Don’t you just love the Holidays?
Catching up with family and friends, the decorations, the ambiance, the FOOD!
The wonderful feasts that are numerous and abundant this time of year.
Tis the season for overindulging!
And it doesn’t even have to be a special occasion. We can overeat without friends and family to cheer us on. Middle of the day in the middle of the week it is still easy to overeat if you don’t have boatloads of willpower.
So how can you shore up your willpower?
Willpower is a finite source and our best intentions can take a back seat to being hungry (or Hangry 🙂
It’s better to develop habits and stop trying to rely on willpower to keep you on track.
Here are three healthy habits you can incorporate to put a lid on overeating at mealtime.
Tip #1 Begin with a glass of water.
When you feel your stomach rumbling as there is a table of wonderful smelling food in front of you it is way too easy to load up your plate and dive in with gusto.
But do you know that it is easy to mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger? And instead of a huge plateful of food , a big glass of water may be what your body really needs.
Drinking a glass of water before meals has been shown to reduce the amount of food that is eaten and aid in weight loss ( how easy is that??)
Bonus: in addition to filling up your stomach so you eat less, drinking plenty of water can keep you from becoming dehydrated: and being even slightly dehydrated can slow your metabolism.
Even more reason to drink up!
Tip #2 Pay attention!
It is easy to overeat when we are distracted. Do you find yourself mindlessly eating while scrolling through your Facebook feed, or catching up on email ( I’m guilty of this!)
Eating slowly and mindfully can help you get more enjoyment out of your meal so you are more likely to feel satisfied. Try noticing the texture, smell and taste of the food. Chew each bite thoroughly, and savor each bite.
You may have heard it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you have eaten. Slowing down can give your satiety signals time to kick in, and help you eat less.
Mealtime shouldn’t be a race. Take your time to enjoy each bite.
Sitting down at a table to eat, turning off the TV or computer, ( or phone) and really smell, see and taste your food can help you get more enjoyment while eating less food.
(Bonus points for serving yourself on a small plate.)
Tip #3 For your appetizer eat a salad.
Salad is a great way to start the meal because you are getting so many of your needed nutrients upfront. Along with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health-promoting phyto-chemicals that are so abundant in plant foods, you also get a heaping helping of Fiber and water.
Fiber and water are a one-two punch in the battle for weight control. They help fill you up and keep you feeling fuller for longer. All in all, they are the secret weapon to help avoid overindulging at your next big meal. ( or every meal)
So to Summarize:
Before sitting down to your next meal have a big glass of cold water and make your first course the salad. Then enjoy the company of those around you as you relish the delicious main entree eating slowly and savoring every bite.