There is literally food everywhere! The temptation to eat and eat and eat some more, even when you aren't hungry, can feel rather overwhelming. It may hit you during the holidays, during a potluck get-together, or simply when you've had a stressful day. Overeating does not feel good. The excessive bloating, guilt, discomfort, and for most, just feeling fat afterward is miserable. That is why we have five well-known but underestimated tips on how to avoid overeating...no matter the season or 'stress-of-the-day' circumstances.
1Drink Lemon or Purified Water
First things first on how to avoid over-eating - it is not with water. It is actually a myth that drinking water before a meal will actually make you eat less. However, what does make the difference to overeating or not is recognizing that staying hydrated will help eliminate the 'pangs' of hunger.
What typically happens is that your body is most likely craving water not food. It is more common to mistake your body's cues for needing more water instead of food. By regularly staying hydrated, when you are actually hungry, you'll eat and eat till you're full and satisfied. When you are hydrated and not necessarily hungry, you won't eat "extra" unnecessarily.
How often do you find yourself eating while watching a TV show or movie? According to a study through the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if you are more cognizant of what you are eating, it can actually help you avoid overeating.
Multitasking—like eating while watching television or working—and distracted or hurried eating can prompt you to eat more.Harvard Health Publishing
The key here is to slow down and really savor and enjoy your food. Not only do you start to appreciate the tastes, textures, and flavors of your food, but you will also be controlling your intake. Be mindful and aware of your food. Eliminate distractions like watching, reading, working on a task, etc. Enjoy your food and how your body feels while eating it. Your next task is not going anywhere, so take a few moments and give yourself the pleasure of eating.
3Include The Fats
Do. Not. Stop. Eating. Fats. This is absolutely key if you want to know exactly how to avoid overeating at nearly every meal you have. However, just because fat is good for you and helps you to feel full sooner and longer, be especially mindful of what types of fat you consume.
Healthline.com has made a delicious list of healthy fats to include (at almost every meal if you can) with your other healthy foods.
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole Eggs
- Fatty Fish
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut/Olive Oils
- Full-Fat Yogurt (plain is best)
When possible, try to buy organic or sustainably raised sources of fat. Though it is not on this list, consuming fat from grass-fed/finished meat is also beneficial...and delicious.
4Don't Starve Yourself
Skipping meals and then attempting to limit your caloric intake in a single meal just doesn't work. Sure you may last a day, or even a week or so, with this kind of eating pattern, but soon you will find yourself binging until you make yourself sick. Grossly limiting your food intake (aka...starving yourself) does not help you to eat less let alone avoid overeating. This kind of pattern will most likely lead you to overeat more often than not.
Think yo-yo dieting. Your best course of action on how to avoid overeating for the long-term is to eat a consistent flow of calorie-dense foods every day that fill you up faster. You will eat less but end up satisfied for longer periods of time.
5Give Yourself Permission
Guilt. So you ate a piece of cake (or two) at your child's PTA meeting, business function, or at the potluck gathering. You start to beat yourself up for enjoying something that you told yourself you wouldn't eat, but you did anyway. So, instead of letting it go, you are probably figuring that since you 'fell off the wagon' it doesn't matter how much you eat now. Thus...you overeat.
Instead of beating yourself up with this negative pattern and relationship with food, allow yourself the freedom to indulge when you know there's going to be food around that you wouldn't normally partake in. Give yourself permission to have some instead of none. This way you are already prepared to enjoy all the food presented, there's no lingering guilt about it and you are more likely to not overeat because you are taking your time knowing you are "allowed" to have it.
Whether you want to know how to avoid overeating for health reasons or simply because you don't like feeling overly full (aka bloated to the max), it is always a great idea to have a healthy relationship with food. See which of these tips work best for you and just start with one. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm and stress yourself out about food and then...overeat because you are feeling frustrated!
WANT TO READ MORE?
If you are wanting to lose weight, read about: 8 Fattening Foods To Keep You Skinny.
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