Nutrition, Science

Avoid Overeating With These Simple Steps

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Even with the best intentions, overeating can happen!

It’s especially easy to overindulge when you’re hammering down on an awesomely tasty meal. Several factors can responsible, like stress, hunger from skipped meals, hunger from lower caloric fad diets causing us to overeat. Don’t worry, there are ways to conquer the urge to overindulge in food. 

Think Before You Eat

One huge piece to the health puzzle is you mental ability to fight cravings for less healthy foods. If you live in a household that will always have temptation, then you must be able to overcome the urge to grab an unhealthy snack/meal. There are two questions to consider when you are walking toward the cabinet to grab a snack:

  • If I eat this, how will I feel once I have eaten the snack/meal?
  • If I don’t eat this, how will I feel about my choice/action?

In my blog about making better decisions, I talk about how the choices you make on a daily basis become habits. Well, the same holds true here. If you think about how the meal will make you feel, then you are less likely to make an unhealthy choice, and you are less likely to overindulge on unhealthy food. Once you have mastered this mental battle, you will find yourself saying “no” a lot more than you say “yes” to certain foods, you will have developed a healthy habit, and you will continue to move closer to your health and fitness goals. 

Take Your Time and Eat Slowly

The human body is an amazing machine, and like any machine, we have sensors that let us know when something is wrong, when we are full or empty, and when we need to rest. Your stomach plays a part in signaling to your brain that you are full. We have “sensors” in our stomach called stretch reflexes that cause hormones to be released once food is leaving your stomach and entering the intestines. The food may take anywhere from five to twenty minutes to reach the intestines, therefore 20 minutes could pass before any “full” signal is received.

Slow down when you eat, chew your food completely, and enjoy the meal. Struggle with timing during your meals? No worries, set a timer for 20 minutes every time you eat and you’ll train yourself to eat slowly using the timer, and you’ll discover the time it takes before you notice your “full” signal. 

Focus on the Food

I get it, we are all in a hurry, and we all have somewhere to be or something to do, now! However, when we are rushing and eating we are more likely to overeat, simply because we are not paying attention. Distractions can also prevent us from eating when we should, and overeat later due to hunger.

To avoid distracted eating, remove all distractions while eating your meals; turn the TV off, put your phone down, and sit down at the table with your family or friends and eat. If this is not possible for each meal, then start with one meal per day and incorporate another meal every week until all meals are distraction free! 

Don’t Let Stress Control Your Diet

Stress is a natural part of life we should all learn to control, and the understand the difference between good and bad stressors. Your body is highly responsive to stress; your blood pressure, mood, and eating habits can all be thrown for a loop in stressful times. During a time of stress, your body will release more cortisol, which is a hormone that has a tendency to increase appetite (although that is not cortisol’s main function) and can lead to overeating.

I know it’s almost impossible to remove all stress from your life, so how do you avoid stress overeating? PORTION CONTROL and drinking water! Meal prep on the weekend to control your portion sizes during the week. If you dine out a lot, then ask for 1/2 of your meal to be placed in a to-go box and have the staff bring it to the table before you leave. Drink water during stressful times. At time we can confuse thirst for hunger, especially during stressful times. 

Eat Before You Go Out to Eat

Many times people fail on their meal plan when making plans to eat out with friends. To avoid overeating with friends, and so you don’t have to skip out on fun with friends, eat before you go out. Make a small dinner a few hours before you go out with friends. Eating early will enable you to make better choices at dinner, and you will be less likely to overeat. 

Listen to Your Body

As I stated earlier, your body is like a machine and will alert you to its wants and needs. Also, remember every body is different and that not all alerts are the same for everyone. Notice which alerts your body uses when you’re hungry so that you can better fight overeating. Below are a few cues to notice that you are hungry and may overeat:

  • Your stomach is growling.
  • You feel a bit nauseous.
  • You are developing a headache.
  • You realize a sudden decline in energy.
  • You’re easily irritated at everyone (hangry – a mix of hungry and angry)

Overeating is a serious issue for most Americans. We tend to eat our entire plate of food instead of stopping when we receive a “full” signal from our body. We ignore the cues, eat on the run, and carry too much stress; all of which we can manage and correct. The decision is yours, if you are not changing your routine, you are not changing your body!

I want to share ways you can get in-depth training, advice, and begin making your health a priority. 

Again, I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my post. Don’t forget to tell friends and family about me! Share if you’d like and comment below to get a conversation started.  I wish you the best, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Coach Slice


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