Sick and fed-up of being the person who eats too much? Do you dread getting on the scales after another day in which you know you went beyond your limit? In this article, Beauty and Tips offers up 10 tips on how to avoid overeating.
Overeating often happens when we aren’t even aware of it. We’re munching away on a bowl of Nachos during the latest Jake Gyllenhaal thriller when we look down and see three empty bowls of Nachos on the table. How and when did that happen?! It happened primarily because we weren’t being attentive – or mindful. Without focusing on what we’re eating and how much we’re eating, we stuff our faces without even realising it. You know this because it’s happened to you. Perhaps you took some candy into work and got through it all in one day, again without even realising what you were doing. Overeating is like this. It happens seemingly beyond our control. The solution? Get back control. It sounds simple, but the great thing is that it is simple. Let’s take a look at 10 tips on how to avoid overeating.
Focus on your eating
As mentioned, our eating can easily get out of control when we’re not focusing on the act of eating. Instead, we’re dipping our hands in and out of a big bag of potato chips, while we scroll through our Facebook news feed. We eat butter-coated popcorn, while we’re absorbed in a romcom. We dip in and out of sugary candy as we work at the laptop. When you don’t focus on the food, you lose control over how much you’re eating. It might sound incredibly boring, but the best way to prevent overeating is to focus on the act of eating itself. This means turning off all distractions – your phone, your laptop, your TV – and just focus on your food. Notice each bite and chew. Acknowledge everything you put into your mouth. It will be much easier to stop when you know you’ve had enough.
Drink more water
This is another great tip on how to avoid overeating. You might assume that water can’t fill you up – but you’d be wrong. Our bodies need LOTS of water. Most of us, however, get a lot of our water intake from food, rather than a glass of water. As such, whenever our body is craving water, it tricks us into thinking we’re hungry. Consequently, we overeat. The next time you’re hungry at an odd time, drink a glass of water and see what happens.
Get your five a day
There is a myth going around that hunger responds to calories. This is not true. Rather, hunger actually responds to volumes. What this means is that you can eat your five fruit and veg a day and feel just as full as if you had eaten your usual sugary treats or snacks. If you want to be extra-extra filled up by fruit and veg, aim for those that are rich in fibre, such as apples.
Eat little and often
Why are the Japanese so much smaller in size than Americans? It’s because they eat small meals – and they eat them frequently, and it’s a good tip on how to avoid overeating. People scoff at the size of sushi plate. But by eating small meals often, you’re training your body not to overeat. The more often you eat, the less tempted you’ll be to overindulge at dinner time. For many of us, there is no need to eat as much as we think we need to. Which bring us to …
Eat from a smaller plate
The average plate used to be smaller than the ones we eat from now. They got bigger sometime in the 1960s. Why? Perhaps to encourage us to eat more! The problem is that there is a psychology behind all this. Remember when your mom used to scold you for not finishing the plate? We were left to feel shame for not finishing our meal, and sometimes mom would even ground us if we didn’t clear the plate! If you still feel as though not clearing the plate means that you’re wasting good food, while children are starving in other countries…The best thing to do is to eat from a smaller plate. It’s a super simple hack that really works. And if you’re worried that you won’t be quite as satisfied? Try it and see how filled up you feel! Also, remember that the Japanese eat from much smaller plates than we do.
Always eat breakfast
It’s a well-known fact among dieticians and nutritionists that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat more throughout the day than those who eat breakfast. Why? Because breakfast kickstarts our metabolism. It sets the tone for the rest of the day, fuels us up until lunch – and therefore prevents us from raiding the snacks cupboard at work in the morning. Many people skip breakfast because it’s become a habit – a bad habit. Eating a hearty, protein-filled breakfast will fuel you up in the morning, and stop you from overindulging as the day goes along. You won’t feel like it – you’ll already be too full and satisfied! Ideas for breakfast include oatmeal with quinoa and fresh fruit, a fruit, vegetable and yogurt smoothie, and scrambled eggs with salmon. YUM.
Eat a salad before a big meal
Next good tip on how to avoid overeating is to suppress your appetite somewhat before a big meal by eating a salad first.
Add more protein to your diet
Protein is essential if you want to stop overeating. Not only does it fill you up, but it also helps you to build more calorie-burning muscle mass. Where to get your protein? There are all kinds of sources! Meat eaters can stick to tuna, chicken, turkey and grass-fed beef, while vegetarians can eat more eggs. Vegans? Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids – in other words, amino acids that your body doesn’t produce itself. Vegans can also add more beans to their diet.
Give yourself a reward
Literally, how to avoid overeating? The best thing to do is to go cold turkey but give yourself a reward at the end of the week. If you can go a whole week without overeating, allow yourself some ice cream on Sunday. Also …
Don’t buy snacks
It’s simple: If there are no snacks in the house, you can’t overeat!
Do you have other tips on how to avoid overeating?
Stay happy and healthy!