We all overeat on occasion, but if you’re the type to eat beyond satisfaction on a regular basis, it’s time to take action. Here are 3 practical tips that help to prevent overeating.
1. Start snacking! Ravenous hunger is your worst enemy if you’re prone to overeating, because literally no one can make healthy decisions when she’s starving. So the solution is to eat more frequently. There’s no particular rule you should follow (like “eat every 2 hours”), but it’s good to listen to your body and when you start to get hungry, have a little something, even if it’s close to mealtime. To make this habit easier to stick with, keep healthy snacks handy in all the places you might get hungry: home, work, school, the car, your purse, etc.
2. Drink alcohol after a meal, not before. Having a drink before a meal can increase your appetite (experts even encourage chemo patients to have a little alcohol before a meal so they eat more) and cause you to eat foods, or amounts of food, you wouldn’t otherwise eat. So, plan to have your wine, beer, or cocktail after you eat. You’ll already feel satisfied, so you’ll be less likely to overindulge. More drinking tips.
3. Minimize variety within a meal. Eating a wide variety of foods in general is a healthy habit, but being faced with a variety of foods at a given meal will almost always cause you to eat more (think about potlucks or dinner parties where you want to try everything, then go back for seconds of your favorites). So instead of focusing on eating balanced meals where every food group is represented, focus on achieving balance over the course of a whole day. Within a meal, limiting variety will minimize the temptation to overeat. It also helps to plate your food in the kitchen and then sit down to eat, as opposed to putting everything on the table and serving “family style.”