We all do it. Sometimes the amazing aroma and delicious flavour gets the best of us – especially if we’re a bit on the hungry (or hangry) side!
I’m talking about overeating at meals.
This can have a big impact on our weight, energy levels, and overall health and well being. Of course our body needs food to fuel it and most of us try to eat healthy foods as often as we can.
But there are still times when we have a tendency to overeat – it happens to the best of us!
In this post, I am going to share with you three solid tips for preventing that from happening. If you can make these three things a regular habit and part of your daily routine, then you will stay ahead of the cravings that lead to overeating!
Often it is the holidays that can be our downfall with the abundance of delicious food everywhere (Easter is coming up which means chocolate and treats!) It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there – sometimes we overeat on regular day, or at regular meals, or all the time as we rush around with busy schedules and get in to the habit of mindless eating.
Here are three tips to avoid you avoid this trap:
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food, it’s too easy to fill a plate and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss – it’s true!
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism. A win-win!
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites. Now that is mindful eating!
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish, but don’t start there!
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
So to sum things up, have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.