It can be hard not to overeat. You eat a healthy meal at home, think you’re doing well, then you head out (to almost any destination) and are surrounded by junk food. You get hungry, and pretty soon you’re at the local burger joint, eating plan forgotten.
Or maybe you stick to the “right” foods, but they’re just so good that you can’t have just one portion. We’ve all been there.
The following six ideas could help you in this situation
1. Add Vinegar and Cinnamon to your meals to help control blood sugar.
Looking to add some flavour to your food and non-caloric drinks? Forget the sugar; there are plenty of spices and flavours that will make your food both tastier and healthier. Vinegar, which has been shown to lower the glycemic index (which means you metabolize the food more slowly), adds acidic flavour to salad dressings, sauces and roasted veggies without a lot of calories.
For sweet-smelling warmth, add cinnamon to everything from coffee and smoothies to chilli. Like vinegar, cinnamon slows the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestine — this keeps you full longer, and helps prevent the post-meal slump.
2. Eat regularly, even when not hungry.
When you get really hungry, you overeat, when you overeat, you feel full, but then your insulin levels spike, causing you to feel tired, then hungry again … so you overeat again.
Instead of trying to resist hunger, don’t get hungry! If you eat when you’re either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you’ll eat less and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a nice bonus, too.
3. Drink water, not liquid calories.
In addition to tiredness and brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that’s easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and pops don’t fill you up, and their rapid digestion causes insulin spikes. So pass on the sweetened drinks and stick with sparkling or still water — you can flavour it with lemon, strawberries or cucumber if you want, but don’t pack your drinks full of calories.
Aim to drink at least 2 litres. Also, be sure to drink a glass about 20 minutes before each meal to take the edge of your appetite.
4. Eat Slowly
When you swallow food, there’s a sizable delay before you feel any satiation from it. This delay is usually between 10–30 minutes. Because of this delay, we tend to eat more food than we really need. And the faster we eat, the more we tend to consume, particularly later on in a meal.
The solution: Chew each bite 10 times. Following this simple rule will cause you to eat more slowly, allowing your mind to catch up to your stomach. You’ll also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savour it.
5. Have a small snack between meals.
Try a handful of unsalted nuts or piece of fruit. Doing this every day can dramatically reduced your appetite — this can be particularly true if you have a lot of weight to lose.
This works because it apparently regulates ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavour-calorie associations. So plan your snacks, and you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.
6. Try the “snack at the door” idea.
Knowing that your willpower is reduced when you’re hungry, and there’s more tempting junk food outside the home than in it, you should fill up on healthy food before leaving home. Keep a healthy snack, such as fruit, almonds or kale chips, right next to your front door, and eat some before you leave home. This will cause healthy food to “crowd out” unhealthy food in your diet, and make it much easier to pass on the junk food.