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Five Signs of Unhealthy Eating Habits

When you are eating, you may think that what you’re eating is perfectly fine. However, if you sometimes or often feel discomfort after eating, this could be a sign of poor eating habits.

Poor eating habits include under- or over-eating, not consuming enough healthy foods each day, or consuming too much of one type of food or drink—which are low in fiber or high in fat, salt, or sugar. 1

Highlighted below are five major signs of unhealthy eating habits and tips on how you can begin changing your diet for the better to improve your overall health and well-being.

Excess Gas

Gas is one of the most common symptoms of an unhealthy diet. This often occurs because the foods you are eating are not reacting well with the bacteria in your stomach, which can result in gas and flatulence.

Excess gas may be a reason to change your diet: consider taking out foods containing gluten or dairy in case of intolerance, or limiting the consumption of carbonated beverages as they have been known to cause excess gas. 2

In addition to changing up your diet, a great way to combat excess gas if it is present is by using peppermint essential oil. Research suggests that peppermint essential oil is an excellent remedy for bloating because it relaxes the smooth muscles in the intestines, allowing digestive gas to pass through more quickly.

In a 2007 study, 57 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were given peppermint oil-coated capsules. After four weeks of treatment, 75 percent of patients reported reduced bloating and gas. 3

Though peppermint essential oil may be great for remedying gas, not having to deal with this often uncomfortable problem in the first place is definitely preferable and changing up your diet and thinking about whether you might partake in some of the unhealthy eating habits mentioned above is a great place to start.

unhealthy eating - Salad

Always Hungry

You may think that you are just hungry because your body has metabolized the food you have already, and it needs to have more food, but your hunger could actually be a result of your meals not having the right types of nutrients.

For example, foods high in sugar or sodium, simple carbohydrates, and soda might convince you that you’re full—a cheeseburger with fries and a soda do seem like a full meal—but they will be processed much more quickly by the body, causing you to become hungry more quickly. 4

Because of this, you will likely eat meals total per day and eat more frequently than if you were eating nutrient dense foods filled with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Additionally, try drinking water before a meal as this will allow you to better control eating to satiety rather than compensating for both hunger and thirst, a practice which could also potentially aid in weight loss. 5

Unhealthy Eating Pancakes

Cutting Out Certain Foods

As health becomes more frequently discussed in society, advertisement of different fad diets is on the rise: low carb, low sugar, no dairy, intermittent fasting, juice cleanses, etc. Although some of these lifestyle changes can provide a range benefits—for example, cutting out dairy might be a great option if you suspect that you’re lac tose intolerant—others may simply not be right for your body.

If so, this can lead to you having a worse mood or simply being more prone to bingeing on unhealthy foods later because you’re deprived of calories and nutrients on the diet that you may have selected. With nutrition, moderation is key, and despite the perceived benefits when advertised, these diets may cause more harm than good.

Most food groups have their own very important benefits for the body, and research has indicated that cutting out an entire food group is not an effective means of losing weight and may, in fact, be unhealthier than eating those foods. 6

Skin Breakouts

While you may think that the skin breakouts would stop when you finished puberty, you will find that a poor diet can result in breakouts. This could be due to Vitamin A deficiency because Vitamin A plays an important role in keeping the skin clear and healthy. Other culprits for causing breakouts on the skin include sweets and carbs, greasy foods, and dairy products. 7

Headache Unhealthy Eating Memory Loss

If you are not receiving proper nutrients or are eating a low-calorie diet, this will have a negative effect on several body processes. This might make it more difficult to remember information, such as facts for an upcoming exam. 8


Having an unhealthy diet is not something that should be taken lightly and can result in a range of health issues. Noticing signs of unhealthy eating habits and taking the necessary steps to implement healthy changes is key for improving overall health and wellness.

Photo Credits: NatashaBreen/, olgakim93/, BillionPhotos/

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