Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

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Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance. It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

But it doesn’t always stop there. Sometimes we get super “hangry” and overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals. The key is to turn these into habits and ditch the willpower, (since it doesn’t work anyway!)

Start With Water

When you’re feeling fatigued and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some with your bare hands) and dive into the food without thinking too much about it.

But did you know that mild dehydration can be what is causing your fatigue in the first place?  Your body may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

And, 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.

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.

Win-win!

Eat 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 savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste, and texture of your food.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less since you are more satisfied with your meal.

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 points: Eat uninterrupted at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites. Click here for more details on “how” to eat.

Start With Your Veggies

You may be yearning for that rich, heavy main dish. But don’t start there. (Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad or vegetables).

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.

Bottom Line

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

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If you would like to discuss how you can create the thoughts you need to support achieving your health goals, schedule a call with me now to discuss.

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“I believe that when we are empowered to take control of our health, we find the help we need to feel our best.”

Bonnie Flemington MBA, CNP

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