This past weekend I decided to stay in and have a movie night with a few friends.
Everyone brought some food along and we set everything out in front of us to enjoy.
Then, before I knew it, all of the treats had been wiped out and I was left feeling stuffed, but having no recollection of having eaten as much as I did.
This got me thinking about mindless eating and how easy it is to overeat when we are distracted.
From this little bit of inspiration, here are 5 tips to keep you from overeating…
1. Pay Attention
Distracted eating frequently results in overeating. This can be at work in front of the computer, or at home in front of the television. Either way, if you have food in front of you, chances are you are going to eat a lot more without realizing it. Your best bet to sit and enjoy each meal without distraction. If you must eat in front of the t.v., make sure to portion your food onto a plate or bowl beforehand and leave the rest in the kitchen.
2. Slow Down
Have you ever wolfed down a plate of food in no time at all and then felt uncomfortably full 15 or 20 minutes later? The fact is that it takes time for food satisfaction signals to reach your brain. Slowing down and savoring your food will mean that you enjoy it more and that you can stop before you overdo it.
3. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals will make controlling your food intake extra difficult. If you wait too long to eat, your blood sugar will drop and this can make you feel tired and ravenous. This means that just saying no to the vending machine or that box of donuts in the break room may be nearly impossible. Your best bet to control overeating is to have regular meals and healthy snacks in between.
4. Eat Your Breakfast
Research has shown that those who eat a balanced breakfast in the morning consume less over the course of a day than those who don’t, and they tend to weigh less. I realize that time in the morning can be tight, but there are plenty of quick and healthy breakfasts that only take a couple of minutes to prepare (or be super smart and do it the night before).
5. Get Your ZZZ’s
Too little sleep can have a direct effect on food cravings (not to mention your stress level). Healthy adults should aim for between 7-9 hours of sleep each night on as consistent a schedule as possible. Insufficient sleep can lower leptin, which is the hormone that tells your body when you are full. And it raises your level of ghrelin, which is the hormone that triggers hunger.
And, don’t forget, another great way to curb cravings and keep yourself satisfied is by drinking 2 cups of Wu-Long Tea every day.