The way in which we can stop overeating has less to do with our lunch choices, and more to do with mindless snacking. If you’re anything like me, when you watch a movie you’ll dig into a bag of chips, or eat peanuts, and half way through the movie you realize you had about a hundred times more food in that you initially planned. So let’s have a look at a few tips on how to stop overeating and controlling our cravings.
1. Identify It!
First you must identify that you are snacking. You know, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem, right? Whenever possible, as you start snacking, stop for a moment and try to become aware of it. Say to yourself “OK, I started snacking while watching this TV show”. If you know when it happens and what your snacking triggers are, you can find ways to stop overeating a lot easier.
2. Distract Yourself
Most of the time we cannot stop overeating because we are bored. We have nothing better to do, and that food is just right there, so whatcha gonna do? Well, NOT EAT IT. If you’re having a hard time facing boredom, try to distract yourself. Go for a walk, or play a video game, or paint your nails, or pet your dog- pretty much anything that will keep your mind busy. It’s not always possible (think of parties with food, hard to get away from those), but whenever possible try distracting yourself.
3. Brush Your Teeth
I know this doesn’t sound like a way to stop overeating but in fact brushing your teeth might be the one thing that makes you turn away from snacks when you feel like eating mindlessly. After you brush your teeth, because of the menthol in both toothpaste and mouthwash, you cannot eat anything for quite a while. It all tastes a bit weird- sweet isn’t quite sweet, and salty feels like salted chewing gum- eeeew! So try this nifty little trick to make your snacks stop tasting so appealing.
4. Portion Control – Put It In A Bowl
When you eat chips straight out of the bag, it’s really hard to stop overeating. You munch and you munch and before you know it the bag is almost empty. If you put it in a bowl instead, you will eat from the bowl, and when it is empty you will have to physically do something about it. You’ll have to get up and fill the bowl again, and if this happens over and over you become more and more aware that you are eating a lot (remember point 1?). When you are aware of how many bowls you had, you are more willing to stop having the next serving, and just drink a bit of water instead. And speaking of which…
5. Drink Water
Not only does water help you stop overeating by filling you up a bit, but it also energizes your body. Water is the main fuel for your cells, so if you’re having a sluggish day (where you just feel like lounging and eating all day) water might help you feel better, and maybe you will get active and forget about snacking. And keep in mind that we sometimes confuse thirst for hunger! When you feel like you really want to snack, but you know you can’t already be hungry because you just ate lunch, just drink a glass of water. The cravings will soon stop and you will see that it was in fact just the thirst sensation that made you go for that snack.
What tricks do you use to make sure you stop overeating? Share your ideas in the comments section below.