Overeating, binge eating and snacking are a huge problem. These three issues make up the main reasons why you will fail with your diet, so how do you control the problem?
There really is no one solution that fits all because we are all very different people, you could be effected by a stressful event that urges you to hit the fast food drive though or an overload of work limits your time one week knocking you out of a regular routine. My though process is “if you have a plan, you have a chance” so lets put together some actionable steps that prepare us for a future bad day or two!
Here are my 10 ways to control overeating.
Start Your Day Right
If you follow my diet plan as most of you do then you will know that breakfast is a very important time of the day. Never skip breakfast even if you don't feel like eating! if you are finding yourself short on time every morning then you need to go to bed a little earlier so you can wake up a little earlier. I know it is tempting to watch another episode of your favorite tv show but this extra time in the morning makes a huge difference.
The perfect start to the day is fruit, eggs, oatmeal and vegetables this combination gives your body everything it needs for a solid start.
Eating slowly is one of the most effective ways to control overeating. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to pick up satiety signals. Not only you will enjoy what you are eating, but you will also give your body the time it needs to send the message to your brain when you are full. Synchronizing your body and brain has been proven to make you 20% more productive, your brain understands your body is full letting you focus on other more important tasks.
In my diet plan I split breakfast into two sessions, I understand a lot of people don't have time for two breakfasts but following this process is beneficial.
My suggestion is, as soon as you wake up eat a piece of fruit and the oatmeal, then get ready for work/kids to school or whatever you do and once your morning tasks are complete eat the eggs and vegetables.
If you find you still don't have time then it is time to go to bed and wake up earlier!
Soup isn't included in my diet plan however you could easily make a few alterations to fit it in during the colder months. Liquid foods digest slower so oatmeal, soup or even a curry (low cal please) are a fantastic way to prevent hunger.
A lot of people struggle with hunger pangs in the evening, this is the prime time for overeating so liquid food for your dinner can be a solution.
I suggest meat or fish plus salad for dinner, however as an alternative you could put the meat or fish into a crock pot along with vegetables and a low fat stock to create a soup/stew that will take longer to digest.
Use Smaller Plates
Smaller plates will amount to less real estate for your food to sit on. Arrange your food on a smaller plate and establish limits for each serving through portion control. You should also pay attention to how you present your meal. If you arrange your meal, you will enjoy it more and eat less.
A lot of us tend to over fill our plates when we go out to a restaurant, avoid this at all costs remember your portion size at home and try to keep it the same. If the meal comes already plated and it looks on the large size try to eat a regular portion and ask for a take out box.
Sometimes it comes down to self-control think about the amount of time you have spent at the gym or that dress you still can't fit into, learning to control your eating sounds painful but remember your still going to eat just a controlled amount.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals help you eat healthy, balanced meals on a regular basis. When you have not planned, then you are more likely to find yourself in the middle of million things with a hunger-on so strong that even the most health conscious individual will choose convenience or give in to cravings. Planning helps you decide the number of calories, variety of food choices and of course, the new recipes, thus creating a healthy meal.
Planning meals can be frustrating to get started but once in place it saves you a lot of time. I use a service called plantoeat you can quickly enter my diet plan or your own recipes into a weekly online planner that automatically creates shopping lists! for me it is a huge time saver watch the demo video to learn more.
Always Opt For Fiber
Fiber is the key to weight loss. It can help you feel full faster and for longer. As our body takes time to digest fiber rich meal, it may help you stay satisfied long after eating. Moreover, fiber rich foods are high in volume, which means they can fill you up so you eat fewer calories. Hence, substitute white bread, pasta and other refined floor products with complex grain products.
Stop Eating In Front of the Television
Eating while watching TV can be disastrous. You tend to overeat while working on laptop, or watching TV or reading a newspaper. When you are distracted, you don’t realize how much you are eating and you tend to overeat.
This really is a change of mindset, make a habit of eating at a table, this is another way of synchronizing your mind and body. If you eat or snack when you are watching tv, using a computer or any other place other than a table you mind associates food with these places (not good). Only eat at a table or when you are watching tv or using the pc hunger will get the better of you.
Take a Seat Before you Start to Eat!
Still on the subject of eating at the table a recent study has shown that eating at the table prevents binge eating. Eating on the go gives the signal that you haven't taken a proper meal and you keep on munching throughout the day.
This is my biggest problem, I am always so busy trying to fit everything into my day that I often will eat food while preparing dinner or the kids meals. This is a habit I managed to break only a few weeks ago, I have noticed that when I sit down to eat my meal I really enjoy everything on my plate and it is rare that I will leave anything.
Out of Sign, Out of Mind – Just Don't Buy It!
Keep candies, cupcakes, muffins away from your desk. Rid your fridge and cupboards of unhealthy snacks. You are more likely to overeat when your kitchen is full of tempting foods. While grocery shopping, make it a point that you avoid these unhealthy snacks and substitute them with whole grain biscuits, unsalted peanuts, unsweetened yogurt etc.
I know this is a subject of contention if you have kids and if you are like me you will have to compromise. I now don't buy anything sweet (for me) for the kids I buy things they like and I don't this helps but be warned if it's in your house and you have a sugar craving you could be tempted even if you don't like the item!
Understand Why You Are Overeating.
As we all know, overeating can be induced by several factors such as boredom, anxiety, sadness, stress etc, it is important to understand the reason behind your overeating. Distract yourself if you are bored. Whenever you feel the urge to binge on something, call a friend or listen to your favorite music. This will distract your mind.
You need to find your happy place, what is it that you love to do? Me personally I love a number of things including baking, dance music and just a few cuddles with the kids. these things make me feel good and more importantly very happy.
These have been my 10 ways to control overeating – let me know if you have any further suggestions and I will consider adding them to the list.