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You don’t need to change EVERYTHING you eat to lose weight, the only thing you need to change is HOW you eat. Over – eating is eating without restraints. All you need to do to stop over – eating is take back control over how you eat. Let me show you how. Over – eating = weight gain.  Dreaded diets and weight loss fads are often avoided because no one wants to have to starve themselves or miss out on their favourite foods to lose weight. The truth is, dieting can be a chore and is completely unneccessary to lose weight. Instead, try some of the tips below to take back your control over what you eat.

 

Be Mindful

This rule forms the foundation of any successful attempt at weight loss or improved wellbeing. If you aren’t being mindful, then you aren’t aware of what you’re already doing and what you need to change. Being mindful is empowering because it shows you where you are in relation to your goal. Practice your self – awareness, whatever that means to you. Meditation is a great way to do this as well as taking the time to slow down and start taking note of your actions. Self – awareness = control. Control lets you take charge and change things that you don’t like, such as your current state of health. Take the time to think about what you’re eating and how it will impact your body. Note how your body tries to tell you that it’s full and doesn’t need any more food. 

 

Portion Control

If you don’t have it in front of you, you’re much less likely to go looking for it. The next time you reach for a snack, take a look at the back of the packet or google it online to discover how much is considered a single serving. The results may surprise you, it’s probably a lot less than you’d expect. If you can get in the habit of measuring out your food instead of just filling up a bowl or a plate, you’ll get a better understanding of how many calories you’re really consuming. There’s nothing wrong with eating out of measuring cups if it helps you to stop over – eating. 

Food Scales

Inkeeping with portion control, a good food scale is invaluable to stop over – eating and for successful weight loss in general. The same principle applies as above. By measuring your food instead of randomly piling it onto a plate, it puts you in control of just exactly how much you’re eating. Which puts you in control of your weight loss. I personally recommend this food scale found here. They are especially handy for measuring foods that contain a high amoount of calories for their size, including nuts like pecans and macadamias.

 

Drink Water Before Meals

It’s really easy to over – eat when you’re hungry. If you can, try to plan your meals so that you’re always in a state between hungry and full. This will help to stop you from binge eating and over – eating. Another great tip is to drink some water before you eat. You could be sitting in front of your favourite food, but if you’ve got a stomach full of water, you’re probably not going to be able to fit in a second helping. If you notice that you’re getting impatient for food, try to drink some water. I like to use a water bottle similar to the one found here as a guide. It can be a good idea to drink at least a glass of water before meals and snacks anyway, both to aid digestion and to prevent over – eating. 

Don’t Skip Meals

If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to binge and over – eat. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to have to skip a meal, try to at least eat a snack to keep you from feeling like you’re starving. The hungrier you are, the more control you lose over how much you want to eat. As a minimum, try to drink enough water to keep you from feeling the full weight of your hunger until you can grab a snack.

 

Restrict Binges

If you feel a binge coming on that you can’t control, try to pick the lowest calorie option you have. If you can, go for fruits and vegetables and check out this post here on the Top 20 Easy Healthy Food Swaps. Try to eat as slowly as possible while you’re waiting for the feeling of fullness to settle it. Drinking water before you binge and then also drinking water during your binge can help you to not consume as much food as you would without drinking water. The important thing about binges is that you learn from them and don’t let them keep happening. If you binged because you had no access for food for a while and got really hungry, make sure you learn from this and plan ahead for next time. It can be a good idea to carry some extra snacks with you so that you don’t feel the need to binge later. 

Identify When You’re Not Hungry and When You’re Full

You don’t need to eat every single item on your plate. It’s not always a good idea to eat a large amount of food so that it won’t be wasted. When you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t hungry, try not to force yourself to eat more because of guilt over wastage. Offer the food to others or learn from your mistakes to cut food wastage in the future. It’s also important to make sure that you know when to stop eating. The next time you sit down to eat, ask yourself throught the meal: ‘Am I getting full?’. Usually the best place to be is between hungry and full. If you’re not hungry, you’re satisfied, but you’re still not full, then that’s probably the place to stop.

 

Don’t Eat Too Fast

Savour every bite. If you’re throwing your food down way too quickly, there’s more time before you feel full for you to over – eat. If you take your time, there’s less time before you feel full for you to over – eat. It’s a simple trick that can make a big difference. Take the time to keep up a conversation with the person across from you to slow you down. Sips of water after every couple of bites can do the trick too.

Eat Your Vegetables First, Then Meat, Then Bread or Other Calorie Items

If you start with and fill up on the lowest calorie option on your plate first, then even if you over – eat, you will do it on the lowest possible number of calories. A general rule of thumb is to start with eating vegetables first, followed by the meat or protein on your plate and ending with bread or other high calorie items.

 

Stop Emotional Eating

Make sure that you’re not over – eating to fill a void. Whatever your problem is, whether you’re stressed, depressed or bored, the answer is probably not on your plate or in the fridge. If you’re stressed, you could try meditation or yoga and check out this post on Can Stress Make You Gain Weight? If you’re bored, you could take up a new hobby or throw yourself into a new element of your work. Check out this post on How To Stop Boredom Eating. If you’re coping with depression, seek out professional help. No matter what you’re dealing with, try to take positive action and not look to food for comfort.

Record What You Eat

Touching on the concept of mindfulness again, it is important that you are self – aware about exactly what you’re eating and how much you’re eating each day. Keeping a food diary or using the Cronometer app is key. By recording and scheduling what you eat, you know before you start each meal exactly how many calories you want to consume and you can fill up your plate ccordingly. This way you know that you can eat all of what’s in front of you, but that if you go for seconds, you’re over – eating. This can help you to know exactly where you stand and how far away you are from eating too much. 

 

Over – eating is a common problem, but it can be fixed by becoming more mindful about your eating habits. Knowledge about yourself really is power when you’re fighting for control over weight loss. Have you tried any of these tips? Are you in control of your eating? I’d love to hear from you! Send an email to emily@zenithfitnessandwellbeing.com or add a comment below.

 

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