I think we’d all agree that celebration feasts are amazing. It’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance. It’s way too easy (and fairly common) to indulge on those days.
But what happens when the party is over and the overeating isn’t?
That’s real life. Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or … All. The. Time.
Overeating becomes the norm rather than the exception at celebrations and holiday time.
So what’s a gal/guy to do? Here are three tips 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 the aroma of delicious food it’s so easy to fill a plate (or grab some tidbits with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast. I can see you rolling your eyes, but bear with me on this.
Studies have shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. Bascially you’re leaving less room for a food fest, so you’ll be more discerning about what you put on your plate. Which means, you’ll actually choose what you really want to eat rather than randomly pile up your plate like it’s an all you can eat buffet. And if weight loss is your goal, this super-simple tip may even help you shed a few unwanted pounds. As a side benefit, staying hydrated has been shown to slight boost your metabolism.
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 slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This helps prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less. Why is this? When you eat quickly it’s easy to 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: Start with the salad
You may be tempted to begin your meal with a rich, hearty main entree.
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 help fill you up and therefore, 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.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Do you have a tip that helps you avoid overeating at meals? Share it below. I’m always looking for new ways to stay on track!
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re like me, sometimes plain water just won’t cut it. To make it more appealing to your senses, here are six delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit and veggie combos to add to your H2O:
- Slices of lemon & ginger
- Slices of strawberries & orange
- Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
- Chopped pineapple & mango
- Blueberries & raspberries
- Lemon and basil (a real crowd pleaser created by my good friend Patricia Riddle)
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.