May 28, 2020

How to stop overeating

Eat slowly.
This isn't a new concept; remember all those familiar dieting tips like "chew thoroughly before swallowing"? These were all aimed at slowing us down when we eat. It takes 20 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain. Eating slowly ensures that these important messages have time to reach the brain.

Be aware. Be more attentive about the whole eating experience; don't eat when you are driving or at the computer. When we're distracted or hurried the foods (and calories) we eat tend not to register well in our brains. A brief pre-meal meditation to get centered before eating so you can more easily derive pleasure from your food, give the meal your full attention, and notice when you've had enough.

Make the first bites count. Some experts believe the maximum food enjoyment comes in the initial bites. After a few bites, taste buds start to lose their sensitivity to the chemicals in food that make it taste good. Satisfying your taste buds by really savoring those first few bites may help you stop eating when you're physically comfortable.

Keep up appearances. Using a smaller plate and paying attention to the presentation of a meal can increase your awareness of the food in front of you and help you stop eating when you are comfortable. The brain looks at the plate and decides if the portion is adequate. It takes some time, but the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion.

Choose satisfying foods. Steer away from foods that give you a lot of calories for very little volume, such as milk shakes and chocolate.  The higher the fiber, protein, and/or water content of a food or meal, the more likely it is to be satisfying in your stomach without going overboard on calories.


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