfort food to help deal with the global pandemic! Dr. Joey Shuman is helping you break some of the bad habits we may have formed and help us get back on track!


Tip #1: Pay attention to your hunger cues

Try not to eat past the point of fullness – ask yourself “does my body want food or does it want something else?” Sometimes we mistake dehydration, boredom, etc. for hunger.


Tip #2: Prepare whole food snacks you can grab when hungry

Prepare snacks like apple and natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt with berries, smoothie, dried fruit, healthy trail mix, healthy protein bar, instead of reaching for junk food.


Tip #3: Clean out the junk cupboard

Doing a cupboard and fridge audit by removing the “bad stuff”, which can be tempting to indulge in especially if stressed! Do not eat from a box- always portion out into a smaller bowl or container. Some examples of foods that people tend to overeat from boxes: crackers, popcorn, chips, trail mix, etc.


Tip #4: Watch after dinner eating

This is often where I lose people (i.e. they started their day off well only not to finish it as well). Some foods to eat after dinner to promote weight loss and weight management include raw crunchy veggies, vegetable soup, unsweetened apple sauce, frozen homemade popsicles, etc.


Tip #5: Drink Water

Hydration is so important when it comes to breaking bad habits since dehydration causes us to crave certain foods that we otherwise would have the willpower to stay away from and sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Aim to drink 2L of water a day or more.

Drop the all-or-nothing mindset, accept the fact that you will likely slip up a few times when trying to break a bad habit and plan for when you do. This will prevent feelings of frustration and failure.


Tip #6: Change your environment

If there is an environmental trigger that is triggering a bad habit, change it up. For example, if you have a take-out menu drawer in your kitchen, get rid of those menus so you are not tempted to order Chinese food every time you open that drawer.


Tip #7: Practice visualization

Research shows that visualization helps form new habits and break old ones. Visualize new habits in replacement of the ones you are trying to break (ex. visualize yourself coming home from work and going on a long walk rather than reaching into the junk drawer for handfuls of chips).


Tip #8: Hire a professional

If you have given it a solid shot and you aren’t seeing success, hire a professional to help you and keep you on track for success (ex. nutritionist, therapist, etc.)