Top Ten Techniques to Avoid Overeating
Food is life—does this sound familiar to you? Oh, of course, it does. It is our life’s motto today, right?
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the amazing dishes that we have today, you should understand the fact that overeating is bad for our health. The biggest danger of overeating is unhealthy weight gain which, in turn, would increase your chances of developing various lifestyle diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol levels.
Moreover, you should understand that chronic overeating can also have a negative impact on mental health. This is because you may have a poor self-image or low self-esteem when you gain extra weight. This is the reason why having a balanced diet is considered to be the secret to a healthier lifestyle.
How to Avoid Overeating
But how can we avoid overeating, especially with all unhealthy cravings? Here are ten tips on how you can do that:
1. Get rid of distractions.
Do you eat with your laptop on or while watching TV or playing a game? I know you have at one point or another. After all, most people have eaten while they are distracted.
You may think that this habit is harmless but doing so can cause you to overeat. According to studies, you tend to consume more calories in one sitting when you are distracted. If you wish to cut down on calories, you should be mindful not just of what you eat but when you eat as well.
2. Avoid restrictive diets.
Most of us think that the best way to lose weight is to limit a particular food group or your favorite unhealthy dishes but banning all your favorite food will drive you to binge later on.
The key here is to consume a diet that is primarily based on whole and unprocessed foods but you schedule a cheat day now and then so you won’t feel deprived of your favorite junk foods.
3. Don’t eat too fast.
Are you always in a hurry to eat? Many of us do because of our hectic schedules. The sad part is, eating fast can make you eat more. This is because the brain needs time (around 20 minutes) to process and recognize the signals of fullness that the body is trying to send to it.
If you eat fast and mindlessly, your body won’t be able to recognize these signals, and you will end up eating more than your fair share of calories.
Because of this, it is essential that you slow down while you are eating. You can do this by putting the fork down after every bite or sipping water throughout the meal.
4. Do not eat from original food containers.
Never eat chips directly from the bag or scoop ice cream straight from the box because doing so can lead you to consume more calories than you need.
Instead of eating food direct from its package, it is recommended that you portion out the food items in individual servings. In this way, you would be able to determine what is the healthy limit for you.
5. Start your meal with either a salad or soup.
Greens and broth-based soups have high water content, so these can make you feel full faster. When you consume these foods at the beginning of the meal, they can already fill you up, causing you to eat less of the high caloric food in the table.
If you are starving, these starters can help ease your hunger right away, preventing you from overeating (which is what we tend to do when we are already feeling too hungry before we eat our meals).
6. Don’t stock up on junk/ sugary food.
Let me remind you that we are visual creatures. We tend to crave what we see (especially when we are hungry) and when we tend to overeat when we give in to these cravings.
The simplest and most obvious solution to this would be to keep these unhealthy foods out of your sight. Instead, place healthy foods, front, and center. Leave a few pieces of fruits in the center of your dining table and veggies in plain sight at your refrigerator.
7. Plan ahead of time.
This is probably the most effective tip of all. If you do not have a meal plan in place, you will tend to overeat unhealthy foods because they are easily accessible to you. The secret here is to be ready whenever hunger strikes.
You should make a weekly menu plan that consists of healthy food options. Besides, you should always keep healthy snacks on hand.
8. Be familiar with your hunger cues.
Do you know what the most common reason why we overeat is? It is because we eat when we are already hangry (famished to the point that you get angry). To avoid this, it is recommended that you eat as soon as you recognize signs of hunger.
Sadly though, hunger cues may vary from one person to another, so you need to pay extra attention to what you are feeling. There are some familiar hunger cues, though, and these include nausea, low energy, headache, growling stomach, and irritable feeling.
To know more about hunger cues, watch this video:
9. Replace sugary drinks with water.
When you feel hungry, you would often reach out for sodas and juices as these can instantly quench your appetite and thirst, right? Sadly though, these sugary drinks can cause insulin in the body to spike, making you even hungrier and puts you at risk of having unhealthy cravings.
Sadly though, you can easily mistake hunger for thirst so if you are feeling a bit hungry, try to drink water first and wait for a few more minutes. If hunger signs continue to show, you can proceed with eating a healthy snack.
10. Add sugar and cinnamon to your meals.
No one wants to consume a flavorless diet, but for sure, you would not want to eat sugar-rich meals too. The solution? Cinnamon! This spice adds the sweet taste you are looking for in a meal, and at the same time, it slows down your digestion, making you feel full for longer. Vinegar has also been proven to deliver the same effect.
Overeating is a common eating problem but overcoming it is not as difficult as it may seem. With the techniques that we have mentioned, you can avoid overeating and maintain a balanced diet and ultimately, lead a healthier lifestyle.