Three strategies to avoid overeating

Three strategies to avoid overeating
April 19, 2017

Sometimes holiday feasts are a surreal experience.

And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

The problem is that sometimes it doesn’t always stop there.

Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.

Here are three simple strategies to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) 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 (…just sayin’).

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.

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 communicate with others helps to focus your attention in the present moment and the other person; being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking a few seconds to appreciate the food and give thanks. You can also take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew more thoroughly, and savour 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.

Tip #3: Have your greens first

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 antiinflammatory, 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”.

These secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary:

Have your glass of water first, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Have your glass of water first, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid… Click To Tweet

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

● Slices of lemon & ginger
● Slices of strawberries & orange
● Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
● Chopped pineapple & mango
● Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.


References:

7 Health Benefits of Water

The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What Happens to Your Body During a Mindful Meal

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Posted in Healthy Tricks, Recipes by Mari Pizarro

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