We all do it. Sometimes the amazing aroma and delicious flavors get the best of us. Especially if we're a bit on the hungry (or hangry) side.
I'm talking about overeating at meals.
This can definitely 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, even then, we may still overeat. Right?
So today I plan on giving you at least three solid tips for preventing that from happening. Plus, if you turn these tips into habits, you’ll never have to rely on willpower again.
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 an interesting fact is that when the body is dehydrated, it can sometimes confuse the sensation of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be in need of a big glass of H2O rather than a fist full of food.
Some studies support the notion that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And studies further suggest that this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss – not just by making you feel full, but because proper hydration encourages your metabolism to function at its peak.
Tip #2: Do the “mindful” eating thing… No, it’s not hokey! Applying mindfulness to your eating habits can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as meditation helps focus your attention on your breathing - being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
You can accomplish this by taking smaller bites, eating deliberately slower, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate every nuance like the smell, taste and texture of your meal.
Take your time and never “wolf down” your meal because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. This means speed-eating is your enemy. Don’t do it.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of your TV or computer screen), eat off of a smaller plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad This is by far the best tip I have come to apply personally. Sure, you may be dying to have that rich, creamy comfort food - But don't start there.
(Don't worry, you can have some... just as soon as you've eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're not only full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have of the best secret weight management 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 an especially large meal.
Trust me; these tips are old news but they really do work! Have your glass of water (you’re probably starting out dehydrated anyway), eat mindfully, and begin your meal with a salad to help avoid overindulging in the higher, calorie-dense main dishes.
And remember - I am here to support your journey toward a better, healthier you. If you aren’t currently one of my amazing clients, then now is the time to call or email me to get yourself on the right track. I’m here - Let’s do this together!