We all do it. Sometimes the amazing aroma and delicious flavor gets the best of us. Especially if we’re a bit on the hungry 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 we often (usually) eat amazingly healthy foods.
But those holiday feasts are just amazing.
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.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals:
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.
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.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
If you’ve read my blog Mindful Eating, you know that I’m a huge advocate for eating mindfully. (If you haven’t read it you can click here)
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 savoring 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.
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 fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.
You can use just one of these practices or all of them at the same meal to help avoid overeating.
Do you have a method that prevents you from overeating? Please share it with us in the comments below!