3 Ways To Avoid Overeating This Weekend (and you know-forever)

Holiday feasts are something else aren't they?  If you're anything like I used to be, you look forward to and dread them all at the same time.

The good?  The abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

The not so good?  It's way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days and feel like crap that night (or the next morning).  Also there's the 5 lbs that seem to magically attach to your belly by January 1st every year.  Also not so good.

And it doesn't always stop there.

Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water 

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

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 (...just sayin').

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!

Don't love water?  Skip to the end for a few recipes that may help or try switching to warm water with a bit of sea salt.  

Tip #2: Try eating “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.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.  

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 at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the salad and add fat (and I don't mean that weird jello salad from 1976 taking up space at the dessert table)

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But don't start there.

(Don't worry, you can have some...just after you've eaten your salad).

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.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They're “satiating”.  Add fat to that equation in the form of an oil and vinegar salad dressing, slices of avocado or some great quality cheese and you'll feel full and satisfied off of WAY less food.  The best part?  Making sure you eat enough fat with your veggies helps all those wonderful vitamins absorb properly so your body can actually use them.

Summary:

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

 

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas 

If you're not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

 

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

Xx Laura

P.S. Want more great tips?  Download my Starter Guide For Women Who Just Want To Lose Weight below