Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated; for some of us, it’s just a matter of finding ways to stop overeating. I work out regularly, and I follow a healthy diet, but overeating is what causes me to gain weight, especially around the holidays. If you have the same issue, I can help! I’ve managed to overcome my overeating tendency by following a few simple tips. Here are 9 ways to stop overeating.
1. COUNT ALL THE CALORIES!
Some of us aren’t even aware when we’re overeating! I know that sounds silly, but if you’re not counting all of the calories you’re consuming, you’re much more likely to accidentally overeat. One of the best ways to stop overeating is to count the calories in everything that goes into your mouth, including your fancy coffee drinks and even the condiments and dressings on your food. Count all the calories!
2. EAT MORE OFTEN
Wait, what? Yes, I’m serious! Eating five small meals a day, rather than three big meals, will also keep you from overeating. How? Eating more often will keep you from feeling hungry, and if you’re not hungry, you’ll be a lot less likely to cheat on your diet by binging at your next meal.
3. EAT SLOWLY
This isn’t a new concept; remember all those familiar dieting tips like “sip water between bites” and “chew thoroughly before swallowing”? These were all aimed at slowing us down when we eat. Research has shown it takes 12 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person, but 20 or more minutes for an obese person. Eating slowly ensures that these important messages have time to reach the brain.
4. USE A BOWL
Junk-food snacks come in big bags for a reason: to keep us munching more than we should, so we’ll buy more! If you’re a snack-time overeater (me? Guilty!), pour one serving into a bowl, and eat that, rather than eating snacks right out of the bag. You’ll be surprised how much longer that bag of crisps or Raisinettes lasts!
5. USE SMALLER PLATES
It’s a mind thing: if you have a big plate, you’ll want to fill it with food. So prevent overeating by simply using smaller plates, which will fool your brain into being satisfied with smaller food portions. I’m serious! Try it!
6. PORTION AHEAD OF TIME
Sometimes, even when we’ve poured one serving of food into a bowl or onto a plate, we want more, so we’ll just take more. This is a lot harder when we’ve already separated perfect portions into baggies or bowls we can just take and go. Spend the time to set up portions, rather than even keeping a large bag or bowl of something around to tempt you.
7. EAT AT HOME
Did you know that most chain restaurants serve two and a half servings on one plate, as one meal? It’s crazy! To avoid overeating, you can either dine at home, or simply ask for half of your meal to be boxed for carry-out before it even arrives at your table. Bingo! Lunch for tomorrow!
8. BRUSH AFTER EATING
I’m a night-time snacker, so to avoid overeating when I ought to be winding down, I brush my teeth after dinner, or before I sit down to read or watch TV. That handful of Doritos doesn’t sound as appealing once my mouth is all minty! And all this brushing makes my dentist happy, too.
9. KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL
Once I started keeping a food journal, I was appalled at how much I ate – so to save myself a load of shame, I could either stop keeping the food journal, or stop overeating! Believe me, writing down everything you eat will force you to make much more careful choices. Who wants to look back at day after day of cheesecake cheats and Moosetracks mishaps?
I know some of these tips might sound a little silly, but they’re all effective… I know, because they’ve all worked for me! I found the food journal and the ahead-of-time portion planning to be the most effective for me, but which of these ideas do you think will work best for you? Or do you have another tip to share? Do tell!
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