Food is something no one can live without. For many not living in poverty, eating has become more of a pleasure than a necessity over the past few decades. From pizza to burgers, the body’s craving for unhealthy food has increased exponentially as junk food becomes more easily accessible. According to Health Line, eating too much food can lead to weight gain and put you at risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Plus, it can hold you back from reaching your health and wellness goals and may negatively impact your emotional well-being. Although breaking the cycle of overeating can be challenging, there are ways to kick this unhealthy habit for good.
GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS: Whether it’s working through lunch in front of the computer or noshing on chips while you catch up on your favourite television show, eating while distracted is a common occurrence for most people. While this habit might seem harmless, it may be causing you to overeat. A review of 24 studies found that being distracted during a meal led people to consume more calories at that meal. It also caused them to eat more food later in the day compared to people who paid attention to their food while eating.
KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES: Pinpointing which foods you have a particularly hard time limiting can help you decrease your chances of overeating. For example, if you have a habit of eating a large bowl of ice cream every night, stop keeping ice cream in your freezer. Preparing healthy options like a sliced apple with peanut butter, hummus and veggies, or homemade trail mix can help you make better choices when you are searching for a treat.
Another helpful tip is to keep unhealthy snack foods like chips, candy and cookies out of sight so that you aren’t tempted to grab a handful every time you walk past.
DON’T BAN ALL YOUR FAVOURITE FOODS: Restrictive eating patterns that cut out many of your favourite foods may cause you to feel deprived and drive you to binge on forbidden treats. Diets that concentrate on whole, unprocessed foods are always best, but making room for an occasional treat is perfectly healthy. Swearing you will never have a treat is not realistic for most people. Instead, focus on providing your body with mostly healthy, nutritious food while also giving yourself the freedom to truly enjoy favourite foods here and there.
GIVE VOLUMETRICS A GO: Volumetrics is a way of eating that focuses on filling up with low-calorie, high-fibre foods like non-starchy vegetables. Consuming foods that are low in calories and high in fibre and water before meals can help you feel full so that you aren’t tempted to overeat.
Examples of volumetrics-friendly foods include grapefruit, salad greens, broccoli, beans, tomatoes and low-sodium broth. Eating a large salad or a bowl of low-sodium, broth-based soup before lunch and dinner may be an effective way to prevent overeating.
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