It is January again, the month for a fresh start. At the beginning of every New Year, people overcommit, make grand plans, aspire big milestones and write gigantic goals. In the temporary whim of the dopamine rush, people commit high without considering its required effort and sooner or later, all the plans become a source of a guilt trip.
Apart from earning a lot of money, traveling the world, maintaining healthy relationships, etc., people usually aspire to conserve good health and lose weight fast, as there is no fun with money or travel if you are not feeling and looking good.
However, in order to create lasting impact, sticking to a healthy lifestyle and stopping yourself from overeating or unhealthy, it is vital to begin with the end in mind, i.e. to finalize and create a big “WHY” of such goal. Having a clear “WHY” keeps a person determined and gives motivation when feeling down. So ask yourself, is it because you want to look pretty or handsome in your favorite dress? Or is it you want to feel more energized all day? Or do you want to feel confident by looking young and smart? Start with why.
Let’s talk about some of the strategies or ways to restrict yourself from eating excessively. There are numerous ways to adopt such a lifestyle, some of them are science-backed and some are just effective with a certain set of people around. However, trying out both can help to understand one’s own patterns of eating and one can derive one’s own strategies. Stick with whatever works.
Avoid Distraction While Eating:
Most of us scroll social media, binge-watching Netflix or catching up with friends while eating. Thus, not paying attention to what we are eating. It results in overeating as our brain is not focusing on eating activity and not giving a timely signal to our stomach and body to stop eating.
Restraining distractions while eating helps the body to focus on eating and hence you don’t end up eating way more than you actually required. So, put your phone aside while eating.
Seek Expert Guidance for Healthy Eating:
It is important to understand the calorie intake and required nutrition as per your body requirement when it comes to healthy eating. It will help you in losing those extra pounds earlier than you could ever imagine. A professional dietician or related online service can help you in chalking out a customized eating plan for your needs along with a meal chart to help you avoid junk and overeating.
Start Eating Real Foods:
Adding real, fresh and unprocessed foods also helps to maintain good health. It means to switch to garden-fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, olive oil, fresh-dairy, grass-fed (poultry, beef, lamb), salmon etc. Real food provides maximum nutrition value and restrains from unhealthy body fats.
Drink More Water:
Staying hydrated also restrains from excessive eating. There are multiple studies that show a direct correlation between dehydration and obesity.
Also, water is an easy source to satisfy unwanted and timeless hunger or cravings, as it is free of calories but it fills your stomach for a while and tricks your mind and body into believing that you have consumed much. However, other liquids like sodas, juices and or carbonated drinks end up junking fat in our systems and provide no value. Therefore, grab a water bottle and sip it all day. Additionally, have a cup or glass of water before and during the meal to curb hunger and overeating.
“What gets measured gets managed”. Tracking your intakes and diets can also help in identifying eating patterns and minimizing overeating. Diet tracking gives awareness of what needs to be fixed to get rid of excessive weight and eating healthy. There is plenty of free resources that you can use to monitor your diet.
Additionally, as you go along, this tracking can also be enhanced to further detail monitoring and assessments like the nutritional value of the food you eat, and calorie count, etc.
According to neurosciences, it takes your brain around 20 minutes to know it is full after you start eating. Therefore, when you eat fast, you tend to overeat. Also, it is important to be calm, relax and in the moment while eating, to make your gut’s nervous system work properly. If you are stressed, your stress hormones slow metabolism. So, next time, take a deep breath before start eating.
Take a Pause:
As eating mindfully is vital, it is also wise to be mindful to take pause whenever you feel an urge to eat something. Whenever we get a craving, our mind focuses on “What” to eat instead of “Why” they want to eat. Therefore, it is beneficial to stop and ask ourselves. It brings our awareness back to the body and helps our mind to identify the cues that signal hunger or fullness.
“Front-Door Snack” Technique:
“Out of Sight, out of mind” – You don’t eat the junk that you don’t have it in front of you or at your home. Simply put, don’t store any Pringles, Doritos or Skittles in your kitchen snack doors or counters. Don’t put your willpower to test and increase temptation by storing such food in fridges or cabinets. Instead, try to replace them with healthy snacks like nuts, kale chips, fresh fruits or veggies right next to your front door and eat some whenever you leave home. In this way, you can somehow manage to minimize junk craving within or outside the home. Say NO to junk food!
Don’t ban foods entirely as it will cause you to overeat them later on. Allow yourself one cheat meal a week as a reward for staying on track, consistently following the diet and not giving up. However, make sure that your cheat meal stops at one or two slices of pizza, not more than that. Letting yourself free can make you give in to overeating and food cravings.
The Final Thoughts
As stated above, these are not the ultimate and final strategies to avoid overeating. There are many other tips and tricks like changing eating patterns, varying portion sizes, etc. that can help but you can try some on trial basis and devise your own effective strategy.
Please note that overeating can pose health-related risks in the longer run. Therefore, dieticians and medical professionals should be consulted in case special care is required.