Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
We've all been there! Sometimes those all inclusive holiday feasts are too amazing to resist!
Or maybe it’s a party spread or the buffet selection that leaves us drooling and don’t even get me started on the supermarkets junk food offers that line the tills and petrol stations.
I’m talking about overeating!
It's way too easy and common on these occasions to over -indulge but let’s be honest guys, it doesn't always stop there! Sometimes, we do this on regular days.
Or at regular meals. Or All. OF. The. Time.
In truth, there can be many reasons why we do this. Emotional eating anyone???
Whilst that's a post for another day, we have to start somewhere and today I am sharing three tips to avoid overeating at meals. Plus, if you turn these into habits, you can ditch the willpower.
Tip 1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you either see or smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill your plate and hoover everything up in sight but did you know, that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?
What your stomach may actually be craving is a big glass of water rather than food.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal (do this 30-45 minutes before your meal) can help reduce the amount of food eaten.
Not only will water start to fill you up, leaving less room to overeat but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism and may even help with weight loss if the result is that you eat less at mealtimes.
Tip 2: Eat “mindfully”
You've heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
Being mindful can help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full but if you are wolfing down your meals you are bypassing this mechanism which can result in that horrible bloating feeling you get from eating too much.
Just as focusing 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.
Take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Extra Tips: Focus solely on your mealtime instead of being distracted. Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), use a smaller plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip 3: Start with some veg or a salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish but don't start there. (Don't freak out, you can have it but first, eat your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because not only are they full of 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.
Extra tip: Make your salad and veg look inviting like the picture above. We eat with our eyes first.
Let’s recap on the three ways to avoid overeating:
Have a large glass of water
Start your meal with a salad.
Recipe: Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you're not much of a plain water drinker or want your water to be more appealing, here are six delicious and beautiful looking fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
● Slices of lemon & ginger
● Slices of strawberries & orange
● Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
● Chopped pineapple & mango
● Blueberries & raspberries
● Mint & Lime
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or a mason jar in the morning. They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
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