Welcome to your 20’s, the land of your body catching up to the bad eating habits you developed as a teenager with a miraculous metabolism. After leaving high school, without a designated gym time, it gets more difficult to work physical activity into the schedule. Walking to and from class and joining intramural sports will help in college. However, once you graduate and enter the workforce, get ready to get a gym membership to stay active because work/life balance becomes a lot more complicated and time management will be paramount to your health.
These are 7 bad eating habits to kick in your 20’s to help you feel energized and healthy.
Eating until you hurt yourself
Members of the military and individuals with grandparents know the clean plate club. Once you reach your 20s, this club is exclusive for military personnel and wrestlers who need to keep their weight up. Food waste is bad, but overeating until you are sick is worse. If you feel full, stop. Don’t keep eating just because it tastes good.
Eating after 10 P.M.
If you are like me, when you stay up past 10 p.m., you start to get hungry again. Especially if you are pulling an all-nighter for a class, snacks are a must. This is a bad idea. It is okay to indulge in once in a while, but habitually is detrimental. After all, the follow-up question to any crazy dream story is, “What did you eat last night?”
Skipping the Vegetables
Teenage digestive systems are like garbage disposals. Food is churned in and out without discrimination. This is no longer the case in your 20’s. Too much fried food, sweets, and overly salty foods can sometimes be accompanied by nausea, stomach pains, or even headaches and migraines. Keeping vegetables as a staple in your daily diet will not only make you feel less guilty for skipping leg day, but it will also give your body the nutrients it needs to function.
BEFORE you open that fourth tub of Häagen Dazs ask yourself:
Am I eating even though I am not Hungry?
Am I eating because I am Angry or sad?
Am I eating because I am Lonely?
Am I eating because I am Tired? (H.A.L.T.)
These are not good reasons to eat. Sure, you might feel better in the moment, but your gut is going to hang onto that decision longer than you will probably remember whatever is making you upset. But, if you must, 60% dark chocolate Ghirardelli squares are only 50 calories.
Fast Food Binges
You are an adult now. Until you have children and they beg for McDonalds daily, fast food is now a sometimes food. Although it may be cheaper than groceries, you are paying the price when it comes to fat and oil content. Not to mention, burgers just taste better with soda and that makes everything so much worse. Your skin and your stomach will thank me.
Eating Out Every Night
There are so many perks to eating out: no dishes, variety, dessert options, atmosphere, etc. But when you habitually eat out, you are spending more money than you would on groceries and you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn cooking skills. Cooking is a good skill to learn if you want to woo someone (the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach), have kids, or keep yourself alive.
Coffee for Breakfast
Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast burn a higher percentage of calories during the day and are more productive. Coffee either by itself, with cream, with cream and sugar or (if you get Starbucks) cream, sugar, syrup, caramel, chocolate, whip, and the juice of exactly 3 coffee beans, does not pack a whole punch of nutritional value. Coffee is a morning staple for virtually every adult human but pair it with a breakfast sandwich, yogurt, bagel, or other breakfast food and you are truly adulting.
The most tragic reality is that once you reach your 20’s, your body starts to change and you have to be much more conscious of what you’re putting in your body. This is a great opportunity to expand your palate and try new foods.
Featured image from Unsplash by Thomas Kelley.