How to Avoid Overeating at Meals
We’ve all done it. The amazing aroma and delicious flavor gets the best of us. Just one more little serving right? Then all of a sudden your pants are feeling a little tight and your ready to take a nap. Food coma.
Overeating. This can have a big impact on our weight, energy levels, and overall health and well being. Of course our body needs food for fuel and we usually eat amazingly healthy foods. But even too much of a good thing can be bad.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind at your next celebratory meal to keep yourself on track to your goals and avoid overeating for good!
Tip#1 Don’t Show up Hungry
Too often when we have a big dinner on the agenda, lunch is skipped with the idea that it will all balance out. Save calories now to fill up later. Sorry, that plan will back fire. Showing up to a celebratory meal with your stomach growling will be destructive. All of a sudden you can’t focus on the stories about Uncle Paul because you are eyeing the pre-dinner snacks. The cheese plate doesn’t stand a chance and you are filling up before the main meal even hits. Once dinner is served, it becomes easy to justify the extra serving of stuffing because you didn’t eat lunch, right? Sound familiar?
Lets put it into perspective. An average lunch, a turkey sandwich with side salad would add up to about 400 calories. The average thanksgiving meal is 3000 calories. Crazy right? Now add in that extra stuffing, maybe a little more mashed potatoes and don’t forget to soak up the gravy with one more roll. You could be taking in another full days’ worth of food energy because your ravenous hunger left all logic out the door.
Eat before you arrive. It may be a lighter lunch but don’t show up starving. Help keep those blood sugars balanced and allow some self-control before your next celebratory meal. Not sure what it mans to balance your blood sugars? CLICK HERE to book a free discovery call and learn how balancing blood sugars can eliminate cravings.
Tip #2: Start with Salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. Your mom’s famous scalloped potatoes have been calling your name. Don’t worry, you can have some. Ill never suggest to any of my nutrition clients to stop enjoying traditional dishes or pass up on a family favorite. But don’t start there.
Opt for veggies first. Whether they are raw in a salad or a cooked side dish, veggies are a great way to start any meal. They are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals. Best of all, besides being delicious of course, they have satiety weapons: fiber and water.Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”.
These secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal. By starting with veggies, you are guaranteed to get in the nutrients your body needs to effectively metabolize heavier foods. You will also likely eat less of the richer dishes because you are already feeling partially satisfied.
Tip #3 Make it worth it.
As we enter into a season of heavier meals and celebrations be choosy with what you indulge in. It may be a special meal but its not your last meal. There are often plenty of options to pile on your plate, but it doesn’t mean you have to have all of them. If mashed potatoes are just OK in your opinion but pumpkin pie is your thing, pass on the potatoes and enjoy your pie. Don’t waste calories on items that are only mediocre. Everyone has their favorites over the holidays, so have them but pass on the rest. The bonus here is that since you get to enjoy your favorite dishes, you wont feel deprived.
Tip #4: Eat “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 savoring 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.
Tip # 5: Socialize
Enjoy your company. Almost every celebration involves food. A time to get together and share a meal and connect. In our faced paced world, these opportunities seem to happen less frequently so embrace them. Food happens every day, multiple times a day. But the company may only happen every few months. Focus on the social aspect vs how much gravy you can get on your plate. Create memories not just another case of indigestion because you ate too much.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Interested to learn more about healthy eating habits? CLICK HERE to book a free consultation with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.