It can be hard to resist a second helping of dinner or a late night snack even though you know this type of overeating is keeping you from losing weight.
You know you need to stop eating too much food, but willpower alone is often not enough. Face it, we’ve all been guilty of a midnight snack or two. Thankfully there are several tactics you can try that can help you resist the temptations and urges to overeat.
If you keep using these tips, they will eventually become habits and your weight problems will be gone for good.
Hide Your Food
If you are the type of person who stores snack foods on counters and tables, you may be unknowingly sabotaging your efforts to stop overeating. Every time you walk by the bag of chips on the counter or the candy bowl on the coffee table, you are reminded that they are there and you will spend the rest of your day thinking about eating them. It is only a matter of time before you give in. You can prevent this mental anguish by putting snacks away in cupboards, where they will not be constant visual reminders to overeat.
Be Strong at the Grocery Store
Everyone has certain types of foods that they find hard to resist. You may be the type that eats the whole bag of chips or empties the ice cream container. A surefire way to stop eating these foods is to stop buying them. It is much easier to use your willpower for an hour to keep yourself from putting snacks in your cart than it is to spend days at home resisting them. Pay attention to the items you tend to overeat and try to resist buying them. If you can’t live without your favourite goodies, you can also try buying them less often and choosing smaller packages.
Use Smaller Plates
It is true that your mind will play tricks on you. When you see empty space on a plate, you will likely think that it does not have enough food on it and may be tempted to add more or have seconds. On the other hand, if you put the same amount of food into a smaller dish and it is suddenly overflowing, you will likely be overjoyed at how much you get to eat.
Wait 20 Minutes
It is also important to use dishes instead of eating food out of the package. Eating straight out of a package allows you to ignore how much you are consuming. If you measure out a serving and make yourself go back for more, you will not be able to ignore the fact that you are eating too much.
Feeling hungry after eating a meal is actually a common occurrence for many people. It can take up to 20 minutes for your body to process the food you ate and send signals to your brain that make you feel full. Before you reach for a second helping, try waiting 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry. Eating slower by taking smaller bites and savouring your food can also help you feel fuller after eating by allowing more time for your body to process the food you ate at the beginning of the meal.
Drinking more water can help you stop overeating by reducing feelings of hunger. Thirst is often confused with being hungry, which may be leading you to eat when you actually need to drink. While the best approach to solve this problem is to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, drinking a glass of water when you feel hungry may also get rid of the urge to eat.
Find a Hobby
A common reason for overeating is boredom. If you find yourself eating when you know you are not hungry, it may be time to find a new hobby. Finding something more interesting to do with your time can help you stop eating too much and alleviate feelings of boredom. A hobby that occupies your hands will also increase your chances of success by making it challenging to eat anything at all. It is difficult to eat chips when you are playing a piano, knitting or building a model airplane.
Some of these tips may work better for you than others, so it is important to try them all to find out which ones are the best for you. You may also find that a certain tip helps you avoid overeating one day, only to let you down the next. When this happens, go easy on yourself and remember that it takes time to break habits that you have spent a lifetime building. If you stick with it and keep trying, you can stop overeating and start developing healthier eating habits.
Power Team Writer
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.