It’s not always possible to remember everything that passes our lips, every single hour of every single day. Sometimes, we make harmful eating mistakes that are bad for our health, and only adds empty calories to our bodies. We gain weight and not many important nutrients with the bad food that we eat, knowingly or unknowingly, throughout the day. 

More importantly, most of us have a few bad habits regarding what we eat and don’t eat every day. Some people only make a minimum of mistake and some people make a lot of mistakes, but they can all be harmful to us in the end. 

This is a list of the most common food and eating mistakes we make in our lives, whether knowingly or unknowingly, that can be extremely bad for our overall health. 

  • Skipping Breakfast 

This is rule number one of a healthy lifestyle: you shouldn’t skip breakfast under any circumstances. However, this is something we all do at least a few times every week, if not every day: we skip out on breakfast either because we are late for work in the morning or because we can’t eat immediately after waking up.  But this is not the right way to start the day! Whether you sit down to have a large breakfast or you grab a toast and a coffee on the way, you need to start your day with breakfast. 

Skipping breakfast means that you are starting the day on an empty stomach, which results in a lower energy level and low blood sugar. This will also lead you to order something extremely unhealthy for lunch and overeating simply because you have skipped lunch, thus taking on twice the calories. 

Your breakfast doesn’t need to be something elaborate and lengthy. If you are truly in a hurry, simply munching on a piece of whole-wheat toast or an egg, paired with a cup of coffee, should be enough to give you energy for a few hours. 

Only one diet allows you to skip breakfast, which is Intermittent Fasting, and it’s only because this diet follows a 16/8 method of eating. 

  • Not Drinking Enough Water 

We have always known how important drinking water is for us, but still, most of us manage to live on less than one litre of water every day. Water is the best drink for your body – one that keeps your body hydrated and helps our body to flush out toxins. 

More than 60 per cent of our body is water, and keeping this level of water intact inside the body keeps our memory sharp, our mood steady and focus strong. We lose a lot of this water every day, through sweating and every time we go to the toilet. 4 litres or 13 cups of water is the universal water requirement for any adult man and woman (give and take a few cups depending on the weather and body type) that can help us keep fit. 

  • Eating Too Later at Night 

Dinner should be completed by 8 o’clock at night, several hours before you go to bed. One of the biggest mistakes we make is to wait till very late at night to have a heavy dinner, and immediately go to bed. This can cause indigestion at night, especially if you had something spicy for dinner. Your entire dinner should be digested properly at night before you head off to bed – that’s the golden rule. 

There’s another reason why dinner should be completed early. Researchers have found out that a long gap between your two most important meals of the day helps your body to process the food better and to lose more weight. This is the concept of Intermittent Fasting, which is one of the most popular eating lifestyle these days. 

  • Adding Salt to your Food 

Many of us have the habit of adding a dash (or more) of salt to our food, just because we like the taste. This tiny little habit is actually one of the biggest eating mistakes we can make, as the sodium in salt can make us feel bloated and dehydrates our body. 

It is one thing to add salt to our cooking (which should also be reduced to a minimum amount), but adding raw salt to our food is the more harmful habit. Both processed food like chips and crackers and restaurant cooked meals are high in salt and should be avoided. At home, food can be flavoured with other herbs and spices, reducing the amount of salt. 

  • Eating When you are not Hungry 

This is something we all do at times – eat because we are bored, watching television, simply feeling like a snack, craving for something sweet or salty, or in the middle of a gossip session with friends, or waiting for someone at a café. These are just empty calories we are putting in our body because most of the time we snack on something unhealthy and unnecessary. 

Anything you do when bored, craving or waiting is better than eating. Find yourself little distractions so that you are not drawn to a snack; it could be anything from reading to playing a game on your phone. Eat only when you are hungry, not just because you want to eat! 

  • Finishing Off a Plate  

This habit is seen more in women than men; women are often found finishing off their children’s plate because they don’t like to waste, or overeating from their own plates for the same reason. It might not seem such a big deal when you are eating the last pieces of fries from your teenager’s platter or eating the vegetable leftover from dinner, but even a 100-calorie extra intake will lead to a lot in a few months. 

If you have leftovers and you don’t want to waste, keep them packed and ready for your next meal, the next time you are hungry. If you’ve ordered more than you can finish at a restaurant, bring the leftover home for your dinner or breakfast the next day. Stop piling on food on your child’s plate and instead, add more if they still seem hungry after finishing off their food. 

  • Supersizing our Meals 

Most of the time, we think of meals outside in terms of cost and not calories. We order something because we can afford it, and don’t mind paying a little extra for a larger platter. However, by adding only a few dollars, we are also adding hundreds of calories to our diet. 

Even when we are overdoing healthy cereals and fruits – an additional handful of cereal or an extra banana – we are unnecessarily adding calories to our plate. We can overdo healthy food simply by supersizing our meals; we should only order or cook the amount we can eat, and not more than that. 

These, and many other such mistakes, are what we make every day in our lives, some unknowingly, and some because we can’t help it. These may seem very simple, tiny little habits to us, but they can set us back in our journey to living a healthy life.