"You are what you eat" is a perfect saying because the nutrition habits you practice now have a huge effect on your overall health tomorrow. The right eating habits will help you lose weight, gain muscle and even reduce your risk of disease.
1. Skipping Meals. When you're trying to lose weight or tone up, reducing your calorie intake is your key to success. Though it may appear helpful to skip meals in order to save calories, this is a very bad idea both in terms of health and success of your diet. When you skip meals, you get hungry which leads to cravings. Since cravings are rarely for salads or other healthy snacks, you'll probably go binge on some Chinese food, pizza or other junk that will add way too many calories to your daily intake. Eating small and frequent meals will keep you from getting these cravings which will ultimately help you reduce your calorie intake.
2. Eating Out. Eating out on a regular basis will wreak havoc on your overall health or diet (if you're on one). Portions are way too big, the ingredients used aren't healthy and the nutrient count is most likely very low. This is a combination for an unhealthy meal. Eating out once in a while (even fast food) can actually be good for your diet. It will allow you to enjoy yourself while still eating healthy most of the time. The problem is when you rely on eating out for the majority of your meals.
3. Eating Unhealthy Snacks. Snacks bridge the time between meals and can help prevent cravings for unhealthy binges. Stuffing yourself full of chips, sodas and candy will make a big chunk of your calorie intake unhealthy. Eating healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, salads and seeds will add nutrients, fiber and a good source of energy to your diet.
4. Drinking Calories. Drinking too many of your calories is unhealthy and can lead to a higher body fat percentage. Drinks such as soda, fruit juice and sweet tea are filled with empty calories - they're loaded with calories but offer little in the way of any nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They're also digested and absorbed very quickly leaving you hungry and wanting more. The effect of this will be you eating more throughout the day. Liquid calories do nothing to fill you up. Replacing these high calorie drinks with water will help you improve your health, lower your body fat percentage and lose weight.
5. Not Reading a Nutrition Label. Nutrition labels are filled with accurate and valuable information that you can use to judge the health of a food. Judging a food by what the front of the package says is a mistake that manufacturers hope you make. The nutrition label can give you information on calories, trans fat, sodium levels, ingredients and nutrient content. Buying a product simply because it says, "all natural" or, "can reduce your cholesterol levels" isn't a good way of ensuring that your diet is made up of quality foods.
The Bottom Line
Ditching the bad eating habits outlined above will go a long way in improving your overall health. Improving your eating habits can help you with a wide range of goals including improving your body composition and even reducing your disease risk.