Holiday dinners and parties are in full swing, ya’ll!
From the over-stuffed turkey, piles of mashes potatoes swimming in gravy and ice cream Christmas logs, there’s no shortage of food to enjoy.
With the abundance of delicious food thrown your way by eager and dutiful hosts, it can be way too easy (and common) to over-indulge at these festivities.
So, if you’re looking to enjoy the food at the party without going into a food coma afterwards, here are three tips to help you avoid overeating at meals (and still have a good time).
Note: You can also use these tips for your everyday meals too (because being surrounded by too much food happens on regular days too!). The great thing about practicing these tips daily is that they become habits. And when you form healthy habits like these ones, you no longer have to depend on your willpower alone to avoid overeating.
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food. it’s way too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Don’t like the taste of plain water? I got you covered.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas to avoid overeating
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
- Slices of lemon & ginger
- Slices of strawberries & orange
- Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
- Chopped pineapple & mango
- Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. You’ll save time because they’re already washed and cut. Plus, it will help keep your water colder longer.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully” to decrease overeating
You’ve heard of mindfulness, but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid over-indulging, as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by:
- Taking smaller bites
- Eating more slowly
- Chewing more thoroughly
- Savoring every mouthful (food really taste better when you pay attention!)
- Noticing and appreciating the smell, taste and texture
- Inhaling and exhaling fully between each bite
- Putting your fork down between bites
By adopting this way of eating, you are slowing down how much food you put into your mouth.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have two secret weapons to help you decrease overeating: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller, which is great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
If you don’t think vegetables will be present at the dinner table, you can always eat a salad before coming to the party. That way, you know you had your portions of greens for the night. Or better yet, offer to bring one at your friend’s house!
So there you have it, my 3 tips to avoid overeating.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals. While they may not be the most innovative nor mind-blowing tips, they really do work if you practice them regularly!
Which tip will you try out this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!
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