Here’s How to Prevent Yourself From Overeating

 

Sometimes the reason we eat isn’t because we’re physically hungry, but because we’re reacting to outside triggers such as stress. Whatever the reason, learning how to stop ourselves from overeating is an incredibly useful tool. Follow these steps to ensure that you are eating to satiate yourself – and nothing more.

 

Get rid of your distractions

To eat intuitively and really understand your body’s hunger cues, you must step away from the TV and your cell phone and sit down at the table. Ridding yourself of distractions will help you focus simply on eating. This will keep you from reaching for more food.

 

Eat breakfast

The saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” doesn’t exist for no reason! Not only does eating a balanced breakfast in the morning ensure that we stay focused and energized throughout the rest of the day, but it also means we’re more likely to eat less later on. Eat some fresh fruit with yogurt, whole grain cereal, or oatmeal to start your day off right.

 

Drink water

 

Studies suggest that nearly 60% of the time we feel hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. We should aim to drink around 64 oz of water a day. Having a glass of water before you sit down for a meal will help to keep your stomach full and will, in turn, prevent you from overeating.  

 

Don’t eat out of the bag

Portion out your snacks. Eating out of the bag will only make it harder for you to stop yourself from finishing the whole thing. Instead, setting aside a handful of whatever it is you’re munching on will help you to stop eating once you’re done.

 

Eat every 4 hours

When we’re hungry, it’s hard to control how much we eat. Often times, we shovel food into our mouths and then realize we’re full – once it’s too late and the damage has already been done. Regular eating helps to keep our blood sugar and energy levels stable, thus keeping us from scarfing down tons of food all in one sitting. Keep some fruit and unsalted nuts within arms reach throughout the day. Packed with fiber, you can munch on these without feeling guilty. They’ll leave you feeling full and their disease-fighting nutrients will keep you healthy – an added bonus!

 

Fill up on fiber and protein

Fiber makes us feel full for longer. This is because the body processes fiber-rich foods more slowly. Aim for getting at least 25g of fiber a day through produce such as apples and carrots, along with whole grains. Similar to fiber, protein also keeps us feeling satisfied and less hungry throughout the day. Try to get about 30% of your daily calories from protein. Do this through eating egg whites, lean turkey and chicken, and black beans and soybeans.

 

Healthy Pantry Tips: Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Springtime is the perfect time to adopt the “in with the new, out with the old” attitude. While this slogan can be applied to many aspects of our lives, it is especially relevant to what we keep tucked away in our pantries. Read on to see how you can give your pantry the makeover it needs to stay on track with your goals.

 

Throw-away items for a healthy pantry:

Junk:

Remember – see no junk, eat no junk. Start your spring cleaning by throwing out some obvious culprits…

  • Refined sugars: get rid of candy, cookies, microwavable popcorn, high-sugar cereals, baking mixes, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. Foods high in added sugar do nothing for us besides expand our waistlines!
  • Foods high in trans fats: what are trans fats? Keep your eyes peeled for labels reading, “partially hydrogenated oil”… that’s trans fat. You can find this in microwavable popcorn, baking mixes, creamers, and packaged cookies and crackers.
  • Packaged goods: speaking of packaged goods, it’s better to stay away from them. This means chips, cookies, and even pretzels. They don’t provide our bodies with any nutrients and they do very little to keep us full. Ever noticed how easy it is to finish an entire bag of these goodies? Unfortunately too easy, so keep these out of sight and you won’t be tempted!
  • Salt: our taste buds looove salt, which is why manufacturers pile it on in the foods they produce. Sodium raises our blood pressure and leaves us feeling bloated.
  • Refined grains: refined grains such as white rice and pasta have very little nutritional value. Opt for whole grains instead.

 

Must-have items for a healthy pantry:

Fill your pantry with these clean alternatives!

  • Fats: extra virgin olive oils, coconut oil, and other nut oils are great replacements to the fatty oils we often use to cook our food.
  • Sugars: get your sweet fix through honey, organic maple syrup, and dates.
  • Flour: go to your nearest health foods store for some coconut flour, oat flour, or almond flour.
  • Snacks: craving something to nosh on? Choose dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They’re easy to carry and they keep us feeling full.
  • Whole grains: pack your pantry with foods such as steel-cut oats, high-fiber cereals, and wheat bran (great breakfast options) and whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole-wheat couscous (great lunch and dinner options).

Yummy Alternatives for Carb-heavy Dishes

While carbohydrates provide us with a quick source of fuel, eating too much of them – especially refined foods like white bread and sugar – can be detrimental to our bodies. To name just a few negative side effects, eating too many carbs causes erratic shifts in our blood sugar levels and impacts our energy, mood, and weight. Read on to learn about different carb substitutes that are both delicious and nutritious!

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Zoodles

Zoodles are the carb-free answer for all pasta lovers. Use a spiralizer on zucchini, eggplant, squash – you name it! – and transform your pasta dish into something much healthier. While two cups of pasta is about 480 calories, has 90 grams of carbs, and two grams of fiber, two cups of zucchini noodles is only 66 calories and has twelve grams of carbs and four grams of fiber. Seems like a great alternative, doesn´t it? Top the dish with a sugar-free tomato sauce and you’re in for a lean and yummy dinner.

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Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet potato toast is a perfect gluten-and-bread-free replacement for toast. It is full of fiber and antioxidants that make it a great addition to any breakfast, lunch, or snack. Jazz up the slices of sweet potato by adding nut butters, avocado, or hummus on top.

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Cauliflower Rice

Aside from its tastiness, cauliflower also provides many health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants to help detoxify our bodies and is loaded with nutrients like vitamin C and B6, magnesium, and potassium. Not to mention, it also only has three grams of carbs per every 100 grams. Use a food processor or even a cheese grater to dice the veggie into small pieces, add some oil and seasonings, and you’re good to go!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Make a large batch of cauliflower rice to also use for pizza crust. Strain the rice, make the dough, and add your toppings. Pizza crust made out of cauliflower is crispy and thin, giving the perfect crunch in every bite… Mmm!

 

How What You Eat Affects How You Feel

I’m sure we´ve all heard of the saying, “you are what you eat.” Well, this statement has more truth to it than most of us are probably aware of. The foods we eat actually have an effect on our brain chemistry, thus impacting the way we feel. While some foods, such as those high in sugar, can negatively impact our moods, other foods can make us feel calmer and happier. Read on to see the ways in which foods alter our moods, and also find out about how you can improve your state of mind through what you put into your mouth.

Are you eating often enough?

Eating at regular intervals ensures that our blood sugar levels remain steady. Likewise, it means our bodies are receiving a consistent and continuous source of fuel, which helps to keep our minds at ease. Remember that not eating enough calories can have a negative impact on the way we feel as it makes us feel groggy, tired, and have low energy.

Are you skipping meals?

I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to the idea that we’ll lose weight if we eat less – meaning if we skip meals, we’ll shrink in size! Not only is this notion untrue, but it usually means we’ll overeat at our next meal. More importantly, however, cutting out essential food groups means we’re denying our bodies of the fuel it needs to produce serotonin (the chemical in our brains that makes us feel good). Remember, if you keep yourself from getting too hungry, you’re more likely to ward off a bad mood. Yay!

Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals through your diet?

A diet that lacks essential vitamins and minerals can cause fatigue and even worse – depression. It can also inhibit our ability to concentrate. This is because certain nutrients are crucial for maintaining a healthy brain chemistry. For example, a diet particularly low in omega-3 fatty acids will likely make us feel down in the dumps.

Are you eating too many processed foods?

The biggest culprits that put us in bad moods are refined carbohydrates (such as sugar). Junk food, candy, and sodas, for example, make our blood sugar levels fluctuate as if they were riding a rollercoaster. This in turn leaves us feeling moody and cranky. Refined white starches (think white bread and rice) also have a similar effect. And let’s not forget about alcohol. Alcohol disrupts our sleep patterns and we all know how we act when we’re running on too little sleep… yikes.

So, what can we do to improve our moods through food?

  1. Fill up on the “feel good foods” such as protein and fiber

 

Not only do protein and fiber slow the absorption of carbohydrates in our blood, but they also increase the release of dopamine in our brains, and dopamine=happiness!

So stock up on eggs, poultry, fish, and oats

  1. Eat your essential vitamins

Get your vitamins through eating lots of veggies. Vitamins such as Vitamin D relieve mood disorders whereas Folate and B-12 help ease depression.

To add these to your diet, eat dark leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, and even salmon.

When and Why We Need Vitamins

The best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs are through eating a nutritionally balanced diet.  However, sometimes a supplement may be necessary:

  • You’re over 65 or older. As you get older, health problems can contribute to a poor diet making it difficult to get enough vitamins and minerals. Twenty percent of adults over 60 and 40% over 80 don’t absorb enough vitamin B12 from food; therefore as you get older it is necessary you take a multivitamin.
  • Postmenopausal woman. Need both calcium and vitamin D, these vitamins have  shown to protect against osteoporosis.
  • You eat poorly. If you find you do not eat a well balanced diet, taking a multivitamin can be useful. Although watch for supplements that provide a “megadose”.  Choose a multivitamin supplement that provides about 100% DV of all the vitamins and minerals, with the exception of calcium. Otherwise, the tablet would be too large to swallow.
  • When you are on a very low calorie diet.  If you are eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day; which is not advisable, you may need a multivitamin.
  • You smoke. Tobacco decreases the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, including B-6, vitamin C, folic acid and niacin.
  • You drink excess alcohol. Long term excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the digestion and absorption of thiamin, folic acid, vitamins A, D and B-12. It also affects the minerals zinc, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • When you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant. During this time you need more calcium, folic acid and iron. Food folate is not as well absorbed as synthetic folic acid.
  • If you have special dietary restrictions.  If you’re vegetarian and eliminate all animal products from your diet, you may need additional vitamin B-12.  Emphasize may need.  
  • Your body can’t absorb nutrients properly.  If you have a disease of your gall bladder, liver, intestine, pancreas, or if you have had surgery on your digestive tract, this may result in the inability to digest and absorb nutrients properly.

Dietary supplements can cause problems to nutrient excess, imbalance or adverse interactions with certain prescription drugs.  High doses of single nutrients may also interfere with another nutrient. High doses of vitamin E interfere with vitamin K and enhance the effect of coumarin anticoagulant drugs.  High doses of calcium inhibit iron absorption. Folic acid can mask the signs of B-12 deficiency and may also interfere with anticonvulsant medications.  Zinc supplementation may decrease HDL cholesterol.