Many people, including myself and my family, have trouble when it comes to controlling our appetites and recognizing when we are full which leads to overeating. When a person ignores the fact that they are full and continue to eat food it may lead to weight gain. Overeating nutritious foods like veggies can even play a part in delaying weight loss. It is so important to understand portion control.
What I have learned through teaching people about portion control is to relate the sizes to your hand. Below is my favorite chart for reference.
If you have done years of overeating, your stomach has grown larger to fit and digest all the food that you have kept shoving in your mouth. Due to this, if you change to eating the proper proportions you may still feel hungry after your meals. Good news! There are plenty of things to do to avoid still feeling hungry after your meals.
The best example I have of this is when you are sitting on the couch with a bag of chips and all of a sudden you realize that you ate the whole bag in one sitting. You were distracted by the TV and didn’t realize how much you were consuming. To help avoid overeating don’t look at your phone when you eat, try and not be in the most hectic environment, make mealtime a relaxing and happy time. You’re consuming food and nutrients! How exciting!! Eating food is my favorite part of the day!
Remove the Temptations
I think this is the easiest way to avoid overeating because it starts at the grocery store. As simple as I can put it: If you don’t buy it, it won’t go home with you. If you don’t buy the container of pringles or a bag of Doritos and a Hershey’s bar then you can’t eat them at home. If you have kids or a 14-year-old brother who can eat 3,000 calories a day and not gain 1 pound (thanks Ben) this may seem like you have to buy those “treats for them”. You don’t. Perfect time to get them on the right track of eating more nutritious snacks.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber helps a person feel fuller longer. It’s that simple.
Examples of fiber are oatmeal, whole grains, avocados, most nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, bananas, beans.
Eat More Protein
Higher protein-filled foods make a person feel fuller longer. This can be adding more fibrous foods to your diet. This will lead to less snacking which we know leads to weight gain.
Keep Yourself Occupied
I see how this can be a little bit more difficult while in quarantine but there are still a lot of things to do while everyone is stuck at home. If you are spending the day on the couch, you will get bored and eat. Keep yourself busy by working out, doing chores, projects, work, etc. BUT don’t get this twisted with avoiding distractions. Keep yourself busy throughout the day but when it is time to eat, put the phone down.
Eat Slower/Be Mindful
Notice the textures and flavors of your delicious meals. Don’t take it for granted. Appreciate the food in front of you and enjoy every bite. This will allow you to notice it easier when you feel full and stop eating. Listen to your body.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is beneficial for endless reasons. Drink a glass of water before every meal. You will have less room in your stomach and will feel full quicker.
Maintain Your Stress
Stress eating is a real thing and something I am very guilty of. I know people who can’t eat when they’re stressed, sometimes I wish I worked like that instead. Maintaining your stress can help you feel more in control of your life and will lead to better food choices. When we are stress eating it’s because we feel like food is the only thing that we can control at the moment.
Let People Know Your Goals
Eating with people who have different food goals can be very challenging and takes willpower. Let people know that you are trying to make better choices. They might be more conscious of the food they put out in front of you.
Don’t Skip Meals
Eat regularly. Have your three meals and two snacks each day. Make it a routine. Skipping meals may lead to snacking and overeating because you feel a lot more hungry than ever before.
Incorporate these tips into your life. Notice how you feel after a meal and throughout your day. Comment below your thoughts. Do you already do these suggestions?