Unhealthy Eating Habits
Written Exclusively By Nadia Alterio-Lemmon

Many women today are victims of seriously unhealthy eating behaviors. Ironically, many of them know their behavior is consequential, but would rather jeopardize their health to 'look good' than to try and follow a healthy eating regimen. In a nutshell, this type of ritualistic behavior is all about weight loss or weight maintenance. Most women will try every and any thing that seems like a short cut to achieve their success. These ladies are the ones who are not making a point of educating themselves about the safest and healthiest ways to reach their goals. Fortunately, these are also the easiest people to work with because you know they take their weight seriously and will commit to the right program. They only need the right path laid before them. However, because many women want results through the quickest means possible, they still end up taking steps backward before they move forward.

Over the years, I have counseled a number of women and have noticed that many of them share the same unhealthy eating habits. I would like to point out that there are plenty eating behaviors that all women share, but I have chosen to address only these ten because of the self-destruction involved. I know for a fact that we all are related to someone who is guilty of least one of them. PLEASE, if it's you, let this serve as an eye opener and allow it to motivate you to make the changes necessary to become a healthier and smarter woman! It is also important to remind you that there are 6 essential nutrients that our bodies require for health, growth, maintenance and development. These are protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. If we deprive ourselves of any one these nutrients, then we are jeopardizing not only our physical health, but our mental health as well, each through mal-nourishment. Any nutrition educator will tell you that your body needs these nutrients to maintain itself. A deficiency in any one of these life sustaining nutrients could be detrimental. Don Lemmon tells clients each day, "Your body needs essential fats, good protein and complex carbohydrates for energy, healing, health, existence AND fat loss or muscle building. Deplete yourself of any one of the three and you're heading for defeat." Another excellent nutritional educator that I recommend is Dr. Christine Northrup Ph D. Her recently revised book, "Women's Bodies, Women's Minds: The Connection" is an absolute masterpiece and includes information for all ages, especially for women over 40. Ladies, let's live a life filled with love, vitality and self fulfillment. The following ten habits are so easy to break.....

1. YOU'RE A CAFFEINE-A-HOLIC! If you feel that you can't function properly without your usual morning cup of brew or that you can't go a day without it at some point, then YOU are addicted to caffeine. Caffeine consumed in large amounts on a regular basis is one of the most unhealthy and harmful things that you can do to yourself! If you're unsure of whether or not you are addicted to caffeine, test yourself by trying to go without it for 3 days. If you find that you get a headache or that you are very fatigued, then yes, you are addicted to caffeine. Caffeine is an addictive substance that stimulates our central nervous system and in turn affects the function of important vital organs such as our heart, kidneys, and adrenals. Please, if you are abusing caffeine, make an effort to STOP immediately, or to at least cut back. If you have a cup of coffee and begin to get drowsy, LAY OFF FOR AT LEAST A WEEK! You are DESTROYING your adrenal glands! Caffeine can be consumed in a number of forms. Tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and even decaffeinated coffee contains small amounts of it. Reserve this drink for before a workout or other luxurious moments and limit yourself to 4 times a week but never before 12 noon or after 8 pm. .

2. YOU EAT ONLY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! I can't tell you how many women I have encountered who are guilty of this. Eating only fruits and vegetables is not the way to go. In a nutshell, all you are doing is eating fibrous carbs and simple sugars thus depriving yourself of the essential nutrients found in protein, fats, and other complex carbohydrates. If this is you, I'll bet that most of the time, you are either hungry to the point where you are starving or you feel really bloated, gassy, and are emotionally irregular. If you continue, you will eventually end up with either an inflamed bowel, a serious ulcer, a tiresome physical appearance or a very slow metabolism. You need protein, essential fats and complex carbohydrates for optimal functioning. Fruit and vegetable foods are essential but they burn like paper towels in a coal stove. You need slow burning fuel that nourishes you. Do not limit yourself of fats and proteins. It's foolish.

3. YOU RESTRICT YOURSELF TO ONLY 1 MEAL A DAY! This is alarmingly common. We all know or have met someone who is guilty of this. THIS IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS SOLUTION. IF YOU ARE GUILTY, THEN STOP IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IN THE END IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU FAT! Following this type of eating regimen can be very harmful to your health because again, you are depriving your body from many essential nutrients that can not possibly be consumed in only one meal a day (taking supplements or not). You are not getting the required minerals, essential fats and vitamins that your body needs to be healthy by only one or two food groups. There are 12. Further, your metabolism will slow right down because you are not giving your body enough calories to think straight. Thus, when you do increase the number of meals you ingest, you will end up putting weight on, especially if you're not exercising because the metabolism has quit. That's why you bloat. But if you eat more meals regularly, the bloating, and the body fat, will disappear.

4. YOU AVOID MEAT AT ALL COSTS! If this is you, ask yourself why is it that the majority of fit and lean people today eat meat? If you find that you can't answer this, then why are you depriving yourself of yet another essential nutrient? Because someone told you to? Please. Look at them too. Unless you are a die hard vegetarian or allergic to meat, there's no reason why you shouldn't be eating it. Besides, NO ONE is allergic to all meats, only some. And plants have lives too. Not eating meat because it had a heart beat is like saying our ancestors were wrong by doing it too. Let me make this abundantly clear, MEAT WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT OR BULGING WITH MUSCLE IF EATEN IN MODERATION! When cooked to your preference, a nice lean healthy cut of steak is actually good for you. If red meat isn't your thing, then try some other form of protein such as chicken breast, tuna, salmon, etc. It's all good! Experiment if you have to find the source of protein that works for you. Your bodies need protein for muscle growth, tissue repair and a beautiful healthy appearance. Yes, tofu and cottage cheese counts!

5. YOU ARE ADDICTED TO ASPARTAME! OK, I confess, I was guilty of this at one point also. Please pay special attention to this one because it has now been proven after an extensive amount of research that ASPARTAME can kill you. SO STOP RIGHT NOW! Most aspartame victims don't have a clue that aspartame may be the cause of their many ailments! Aspartame converts to dangerous byproducts that have no natural counter measures. A dieter's empty stomach accelerates these conversions and amplifies the damage. Components of aspartame go straight to the brain, and this damage causes headaches, mental confusion, blindness, seizures and faulty balance. Don't be fooled by sugar substitutes, they are detrimental to your health. If you must have some form of sweetness for taste, then try STEVIA, an all natural sugar substitute that you can get in either liquid or powder form. Otherwise, you just may go blind.

6. YOU LIVE ON SALADS! I once knew a lady that seriously thought she could live on salads and salads alone. Absolutely crazy! It's funny how so many people still think that eating salads is the only way to lose weight. I remember watching an episode of The Cosby Show once where Bill was told by his doctor that his cholesterol was high and that he had to watch what he ate. From then on, his wife fed him salads at every meal and the funny thing about it was that with any opportunity that he had to cheat, he would. It made a very humorous episode, but on a serious note, he was experiencing the need for REAL food because his body was, you guessed it, deprived of nutrients not possibly found in salads alone. Salads alone will not fill you up, nor will it keep the weight off.

7. YOU ABUSE SUPPLEMENTS! If you are one of the many that foolishly think that by taking additional vitamins alone or, calcium pills, fat burners, meal replacements etc. will make up for what you don't get through meals, then you are kidding yourself. This can be DANGEROUS to your health and even TOXIC. Taking an additional multivitamin will not make up for the nutrition to be gained from eating real food and most supplements are just CHEMICALS. Aside from the nutrients and minerals you receive from food and because it's almost impossible to meet all recommended doses through meals alone, you need supplements but you would still really only require the following 3 supplements. A multi vitamin, a liquid mineral and essential fatty acids. Don Lemmon will tell you that this is the key to optimal health and healthy weight maintenance too. "This is what you MUST HAVE to succeed, burn fat, build muscle, survive and if you use these three products daily, and in most cases, NOTHING MORE is needed. If you take a multi vitamin, it only addresses 20% of your body's needs. Fatty acids are 10%, but this is misleading as it is the 10% necessary for you to build muscle, burn fat and regulate hormones. And minerals are the other 70%. Skip your 2 tbs of minerals and you will realize what you are missing only after you have started supplementing with them."

8. YOU NEVER EAT BREAKFAST! At some point in our lives, I'm sure that may of you thought that this was also the answer to maintaining your weight. You probably thought it would allow you to have control over your appetite throughout the day. Not true. Not eating breakfast not only deprives you of the nutrients you need to kick start your body each morning but it also leads to the loss of muscle tissue. This in turn will leave you flabby and fat without much muscle tone. The body eats muscle tissue in search of lost nutrients when you are not providing it with sufficient amounts of food and to top it off your metabolism will slow right down again. Even if you start with just toast this week. Add a fruit next week. A yogurt the next. Build up slowly to doing the right thing if necessary. Work towards having a full breakfast.

9. YOU SKIP MEALS SO YOU CAN EAT MORE LATER! The only people I know that do this are over weight and usually uncomfortable in a bathing suit. You know the type, yes, the ones who wear t-shirts over their swim wear when they go on vacation. Some claim they do not over eat, but they are still out of shape even though they exercise daily. It's common, but just as common are people who refuse to accept this is what skipping meals will result in. Again, it only slows the metabolism down. Skip a meal and you set yourself back a day. Skip 4 meals and you are behind a half week. Do it 2 days in a row and you are allowing your friends to sit back and watch how fat you get.

10. YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH COUNTING CALORIES AND FAT GRAMS! The bottom line is that most women need at least 1800 calories a day. It is not as important as how many grams of fat you have, but whether or not you eat right at all. Don't limit your fat, but you shouldn't try to see how much you can ingest either. Shooting for 6 meals or snacks of 300 calories each a day and allowing 3 or four meals to contain 100 calories of good fats is probably going to do you more good than harm. I should know. Until I started having the right fats again, I lost my menstrual cycle for a full 2 years on a low fat diet. So if you are wasting time calculating fat grams and every little calorie ingested, DON'T! Just be sensible about it. The object is to eat ENOUGH, not to LIMIT yourself. As long as you follow the KNOW HOW 12 Food Group rules, you will always remain on top!