So last week’s blog named it – the dreaded Covid -15 – the extra weight you have been accumulating in the last several months, due to working from home, not working at all, added stress, less restraints, and getting to wear our athleisure wear to work (that is staying in our sweats/jammies all day).
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge these days.
This week is all about workarounds to not gain anymore weight or to start working towards losing what we have gained. Remember, small stackable habits make a huge diffference.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
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 (or grab some samples with your bare hands) 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 eat, leaving less room for the over-indulging, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
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, mindfulness when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Cultivate a Hara Hachi Bu mindset - this is a Japanese philosophy of eating until you are 80% full. Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste, and texture. Breathe.
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. And yes, there are apps for that! Try Time Your Bites to help you eat slower (and therefore, feel fuller and eat less).
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
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.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe: Yummy Pre-meal Water
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 (and beautiful looking) 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
Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or mason jar in the morning. They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
And don’t forget to register for my Introduction to Intermittent Fasting on August 26 at 11:am to find out if this method of eating can help you!
If you like this post, please share – and have a great week!