Sometimes those hoiday feasts are just amazing.

It’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It’s way too easy (and common) to over-indulge on those days.

But it doesn’t always stop there.

Sometimes we over-eat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals:

(Psst – turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1 – Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s all too easy to fill a plate (or just grab a few samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But, did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst for that of being hungry or tired? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a high-calorie feast.

And, if you drink water before (and during) eating, you’ll fill up faster and have less room for the calories!

Tip #2 – Eat “mindfully”

You’ve heard of “mindfullness”, but have you applied it to your eating habits?

Just as being mindful and aware when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps focus attention on your meal, and keeps you aware of how much you are eating.

Being mindful as you eat can help you avoid overeating as well as it has the added bonus of helping your digestion.

You do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture of your food. Breathe.

This will help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less. When you eat quickly there is a lag of about 20 minutes before your stomach signals your brain that it is full, stops your feelings of hunger, and signals for you to stop eating.

So, take your time. Pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite!

Bonus Tip: Eat at a table (not in front of a screen), eat off a SMALL plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3 – Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish, but don’t start there.

(Don’t worry, you can have some… just AFTER you’ve eaten your salad. There’s a reason that in restaurants and formal meals that the salad is served first.)

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re not only full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-

promoting phytochemicals, but the also have some “secret” satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water help fill you up and FEEL “fuller”. They’re “satiating.”

Also, the time it takes you to eat the salad gives time for your stomach to start signaling your brain that it now has food in it, so that you’ll be inclined to eat less (or at least be satisfied sooner by) the entree or main course that comes next.

These “secret weapons” are great to have at your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary

Have a glass of water BEFORE you eat, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

BONUS – Water Recipies

Tasty (and beautiful) pre-meal water ideas.

Recipes for water? Why?

Water is the stuff of life and when you’re really thirsty nothing tastes so good as a glass of cold, pure mineralized water.

The rest of the time face it. It’s a bit bland.

But, you don’t have to succumb to sugar (and calorie) -laden beverages to quench your thirst, or to fill up before a meal.

Try one of these five delicious fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • ¬†Slices of lemon and ginger
  • Slices of strawberries and oranges
  • Slices of apple and a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple and mango
  • Blueberries and raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several) of chopped frozen fruit. Keep in your freezer and throw them into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning before adding water. They’re already washed and cut, and will help keep your water colder longer.

These ideas will add subtle flavor to your water, and natural sweetness, and added vitamins and minerals – AND you can eat the fruit as a natural snack!

Judy Hahn
Judy Hahn

Judy is an Immersive Wellness Coach who inspires, empowers, and educates clients who are suffering with chronic health issues, but want to engage fully in both their lives and careers without health issues holding them back. Using personalized functional medicine principles, Judy collaborates with her clients to uncover the root causes of their unique health concerns to employ the best methods for rapid recovery.

Judy supports her clients to learn how to take charge of, and to confidently control, their own health and wellness for long-term results.