Tips to prevent overeating
You may overeat for various different reasons. You might eat too much when you are stressed, maybe you overeat due to a lack of planning or because you use food as a pick-me-up.
There are many ways to avoid or prevent overeating and looking at research in weight management the following science-backed tips have shown to be successful strategies in helping you to stop overeating
1 Limit distractions
Do you find yourself doing other things while eating? Like check your phone, watch TV or work on your computer?
Studies have concluded that distracted eating could cause an increase in immediate food intake and a more significant increase in the amount that you eat later in the day.
2 Eating slowly
Studies have demonstrated that people who eat slowly have a lower body mass index and eat smaller meals.
Try and put your knife and fork down between bites, sit down while eating and savor each mouthful.
Eating slowly will allow your brain to catch up with your stomach and send the signal that you are full.
3 Reduce the portion size on your plate
Often we fill our plates with too much food. Try to reduce the amount of food on your plate and if you want seconds, wait a few minutes and see if you are really still hungry. If you are, then have some more.
4 Remove temptation
It is hard to stick to any food plan when you have unhealthy food in the house. According to the Center for Disease control, opening up a press and seeing a favorite snack food is a common trigger of overeating.
Clear your cupboards of tempting snacks, speak to family members and ask them to help you not to have unhealthy snacks where you can see them and donate unopened items to a charity.
5 Eat food high in fiber
Eating both soluble and insoluble fiber can help you feel full for longer, which generally helps prevent overeating. Fiber is a type of plant carbohydrate that occurs in many foods, including:
- whole grains
- beans, peas, and lentils
- many vegetables, including leafy greens and sweet potatoes
- most nuts and seeds
- oats and oat bran
- many whole fruits, especially berries and fruits with peels
6 Eat foods high in Protein
Protein-rich foods tend to create a longer-lasting sense of fullness and satisfaction than other foods. Eating protein-rich foods, especially at breakfast, also appears to reduce the levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin.
- high protein yogurts and yogurt drinks, such as kefir
- most nuts and seeds
- most types of milk
- most beans, peas, and lentils
- fish, poultry, or lean beef
- protein powders, which people can add to smoothies, shakes, or healthful baked goods
7 Eating regularly
Do you skip meals in the belief that it will help you lose weight?
Skipping meals can cause overeating at other times, leading to weight gain. Research also suggests that eating breakfast can help control appetite and reduce overeating later in the day.
8 Reduce stress
According to research, stress contributes to overeating and the development of obesity. After a stressful event, raised hormone levels promote hunger to encourage the body to replace lost energy. As a result, chronic stress could lead to persistent hunger, overeating, and excessive weight gain.
9 Track your food intake
Food diaries, journals, and diet tracking apps can often help minimise overeating and allow you to identify poor eating habits or patterns.
10 Limit alcohol intake
Many studies show that alcohol intake correlates with obesity.
To avoid accidentally overeating, try cutting back on or limiting alcohol intake. Alcohol is also full of empty calories, meaning that it may cause weight gain without providing any nutritional value.
11 Staying hydrated with water
Staying hydrated is an important way to prevent overeating.
Research found that there was a significant relationship between being dehydrated and having an elevated BMI or obesity.
Aim to have 2l of water a day.
Eating habits can take some time to break. You might find it easier to focus on changing one habit at a time. Be gentle with yourself, it often does take longer than 21 days to change a habit, so don’t beat yourself up. Take as long as you need, you will get there in the end and create lifelong healthy habits which lead you to a healthy weight.
Many people find it easiest to focus on changing one habit at a time instead of trying to break several patterns all at once. It is also usually best to try dealing with minor issues first before tackling more significant ones.
Remember that you are learning new skills. Make changes to long term habits is like learning a new instrument. You need to keep practicing until you do it well.
Be kind to yourself and keep going!