Three Simple Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals
Are you guilty of overeating at meals?
We all do it.
Sometimes we overindulge during the holiday season.
It is way too easy to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
When we over eat it can leave us feeling tired, sluggish and bloated. Over time this can have an
impact on our weight, energy levels, and overall health.
So why is it difficult to stop the urge to overeat?
Sometimes the amazing aroma triggers our taste buds and get us excited. The smell of food is
very powerful and research does suggest that the aroma can trigger emotions and evoke
Here are three simple ways to avoid overeating at meals. Turn these tips into habit and ditch the willpower!
Try “Mindfully” Eating
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
Being mindful when you meditate helps you to focus your attention on your breathing and
being present in the moment. This principal can also be applied to when you are eating. Being mindful when you eat helps you to focus your attention on your meal only. This can help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.
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. Chewing at the proper rate gives the stomach time to tell the
brain that food has arrived. You will be less likely to go for that extra bite because your brain
has already had time to realize that your stomach is full.
Mindful eating also includes eating in a quiet and relaxed environment. Your surrounding have
a big impact on how much you eat. For example if you are distracted, watching TV, you’re less
likely to pay attention to how much you eat. Sitting down at a table, relax and breathe in the
food can set the tone for your meal. When you are rushed your more like to eat quickly and
So take your time, relax, pay attention to your food and savour every bite.
2. Start with Some Water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a
plate 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 meal.
By simply drinking water, you may notice that you become less hungry.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce
the amount of food eaten.
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you start your meal, drinking enough
water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker here are four delicious ways you can add flavour to
your glass of water:
- Slices of lemon & ginger
- Slices of cucumber & fresh basil or herb you like
- Slices of strawberries & orange
- Add fresh mint leaves
Tip: Try frozen berries of your choice, it will help keep your water colder longer.
3. Keeping a Food Journal
Writing down what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat becomes an excellent way to
become aware of your eating patterns. Over time, you might see patterns that reveal the
connection between mood and food. You may turn to food for comfort when facing a difficult
problem, feeling stressed, sad or bored. Emotional eating can sabotage your health goals and
can also lead to an unhealthy cycle of overeating.
This kind of insight is important, because triggers and patterns are often unconscious, and you
can’t change something you don’t even realize you’re doing. Keeping a journal changes that,
because it allows you to identify the “whys” of your choices. When you become aware of the
“whys” of your choices you are able to work on replacing with new habits and find non-food
ways to cope with the emotions.
Writing down what you eat also makes you accountable for every bit of food that goes into
your mouth, including high-calorie indiscretions. You may notice that you only eat certain types
of food depending on your mood. Keeping a food diary can also reduce or eliminate mindless
eating, such as stuffing chips into your mouth while watching television.
The point of a food journal isn’t to judge yourself, or even to grade yourself; it’s to learn about
yourself, which is the first step toward adopting healthy changes that stick
Eat mindfully, drink your glass of water and keep a food journal to help you avoid overeating at meals.