Babies are born knowing to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Yet as we get older we begin to give into cravings and bad eating habits. We show you how to stop overeating.
Whether you’re a stress, emotional or reward-eater, try these 10 simple tips to help put a stop to overeating.
- Eat slowly. Our brains take time to realise that we’re full. This is why people tend to overeat, and only stop once they’re stuffed. If you sip water in between and take your time eating your food, you’re likely to eat less.
- If you’re right-handed, start using your left hand when eating — or vice versa. This should make you eat more slowly, and eat less.
- If you think you’re hungry, but you’ve just had lunch, down a glass of water. We often mistake hunger for thirst.
- Using a red plate for snacks will send a strong ‘danger’ signal to your brain and will make you more conscious of all those between-meal kilojoules.
- Pay attention to your food, take time to enjoy it and don’t eat on the go. Focus your energy on your plate and have set “meal times”. This develops a healthy relationship with your food.
- Keep a food-and-mood diary to show how you were feeling when you gave into unhealthy cravings. Pay attention to your triggers, whether they’re boredom, sadness or frustration, and recognise when you’re more likely to succumb to overeating.
- Trick your brain into believing you have a bigger portion of food in front of you by using a smaller plate.
- Tiredness is linked to overeating. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will crave more food and won’t know when it’s full.
- Satisfy a sweet craving with dark chocolate — it releases dopamine, which is associated with pleasure.
- Keep your ‘naughty treats’ out of the house. If they aren’t around you, you cannot eat them — it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. Every now and again it’s good to treat yourself, but try making healthly food and snacks the norm in your kitchen.
If you do give in to overeating, just pick yourself up and start again — don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week.