Just about everyone has been in situations where they have eaten too much. Perhaps a meal was so delicious that passing on one more helping seemed impossible, or maybe stress has led us to snack on too much comfort food throughout the day. Overeating causes us to fill up on food while not necessarily getting the nutrition we need and can definitely get in the way us reaching our weight loss goals. If you find yourself overeating at times, here are a few strategies to keep in mind:
- Take time to enjoy your food. If you eat in a hurry or eat while doing something else (driving, working, etc.), you brain may not quickly get the message that you are eating. This means that it will take longer for you to feel full and the desire to keep eating will continue. Try eating slowly and waiting half an hour after the meal is done. You may find that you did not need that extra serving after all.
- Prevent diet sabotage beforehand by limiting your portions. Putting a lot of food on your plate can make you feel obligated to eat a larger serving than you really need. Also, if you place additional serving out of immediate reach—for instance, on the kitchen counter rather than the dinner table—it can reduce the temptation for another helping.
- Have a healthy snack in between meals. Snacks such as fruit or low-fat cheese with crackers can help keep your blood sugar in check, reducing the need to eat high-carbohydrate foods for energy. Eating snacks can actually help you in your weight loss because your body will feel less hungry when meal time comes around and there will be less of an urge to eat a larger meal.
- Start your meal off with some fiber. Salads and vegetable broth soups contain fiber which, in addition to their nutritional value, causes your stomach to feel fuller. Having one of these healthy choices at the beginning can make the rest of the meal feel more satisfying.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day and with meals. Dehydration is one of the factors that cuases your body feel hungry, so drinking a glass while you eat will make you feel fuller than otherwise. The action of drinking will also cause you to eat your meal more slowly.