With Easter approaching (or if not Easter then Summer holidays, Christmas…..take your pick!),
we get to enjoy an abundance of delicious food (chocolate) and also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?
Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to your main course, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
My top tip is to enjoy a warm glass of water 30 minutes before you eat, otherwise you can dilute digestive enzymes drinking to close or with your meal.
Read more about why it’s so important to hydrate your body here
Tip #2: Try eating “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 savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe. I actually try and take a few breaths before I start eating to get me in the relaxed mindset.
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.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen or TV), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Learn more about how to slow down, relax and learn breath work with me at yoga
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
If you want to eat a little healthier, download my top recipes here
Have your glass of (warm) water 30 mins before you eat, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of lemon & ginger, slices of strawberries & orange, slices of apple & a cinnamon stick chopped pineapple & mango or blueberries & raspberries.
You can buy a bags of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer – kids love these too!
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