Overeating — the feeling of your pants being just a little too tight after that last meal. It’s a problem to which most people can easily relate.
Overeating usually leads to what I like to call "food remorse" (or, in other words, wishing you didn't finish those french fries).
Here are some tips to stop the vicious cycle of overeating and food remorse. Pick out a few and see if they work for you!
1. Don't Skip Meals
One of the most common causes of overeating is skipping meals and becoming overly hungry. If you arrive to the table famished, chances are you will overindulge.
Many people go through the day barely eating anything, which leads to binge eating once they finally stop and relax at night.
How to Avoid Skipping Meals
Make meals a priority. You don't need to carve out large blocks of time in your day, but be sure to grab a little breakfast on the go and always make time for a quick lunch.
Manage your appetite by eating throughout the day and you will be less likely to fall victim to the late night munchies.
2. Snack More
I cannot stress enough how important snacking is to prevent overeating. A common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is that they cut out all snacks to "save calories."
Snacking helps to regulate appetite, which is absolutely essential to successful dieting, and it also helps to keep your metabolism going! These are both things that would HELP weight loss, not hinder it.
How to Start Snacking
Keep snacks in your bag or in your desk to hold you over between meals. Try to always include both protein and fiber.
An apple and peanut butter or a Greek yogurt sprinkled with nuts would both be excellent choices. The apple and nuts contain fiber and the peanut butter and Greek yogurt are great plant-based protein sources!
3. Slow Down
Life moves fast, and chances are so do you. Rush to work, rush through meals, rush to the gym, rush home.
Everything we do these days is quick, and that includes eating. The problem is when you eat quickly, it is hard to monitor how much you are having and when you are full.
It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to send the message to the brain that you are full. If you continue to eat in the meantime, you are sure to overconsume!
Ways to Slow Down Your Meals
- Take your time when eating
- Put your fork down between bites
- Sip some water
- Chew your food well
4. Bulk up on Veggies
Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which does an excellent job of filling your stomach without packing on the pounds.
Fill half your plate with vegetables and you are bound to leave the table satisfied and still within your diet guidelines.
5. Focus on Fiber
Don't just look to vegetables as your fiber source. Whole grains, seeds, and nuts also contain fiber!
Always include fiber in breakfast and snacks; this will hold you over until lunch or dinner. When your appetite is under control, you will be set to successfully avoid overeating.
6. Don’t Fear Fat
Many people are obsessed with cutting fat out of their diet. But, the reality is that fat doesn’t make you fat, overeating does.
What fat does do is make you feel satiated and full. BUT it is very important to choose heart healthy fat sources such as avocado, olive oil, fish, nuts, and seeds.
The unhealthy fats that you want to limit are the saturated and trans fats.
7. Drink Up
You may think you’re hungry, when in reality you’re dehydrated. What you are feeling could actually be thirst; It is very common to mistake thirst for hunger.
So before you reach for food, pour yourself a glass of water! Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.
So if you are 160 pounds, try to drink 80 ounces a day! You will be surprised how much better you feel when you’re adequately hydrated.
Water is great for your skin, your energy level, and your metabolism.
8. Be Mindful
Above all, it is most important to be mindful of your food choices. Be aware of what triggers you to overeat and try to avoid or manage those circumstances.
Be conscious of how much you are eating instead of going into overeating autopilot and polishing off that entire bag of chips.
When you think about what you are eating and why you are eating it, you will be more in tune with the choices you make and in turn be in better control of your eating!
Try to take at least one of these tips and use it today, add another tip next week, and slowly but surely overeating will be a thing of the past.
This post originally appeared on Improving Health blog