There have been many articles making rounds on the Internet telling you not to overeat if you're trying to maintain your weight or lose some. But reading and understanding what you should do is totally different than actually doing it.
How do you tackle your overeating issues? Here's a list of 10 habits that might be holding you back from controlling your food.
1. Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast may save you some calories, but when you have your next meal, you'll be more likely to gorge yourself on whatever is in sight. If you don't have time to make a healthy breakfast each morning, plan ahead: Buy easy preparatory items like cereal. fruits or oats, or cook up a healthy make-ahead recipe.
2. TV Dinners
You had a long day, and all you want to do is relax. So you go home, turn on the telly or computer, and eat while watching a TV show or browse the net. The problem here is that you're not connected with the activity of eating, so you tend to eat mindlessly. This is not so bad if you practice...
3. Portion Control... Wha?
If you aren't counting calories, then you should at least control your food portions. Hungry people tend to put more on their plate than they actually need. Just remember that you don't need to eat much to fill up your tummy. Order a limited amount of food, or be mindful of how you're feeling when you eat. Once you feel full, don't force yourself to finish that little bit of leftover.
4. You Can't Tell Thirst and Hunger Apart
Many people confuse thirst for hunger. If you've eaten and feel unsatisfied, drink a glass of water and wait 20 to 30 minutes to see if you're still hungry. Of course, this tip probably works best when you're eating at your own leisure, so try it out a few times at home and get to know your appetite better.
5. You Overeat Because Your Partner Does
If your partner is a big eater, it can be hard to stay on track especially when you cook and eat together. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, has a helpful tip: "We'll have similar ingredients, but make different things. I have to make peace with the fact that we don't have the same needs, or maybe we're not on the same page as far as our goal." For example, on taco night, Sass enjoys a healthy taco salad with avocado and pico de gallo, while her husband goes for a big burrito with all the fixings.
6. Your Plates and Bowls are Ginormous
You probably know this one. Although big plates are gorgeous for fine dining presentations, it might be dangerous to use those plates for your daily meals at home. Chefs will put tiny food on a huge plate as presentation, but you're more likely to pile on more food since there is so much space (and food) available. Instead of using your beautifully spacious plates, go for smaller plates and bowls whenever possible, and save the big beauties for special occasions.
7. You Feel Guilty for Indulging
Believe if or not, people who think that feeling guilty after indulging actually makes them indulge more. Researchers found that women who received a self-compassion message after eating a doughnut ate less candy than those who weren't reassured with a compassionate message that everyone indulges sometimes.
8. Snacking is Bad.. Or So You Thought
Not all snacks are bad. In fact, snacking can help you reach your healthy goals, as long as you go into it with a health perspective. Your pre-and-post-workout snacks supply your body with the nutrients it needs, and enjoying healthy snacks between meals can prevent you from overeating. Look for healthy snacks, like this popcorn in Tennessee.
9. Working Out Makes You Treat Yourself to an Overindulgent Meal
Just because you've gotten your exercise fix, don't use it as an excuse to overindulge after. Unless it's mealtime, your average post-workout snack should be about 150 calories. Eat your meals as you would normally.
10. Food is the Secret to Healing Your Heart
Emotional eating is a quick fix when you're feeling stressed or down, but you're not doing your body any good. The next time you reach for a snack, ask yourself honestly "Am I hungry? Do I really want to eat this donut, crisps and chug down this bottle of cola?" Don't do it. If you must, substitute junk food with nuts or a celery stick.
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