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.
Yep, I’m talking about indulging just that little too much at meals.
This can have quite an impact on our weight, energy levels, and overall health and well being. Of course our body needs food to fuel it and we often (usually) eat amazingly healthy foods, but we may still overeat.
In this post I’m going to give you three solid tips for preventing that from happening. Seriously! If you can make these three things a regular habit and part of your daily routine you’ve got one up on the overeating cravings.
The holidays are just about upon us, and along with fun in the sun and family get togethers comes amazing feasts just ready to tickle our taste buds. 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 at the table on those days. And you know what, sometimes…..that’s ok. If you follow a certain way of eating on a consistent basis, it can actually be healthy to cut yourself some slack and enjoy the moment, rather than stressing over splurging at your family’s feast.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time. And this is what I’m talking about.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
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 (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 down to the main meal, leaving less room for the feast, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase 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 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 #3: Start with the salad (or veg).
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.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at your everyday meals. If you’ve got that under control, then remember…..enjoy your holidays and don’t stress in the moment if you over-indulge – just don’t make it a regular thing!
Want some other ideas to help you feel great and avoid that “meh” feeling? Then check out my FREE eBook which not only includes some of the ideas above, but other ones for you to try.
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. Try your festive hat on and see what combos you can create :-).
- 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 that uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.