I've done it, you've done it, everyone over eats from time-to-time. But has it become a bad habit? Ok, stand up. Yes, you! Stand up. Now look down. Does your stomach block the view of your feet? You just might be an over eater!
Holidays provide an opportunity to over eat. And it's not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start by drinking some water
When your stomach is growling and you catch the aroma of 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.
Studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this simple tip may even help with weight loss!
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.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You've heard of mindfulness right? Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment.
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.
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 get the signal that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Eat at a table (not in front of the screen).
Eat off of a small plate.
Put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with a salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don't start there.
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of 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.
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