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Bad Eating Habits You Should Give Up Immediately, Say Dietitians

These habits are harmful for your overall health and are worth getting rid of in the upcoming year.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

If you entered into the new year with a handful of health goals in mind, you are most likely looking for ways to easily achieve these goals in a timely manner.

Your daily eating habits are a great place to start when it comes to making health shifts in your life. And to help you figure out which habits you may want to skip this year, we've talked with a couple expert dietitians to get their input.

Here are their recommendations for the eating habits you should avoid moving forward, and for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out Eating Habits That Jumpstart Weight Loss.

Skipping meals

man not eating

According to registered dietitian Cindy Dallow, PhD, RD, skipping meals and ignoring your body's natural hunger is actually one of the worst eating habits you can have for your health.

"When you ignore hunger, your body will only get hungrier over the next few hours and the chances of binge eating increase exponentially," says Dallow, "and this is especially true if you are under any kind of stress (or tired), so it's better to eat something that will satisfy your cravings and eat it in a positive, intentional way and go on about your day."

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Eating too many processed foods

frozen pizza

Dallow also warns that regularly consuming ultra-processed foods—which include sugary cereal, packaged baked goods, candy, frozen pizza, and soda—can be a harmful habit for your overall health.

"Processed food typically has more [saturated] fats (the kind that clogs arteries), sodium, and pro-inflammatory ingredients, so eating them on a regular basis can seriously affect your health in a negative way," she says.

Snacking on unhealthy snacks

processed foods

Eating healthy snacks can be a helpful part of your day, especially because it can help your metabolism and keep you from binging at meals. However, it's important to try and limit your "unhealthy" snacks like chips, cookies, and candy.

"Snacks high in sugar and sodium can actually lower your energy levels and have other negative health side effects, such as weight gain," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness, "so the next time you get that hunger strike, try eating a healthy protein bar or make a protein shake because protein has many benefits to helping you stay full longer and lose weight."

50 Healthiest Snacks to Eat for Weight Loss

Eating fast food

fast food burgers

The convenience and affordability of fast food are hard to beat, especially on your busiest days. But experts warn that regularly visiting the drive-thru can negatively impact your health.

"Many of the ingredients used in fast food are high in fats, sugar, and sodium," says D'Angelo, "for example, a Big Mac contains 540 calories alone, then add the fries (220 calories) and a soft drink (another 220 calories) and you're looking at a fast caloric intake of over 1,000."

If you're able to look ahead at your week, you can possibly try stocking up on healthy snacks or to-go options to help limit your consumption of fast food.

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha