We’ve all been there before, just one too many slices of cake or glasses of wine, then the next day we feel fat or hungover. In the moment, it may be hard to resist and easily forget about the consequences. How about those tacos from the taco truck at 2 a.m.? The worst part is we then wake up and wash down that ugly feeling with mimosas and bloody marys. Sometimes we become so hungry that we eat anything in sight, not giving a second thought if it’s what our bodies really need. One of the hardest and most obvious solutions is eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Here are a few ways in which you can stop overeating:
- Eat Slowly. Although this isn’t a new idea, it is true for effectively overcoming overeating. Many diet tips tell you to either sip water between each bite or to chew your food more thoroughly. The reasoning behind this because they are trying to slow down your eating time. Experts say it takes about 12 minutes for a thin person to receive satisfactory signals from the stomach to the brain and about 20 minutes for an obese person. Eating slowly gives the brain time to receive these signals so you can feel full with less amount of food.
- Be aware. Pay attention while you eat. Eating in front of the computer or while driving can easily lead to overeating as we are distracted. Being distracted or hurried doesn’t let the brain properly give signals of satisfaction. Take a moment before you eat to clear yourself of distractions and to focus on what you are about to partake in. Give your meal your full attention and notice when you begin to feel full.
- Make the first few bites count. The first few bites of your meal are when you get the full enjoyment of what you’re eating. After those initial bites, your taste buds begin to lose their sensitivity. By savoring those first few bites you’ll be able to stop eating when you’re physically satisfied.
- Keep up appearances. Using a smaller plate and paying attention to the presentation of the food will help you be aware of how much you’re eating. Using a smaller plate will make your portion size look bigger, therefore telling your brain you’re eating more when you are actually eating less. We’ve heard the expression, “my eyes are bigger than my stomach.” This expression is a perfect example of how we believe we need more food than we really do. It may take some time getting used to, but ultimately a smaller plate will produce a smaller portion.
- Choose satisfying foods. Stay away from foods that will give you empty calories. These are foods that have high amounts of calories for little volume. Foods like milk, cheese, and chocolate are perfect examples of empty calorie food. Look for foods that are high in fiber, protein and/or water. These foods will help keep you satisfied while keeping the calorie count low.