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Three Tips to Stop Overeating at Meals

Three Tips to Stop Overeating at Meals

The winter holidays are coming and let’s agree the festivities are just amazing!

It’s not just the amount of delicious food but also the people, the decor, and the ambiance of the holiday season.

It is way too easy (and common) to go overeat on those days.  But it doesn’t always stop there.

Sometimes we indulge on regular days as well.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.  Hey, if you turn these into habits you can ditch the willpower!

Tip #1: Focus on eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits? See previous articles HERE and HERE for more.

Being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal, prevent overeating and supporting digestion.

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.

Tip #2: Have some water first

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.

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 for you!

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.

Summary

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

5 ways to enjoy water

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:

  • Chopped mango & pineapple
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Cinnamon stick & slices of apple
  • Raspberries & blueberries
  • Slices of lemon & ginger

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

  1. 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/
  2. The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What happens to your body during a mindful meal http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal