How to Stop Overeating at Meals
That steamy, delicious meal is prepped and ready for your gullet. The aroma is scintillating. Your belly is rumbling. You're ready.
But wait. I know you're hungry but let's set in a few new habits before you devour the dish...
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 (...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.
See my "Infused Water Recipes" below to make your water more appetizing and delicious and get some added minerals in naturally.
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 more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe between each bite. Use eating as a form of meditation.
The food you're ingesting is packed full of nurturing nutrients. These nutrients fuel your body. Create your immune system. Assist you in your everyday movements, bodily functions. Spend time with these nutrients, your food. Imagine them directly influencing your body, your mind.
Straight from the Earth, your food is from the ground. Grounding you. Connecting you. Use this time to slow down and get grounded.
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 Challenge: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites for one whole week, I bet ya can't last two days ;).
Tip #3: Start with the salad
Remember the days when your mom used to yell at ya and tell you to "eat your vegetables." Well she was right, and now that we're all adults, let's eat them FIRST.
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: 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.
Infused Water Recipes: Tasty, Beautiful and Nutritious 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.