You don’t overeat because you are lazy or weak-willed. There are many reasons for indulging in a bag of potato chips or carton of ice cream when you know it’s bad for you. Lack of sleep, stress, boredom, and meal-skipping our just a few of the reasons you overeat.
Instead of beating yourself up over bingeing, follow these six simple tips to stop overeating and maintain your ideal weight.
1. Always Eat Breakfast
Eat more protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the morning to quash your appetite later in the day. Research cited in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate breakfast were less likely to binge later in the day.
Another study conducted at Purdue University showed that men who ate dietary protein at breakfast (eggs, sausage, yogurt, etc.) felt fuller than they did at other meal times. Feeling ling satiated after breakfast means you’ll snack less and be less inclined to overeat at lunch.
Many people aren’t chipper enough to cook a big breakfast first thing in the morning. Fix your breakfast before you go to bed. If you can identify with this. Prepare yogurt with fruit and granola and leave it in a plastic container in your fridge. When you wake up, your healthy breakfast will be ready for you.
You don’t need to eat first thing in the morning to reap the benefits of breakfast. Bring instant oatmeal or a whole wheat bagel and peanut butter to work if you prefer to wait until later in the morning to eat.
2. Drink More Green Tea and Water
Drink water, green tea or herbal tea before and between meals to fill up your stomach so you’ll eat less throughout the day. Hydrating with lots of no to low-calorie beverages keeps you satiated – and helps your complexion.
There’s scientific evidence drinking water before a meal can help trim your waist. According to research conducted at Virginia Tech, obese people 55 or over who drank two cups of water before every meal lost 15.5 pounds at the end of three months compared to 11 pounds in the control group.
Avoid drinking too much coffee, which can dehydrate you, and diet soda or diet energy drinks, which contain cancer-causing artificial sweeteners.
Green tea contains flavonoids called catechins, which release fat from cells in the belly (and elsewhere) and speed up the liver’s ability to turn fat into energy. Studies show green tea promotes weight loss because it revs up your metabolism and acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It also stabilizes blood sugar and stops insulin from getting out of hand.
3. Eat Whole Foods
Avoid processed and packaged foods and fill your kitchen with fresh, whole foods. Processed foods are easier to prepare, but you’ll pay for that convenience with weight gain and poor nutrition. Eat beans, nuts, wild caught salmon, organic and grass-fed poultry, beef, pork, and lamb instead.
Include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible in your diet. Fresh produce is more expensive and doesn’t store as well as canned or frozen veggies and fruits. Frozen vegetables are usually okay, but frozen fruits tend to have high-fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy additives. Always read ingredient lists on frozen fruit and fruit juices.
Hopefully, there’s more junk food in the vending machines at work than in your kitchen cabinets. So fill up on almonds or other healthy snacks before leaving home, so you won’t be tempted to buy high-calorie snacks on your break.
4. Eat Slowly and Mindfully
There’s a ten to 30 minute delay from the time you swallow your food to the time you feel full. That’s why you eat a lot of food before feeling satiated. And the faster you eat, the more you eat.
Chew food slowly and taste your food instead of gulping it down. Try to chew each bite seven to ten times before swallowing to let your brain catch up to your stomach.
5. Try Adding These Hunger-Stopping Foods to Your Diet
Greek yogurt has more calcium than milk or plain yogurt. Calcium helps boost feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain producing more serotonin to keep you calm and happy. The happier you are, the less you’ll overeat.
Bananas are another depression-busting food. When you’re feeling down and ready to overeat, grab a banana instead. Potassium-rich bananas help balance gut microbes known to cause depression. Their high starch content offers carbohydrates that resist digestion (for a while, anyway) to make you feel full.
When you sit down for a night of Netflix or Hulu, you may be tempted to eat potato chips, cookies, and French fries. Substitute air-popped popcorn with cayenne pepper sprinkled. The popcorn gives you roughage to keep digestion on track, and the cayenne pepper boosts your metabolism to keep pounds at bay.
6. Eat Smaller Meals
Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to curb hunger. By putting less time between meals, the reasoning goes, you’ll stave off hunger pangs that cause excess eating. Some new research suggests that there’s no difference between the number of meals you eat a day and weight loss.
The bottom line? The number of meals you eat doesn’t matter as much as your total calorie count for the day. You may feel more comfortable eating six mini-meals rather than three square meals, or vice versa. Regardless of your choice, include fiber and protein with each meal to fill you up and stop overeating.
Food isn’t the only thing on your table that figures into your calorie count. The size of your dinner dish can have a psychological effect on how much you eat. It’s easy to finish everything on our plate even if we’re not hungry – after all, it’s only good manners. Use smaller plates at home to prevent scarfing down too much food.
Share one entrée with a friend when eating at a restaurant, or ask for a doggie bag to save a portion for later. Use a small plate for main dishes if you’re attending a buffet-style dinner party.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.