We probably don’t need to tell you that parenting can be a whirlwind. While you’re constantly running around or when you finally do get a chance to rest, you may have picked up on some of the most common bad eating habits.

Just one of these bad habits can lead to weight gain. But have no fear: we’re also giving you tips on how to avoid these habits and get back on track to healthy eating!

Here are the most common bad eating habits and how you can avoid them:

  • Skipping breakfast: If you’re already late and running out of the house, you may decide to forgo breakfast. However, skipping breakfast can slow your metabolism and prevent you from getting that boost of energy you need to get you through the day. Eating breakfast can also help you fight cravings and prevent overeating later on. To prevent skipping breakfast in a time crunch, keep a stash of yogurt, smoothies or fresh fruit for an easy grab-n-go meal.
  • Mindless eating: Studies show that the larger your plate is, the more food you’ll eat. Instead, eat from smaller dishes and practice portion control. Never eat foods straight from the packaging.
  • Snacking constantly: If you’re snacking all day, chances are you’ll eat more high-calorie foods with empty carbs. Whether you’re at home or in the office, keep healthy snacks on hand. Stock your fridge with hummus, Greek yogurt, nuts, and lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Midnight snacking: We’ve all done it: after you’ve eaten dinner, you’re craving something sweet and head straight for the ice cream. Eating at night can lead to more weight gain. Brush your teeth right after dinner to help fight those late-night temptations. If hunger pains hit, eat something small, like string cheese or fruit.
  • Eating too quickly: If you feel like you’ve been running around all day, this will most likely translate into your eating habits. However, your brain doesn’t give the signal that it’s full until 15-20 minutes after eating. Try to view mealtime as a relaxing time to reconnect with your family. Take smaller bites and make sure to chew slowly. Put your fork down between each bite to force yourself to eat slower. Also, drinking water can help you slow down and stay fuller longer.
  • Watching TV while eating: This also applies to surfing the web, constantly checking your phone or playing video games. These all lead to mindless eating and weight gain. If you have to eat and work, take frequent breaks to walk around your office or home. Take time away from the screen for a 30-minute dinner together.
  • Emotional eating: Whether we are happy or sad, we tend to overeat as a coping mechanism or as a reward. Instead of using food as an outlet, go for a walk or call a friend- anything that gets you out of the kitchen!