Sometimes overeating is just a mindless activity, an open bag of chips or box of chocolates while you are checking your e-mail or watching tv, and suddenly you’ve eaten the entire contents. Other times overeating is a conscious decision “ you’re stressed out, upset, or riding some other emotional rollercoaster, and overeating just makes you feel better. And sometimes it’s just a simple case of the food being so good you eat more than you intended to eat. Looking for some ways to avoid overeating? Try some of the tips below.
Put a certain portion of food on your plate and stick to it. Don’t eat out of a bag of chips, put a handful in a bowl. Ditto for crackers, cheese curls, and anything else that comes in a bag. Put two chocolates on a napkin instead of settling an open box on the couch beside you. If it helps, weigh and measure out your food so you know exactly how much you’re eating. Limiting your portions will help you avoid overeating.
Avoid keeping munchies in the house.
This is a simple way to stop overeating “ if you don’t keep the types of food you are likely to overeat in your house or apartment, you can (over)eat them! Also known as trigger foods, if you know you won’t be able to stop once you open that bag of Oreos, than don’t buy them. Ditto for other foods that tempt you. This won’t stop you from simply going out and buying the food you are craving, but you may find that the time it takes you to get to the market may help you avoid the urge to overeat.
Don’t starve yourself all day.
Starving yourself all day is sure to lead to overeating. You deprive yourself all day for whatever reason “ no time to eat, no time to shop for food, the hope of losing a few pounds quickly. But by the end of the day your willpower is gone, and you can’t seem to eat food fast enough. To avoid the overeating habit, try to eat three meals a day, with enough calories and variety to make you feel full and satisfied at the end of the day.
Avoid the nighttime eating habit.
Nighttime can be a big time for overeating because you find yourself snuggling down on the couch with a bag of chips or some takeout food and just mindlessly munching away. This can be a way that you unwind from the day, possibly added to by the fact that you skipped dinner. Eating before bed can interfere with your sleep patterns as well as lead to overeating. Instead, have a cup of herbal tea, or a very light snack like a glass of milk and a piece of toast to help avoid this bad habit.
Find other stress relievers.
If you’re a stress eater, catch yourself at it and try finding other things to do that you enjoy (instead of overeating.) Take a walk, listen to your iPod, watch all those TV shows you’ve put on your DVR (don’t eat while doing so!) Replacing overeating with a healthy habit like walking can only double the benefits received from breaking this bad habit.