10 Tips to Help You Stop Overeating (+ Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe)

Has this ever happened to you? Not hungry, you walk into a room, see food, and grab some just because it’s there. That just happened to me yesterday. I wasn’t thinking about food or feeling hungry at all when I walked into the break room at my office and saw cookies on the table – homemade chocolate chip (my fav). They looked and smelled awesome so I grabbed one and ate it without a thought.

overeating

Why do we so often find ourselves eating mindlessly?

There are various reasons why we eat without thinking.  Some people eat because they are bored and it gives them something to do.  Others eat out of habit; for example, snacking while watching TV.  And it’s not at all uncommon to eat for emotional reasons as a way to make ourselves feel better.

Oftentimes we mindlessly follow cues from the outside world that tell us when and what to eat. Just seeing or smelling food is enough to make us want to eat.  It doesn’t take much brain power or effort to pick up a fork (or a cookie) and start eating – bite, swallow, repeat.  Unfortunately, overtime mindless eating can lead to excess body fat and eventual health problems.

Use these 10 tips to stop the mindless overeating.

  1. Before you start eating, think about why you are about to eat.
    • Are you feeling truly hungry (growling stomach, low energy, headache, can’t focus)?
    • Do you want to soothe emotions such as boredom, loneliness, stress, or sadness?
    • Would you like the experience of tasting a food that looks appealing?
  2. Use the Mindful Eating Journal to help you keep track of what, when, and why you are eating.
  3. Write down 3 or more things you can do instead of eating when you want to eat for emotional reasons. For example, you could read a book, take a walk, call a friend, or enjoy a cup of hot tea.
  4. Arrange your environment to support a healthy approach to eating. Try these strategies:
    • Use smaller bowls and plates. You’ll naturally end up with smaller portions.
    • When loading up a plate, cover half of it with vegetables.
    • Put healthier, lower-calorie foods like cut-up veggies in the front of fridge where they are easy to reach. The cheese can go in a drawer out of sight.
    • Get rid of the cookie jar and replace it with a fruit bowl.
    • When putting away leftovers, placing the most tempting items in foil or an opaque container so they’re easier to put out of mind.
    • Instead of eating straight from a package, transfer food to a plate or bowl so you can see the portion size.
    • If you stockpile foods, put them out of sight until you really need them.
  5. When you want to eat just because food is there and it looks good, set limits. Decide on a reasonable portion before you take some. Then go ahead and enjoy the experience but realize that the eating more will not taste any better; and you might regret it.
  6. After a meal, wait 15 – 20 minutes before eating a second helping or dessert. This will allow your stomach the time it needs to tell your brain that it has had enough.
  7. Eat breakfast every day and have it at about the same. This will help to create a healthy eating pattern and avoid extreme hunger by mid-morning.
  8. Aim to eat every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day. Eat a snack if your meal is more than 4 hours apart to avoid extreme hunger. Always have healthy snacks on hand just in case.
  9. Keep your body well hydrated. Drink water with and in between meals. This healthy habit will keep you well hydrated and help to avoid confusing thirst with hunger.
  10. Focus on the food while you are eating and avoid distractions. Slow down! Smell, taste, chew, and enjoy your food. Do not eat while watching TV, reading, or surfing the internet as this may cause you to eat more food than your body needs.

Lorraine

PS…
Click HERE to grab your RECIPE for Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread. Eat mindfully and enjoy!

This entry was posted in Eating for the Health of it, Mindful Eating, Recipes for Health, Weight Management and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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