Do you find yourself perusing through the fridge or digging through the pantry more often than you should? Maybe you overfill your plate at every meal or just finish a big bag of chips or cookies rather than portioning out your snacks. Overeating is a common issue, but it can be very problematic, especially when it happens frequently or becomes a habit. If you’re eating too much more often than not, try these tips to get your dietary habits back under control.
1. Fill Up on the Right Foods
Sometimes, you just can’t stop eating because you are honestly hungry. If that’s the case, you may need to consume more, but of the right foods at the right times. Bulk up your meals by making healthy food swaps for options that are higher in volume but lower in calories. Bell peppers, berries, leafy greens, beans, and low-fat cottage cheese are all options that you can enjoy more so you feel fuller at the end of a meal or snack.
It’s also important that you get plenty of protein and fiber, as these nutrients help you feel full and stay full. Lean meats, low-fat dairy, and certain legumes are excellent sources of lean protein. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are tasty ways to eat more fiber. You can also try taking fiber powder to give your body more of this beneficial nutrient.
2. Be Mindful During Your Meals
If your brain isn’t focused on what you’re eating, you’ll likely miss out on the cues you require to let your stomach know that you’re full and satisfied. Mindless eating often leads to consuming way more than you need, so take a break when it’s time to eat. Turn off the TV or computer, put your phone down, and sit at a table. When you concentrate on what you’re eating, you’re much more likely to stick to more reasonable amounts.
3. Learn True Portion Sizes
Many people wrongfully assume they know what a tablespoon or a cup looks like. Measurements in ounces can be even more tricky. Keep your measuring cups and spoons, as well as a kitchen scale, handy in your kitchen so you can measure out your portion sizes accurately. You may be surprised at how little or how much is in a serving of your go-to foods compared to how much you typically consume. Proportioning food is a good habit to get into if you want to be able to grab meals and snacks quickly later.
4. Drink Up
When you think you’re still hungry, you might just be thirsty instead. It can be all too easy to mistake thirst cues for hunger cues, especially when you’re busy. Drinking more water helps you stay fuller and more satisfied while supporting a healthier body overall. Sip it frequently throughout the day and consider starting each meal with a glass of water to avoid overeating.
5. Develop an Eating Routine and Stick to It
Humans are creatures of habit, for better and for worse. If you can train your body to eat only at certain times throughout the day, eventually, you’ll likely find yourself feeling less hungry between meals. Consider your typical daily schedule and create a routine that works well for you. You can even set timers or reminders to help you take a break and eat when it’s time.
6. Remove Unhealthy Temptations
Don’t make things harder on yourself by stocking up on the foods you just can’t say no to. Studies have shown that people who are the most successful at resisting temptation may not be doing much resisting at all; they’ve avoided or removed it entirely instead. If certain choices encourage you to overeat, keep them out of your home. Enjoy them on special occasions at a party or during a night out instead.
Most people eat a little more than they should from time to time. Building positive habits can help you minimize this practice so you can enjoy a healthier body and a little less guilt.