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Latest news! The eating habits you should avoid after turning 30 are the same bad eating habits you picked up during those formative years, ages 11 to 22. You probably know them: too many drive-through dinners, drinking 20-ounce sodas, inhaling bags of Doritos, eating pizza for breakfast. The problem is, at 30 and beyond, your body, your cells, your metabolism, and heck, your whole life is different.

“As a child, you were burning off all that extra energy you were consuming; as an adult, you’re probably a lot less physically active, responsible for doing a lot more, and coping with a lot more stressors of life”, says Johna Burdeos, RD and blogger. “Because of all of this, your diet plays a much bigger role in your health; you have to wake up to what you should have been paying attention to all along.”

Burdeos is not shy about sounding the alarm in your ears if it helps you adopt a healthier lifestyle. After all, she sees the results of a lifetime of poor eating habits every day in her work as a nutritionist working with very sick and long-term acute care patients.

“I worked on both sides, on an outpatient basis in preventive counseling and, in the hospital, treating chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.” So she is acutely aware of the advice that people ignore until a health issue forces them to take that advice to heart.

“Public health messages are everywhere,” she says. “The impact of diet on the body is no secret. Many people need to be diagnosed with a life-threatening condition like diabetes to get a feel for it and start making a difference.”

We’re sure you’d prefer prevention over treatment, so here are six eating habits to avoid by midlife to help you live a longer, healthier life.


“I’m human, I like my treats,” admits Burdeos. “A piece of pie once in a while won’t give you diabetes.”

But a slice of pie here, a round of Girl Scout cookies there, and a candy bar every afternoon could send your blood sugar into the prediabetes zone.

Look for patterns in the big picture, Burdeos says. One of the best ways to identify bad eating habits is to keep track of everything you eat and drink on your smartphone or notepad.

“Within two days, you’ll notice eating habits that you’ll want to start breaking,” she says.

man and woman drinking soda in a restaurant

“One thing I never budge on is sugary drinks,” Burdeos says. “Customers will try to compromise that, but I’m not budging because large studies, meta-analyses show a strong association between sodas and other sugary drinks and weight gain and increased risk of disease.”

Start weaning yourself off the sugary stuff gradually. Drink water. You don’t need the extra calories from sugary drinks, she says.

Need more motivation? Find out what happens to your body when you drink soda.

woman eating chips

There’s a term for that: mindless eating. That’s what happens when you binge-watch Netflix and don’t realize you ate the whole pint of ice cream before episode three. We often get into the habit of mindless eating when we are stressed.

“Looking to food for coping and comfort is a common habit that leads to overeating,” says Burdeos.

The solution is to recognize when you are stressed and choose to be present and aware.

“Practice mindful eating,” Burdeos says. “Start small and realistic. I recommend choosing one meal a day, maybe a weekend when you have more time. Remove all distractions and be present with your meal. Eat slowly. Enjoy. “

Food should be enjoyed, not shoveled in your mouth.

rushing woman

Skipping meals to lose weight or trying diets that are too restrictive will backfire.

“These only cause long-term damage at the expense of short-term gain, and your weight loss will mostly just be water weight,” Bordeos warns.

The greatest danger of habitual food denial is getting sucked into yo-yo dieting.

“This signals the primitive part of your brain to go into survival mode, which lowers your metabolism and causes the body to hang on to every calorie,” Burdeos explains. “It causes that weight to come back on and to add insult to injury, you’ll probably add some extra weight too.”

woman holding apple and chocolate, having cravings

Don’t fight your cravings; they are too powerful.

“Allow yourself to satisfy a craving,” advises Burdeos. “When you get too strict and try to suppress cravings, you’ll abuse it later.”

There is a technique to satisfy a craving without overeating. You guessed it: mindfulness.

“Be in the moment and savor your pleasure,” Burdeos says.

fast food

Flying it means making quick decisions on the fly. This can be dangerous when it comes to your diet. If you wait until you’re hungry to find out what to eat, you’ll inevitably end up choosing fast food and processed foods, such as canned or packaged foods full of preservatives, refined grains, and sugar. The antidote to this bad eating habit is planning.

“Food quality is something I preach; it takes knowledge and time to make those best choices,” Burdeos says.

For example, Burdeos says you must first understand the dangers of too many saturated and trans fats before you can make an effort to eat healthier fats like olive oil, flaxseed, avocado and omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish. Planning also helps you control portions.

“When you start practicing mindful eating, use measuring cups to control portions,” says Burdeos. “Not all the time, just at the beginning when you learn what a healthy portion looks like.”

These are all habits that many of us have taken years or even decades to develop, which is why Burdeos recommends being patient with yourself by taking small steps to break them.