Overeating at meals is just so easy to do. Don’t you agree?
Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’ve just stepped over the line into the overeating zone. That is often my problem. I’ll tell myself, “Just one more bite or one more “small” serving,” and then WHAM! I’m stuffed and miserable.
Then the rationalization kicks in and we excuse our overeating, especially during holiday or celebration meals. We tell ourselves, “Well I don’t eat like this every day, so I’ll be careful tomorrow.” Hmmm.
Our problem is there’s something to celebrate every single month of the year, which just opens the door to indulging way too much with the feast set before us. YUM!
Summer is looming before us and all those delicious cookouts are headed our way. Which creates more opportunity to indulge in great food. It seems that we just let down our guard down when we’re surrounded by wonderful family and friends, the decorations, the ambiance of the event, and those irresistible aromas coming from the grill – “I can smell those hamburgers now.”
I find that it is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days, and when we have a cookout to attend almost every weekend, we’ll reap the benefits of an extended belly, larger thighs, and summer clothes that no longer fit by September. UGH – Note to self – Fall detox is a must – so sign up 🙂
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we find ourselves overeating on regular days at regular meals. WHAT? Not Me!! – Yes, YOU.
You’ve worked too hard to sabotage your health goals with the temptation to overeat. Hopefully you’ve detoxed your system and have been reaping the benefits of healthy eating and you’re feeling so much better. If you haven’t taken those steps yet, contact me and I’ll get you started. A spring detox is great to get you going for those summer vegetables and fruits.
With just a little determination on your part, you can overcome the tendency to overeat.
Today I want to share three simple tips on how you can avoid overeating at meals…
Simple Tip 1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill your 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 (…just sayin’).
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.
A good simple habit is to drink 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before you’re going to eat, this will allow your digestive system to get ready and you’ll possibly lose weight along the way.
Simple Tip 2: Try eating “mindfully”
We’ve discussed eating mindfully in a previous post, but have you applied this practice to your daily eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savor 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.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Simple Tip 3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
This is how I begin a meal so that I’m not starving when the entree arrives or I’m at home about to eat supper. Remember to skip the chemical-sugar rich salad dressing and opt for a balsamic based dressing.
(Don’t worry, you’ll still have room for the meal…just eat your salad first).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals, and 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.
If you’re attending a function that may not have a salad, contact the host or hostess and offer to bring your favorite salad dish. They’ll love the fact that you thought about bringing a dish and won’t be offended when you show up with one.
Simple steps along your health journey will create lasting healthy habits. Your goal is to create life transformation, not a quick fix that will fail in a few months. Start with one of these steps and then build from there.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Join our members Facebook Group, Healthy Living for Life Begins Today, and share which tip you’re starting with. Remember, one step per day will get you closer to your goals.
The thought of drinking plain boring water was an idea I just couldn’t make myself embrace. I avoided plain water like the plague. I finally decided to flavor my water and discovered that I would drink more when I did.
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five 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 (my favorite)
- Chopped pineapple & mango
- Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer. Buy an infusion pitcher to keep in the refrigerator for a constant water supply.