Reprinted with the kind permission of Sue Ingebretson and Rebuilding Wellness
Has overeating ever happened to you even with advanced planning? It’s probably happened to most of us. Delectable foods, enjoyable conversations, and extended times at the dinner table can sabotage anyone’s notion of “I’ll eat sensibly.”
Overeating can lead to pain, fatigue, depression, and unwanted weight gain (among other concerns).
I’ll cut right to the chase. Here are three basic tips that can help you to survive mealtime temptations and keep the overstuffed feeling at bay.
Top 3 Tips to Prevent Overeating
1) Eat REAL Food
Fake food – processed, packaged, nutrient-deficient foods – actually INCREASE cravings and decrease satiety, meaning they leave you feeling unsatisfied and wanting more.
I’ve never heard a client confess to me, “I’ve just overeaten a whole plate full of broccoli!” But the same isn’t true for Girl Scout cookies.
the body what it needs.
Real foods naturally satisfy the body with healthy fats, healthy proteins, and plenty of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense veggies.
2) Take a Gratitude Break
Whether eating alone or with friends and family at your next gathering, take a quick break before eating. Take a deep breath (or 3), say a prayer, and seize the opportunity to appreciate your surroundings.
Fill your heart with gratitude.
A grateful heart is less likely to feel undernourished and ravenously hungry (especially when emotional eating is at play). The emotions of thankfulness and gratitude send a cascade of “happy hormones” rushing through the body which turn off hunger hormones. What a happy remedy!
3) Use a Hunger Scale
If you’ve never heard of a hunger scale before, it’s a simple method to rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 — with 1 being ravenous and 10 being stuffed.
Using a basic hunger scale before mealtimes can be very effective. It gives you the opportunity to step back from the moment and give your appetite some perspective. It’s common to say out loud, “I’m starving!” but are we really?
Give yourself the breathing space to assess how hungry you truly are. This step may be exactly what you need to prevent eating more than you’ve planned. For a quick overview of a hunger scale and how to use it, check out this article.
More Overeating Tips and Strategies
The tips listed above are easy-to-follow, simple remedies that provide a practical and pragmatic approach to mealtimes. Before mealtimes, if we allow a moment to take a step back and assess how we feel, we may discover what we’re truly looking for.
If cravings, deep hunger, and/or emotional eating has been a pattern for you, these tips will get you started but may not address underlying root concerns. An “empty” heart may trigger cravings for social connections that feel like cravings for food. Food is often used as a companion or a substitute for what the heart longs for.
Speaking with friends can help as well as finding local support groups. For the most effective and efficient methods to get to the root cause, working with a health coach one-on-one can help you discover freedom from overeating as well as freedom from other health and food-related concerns.
For more information on working with a health coach, check out this article. Be sure to leave a comment below on your favorite tips on how to prevent overeating.
Sue Ingebretson is the Natural Healing Editor for ProHealth.com as well as a frequent contributor to ProHealth's Fibromyalgia site. She’s an Amazon best-selling author, speaker, and workshop leader. Additionally, Sue is an Integrative Nutrition & Health Coach, a Certified Nutritional Therapist, a Master NLP Practitioner, and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. You can find out more and contact Sue at www.RebuildingWellness.com.