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.
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.
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.