We all do it. Sometimes the amazing aroma and delicious flavour gets the better of us. Especially if we’re a bit on the hungry (or hangry) side.
Sometimes those holiday feasts are just wonderful. It’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambience.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or all of the time.
Here are three tips to prevent yourself from overeating at meals:
(Psst, turn these into habits and you’ll reap the rewards!)
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 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 (what a bonus).
Not only will 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.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus 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 slowly, chewing more thoroughly and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture of your food and don’t forget to 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 T.V.), use a small plate and put your cutlery down in between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons. And these secret weapons are fibre and water.
Fibre and water are known to help make you feel fuller.
These secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
So, have your glass of water, begin with a salad and eat mindfully to prevent overeating at meals.
Medical Disclaimer: All information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent health problems. For all serious health issues, please contact a medical or nutrition practitioner. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages.