While the Holidays may be behind us, let’s face it, there is a celebration that we can attend each month (birthdays, weddings, family reunions…you get the idea)
Sometimes those celebrations and feasts are just amazing, we get it.
And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Have you ever noticed that we sometimes overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals and get back and stay on track working on your health and fitness goals and build heather and sustainable habits.
(Psst, turn these into healthy habits and ditch the willpower!)
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 (…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.
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 more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
All of 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. Coach Rob always does this when he wants a second serving and over half of the time he never went back for more.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Set the dinner table and eat with your family (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites. And be sure to have your mobile devices in another room so you can have focused time with your loved ones.
3. Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But let’s not start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
This is one that our family does on a regular basis and it has been a game changer.
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: 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.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
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
- 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.
Yours in health,