It’s easy to reach into the bag of chips for a second, perhaps third, time. When greeted with a buffet, the vast arrangement of food is practically begging you to get up from your chair again. And who doesn’t know the classic phrase “all-u-can-eat” that screams from menus and signs? If you’re trying to lose weight, you should think about all you should eat, and follow these tips to prevent overeating:
Have A Motivation
What is the reason that you are losing weight? Do you want to fit into a new suit or an old suit you used to fit in? Is it recommended by your doctor due to the risk of diabetes and hypertension? Or perhaps you want to promote a better, healthier you. Whatever the reason, try to remind yourself daily of why you are on track towards weight loss.
Whenever you feel the tendency to overeat, take a deep breath. Tell yourself why you are losing weight and how much it will be worth it, even out loud if you’d like. Refrain from punishment reminders, such as slapping yourself on the wrist, because you shouldn’t feel ashamed for having cravings. Everyone gets the urge for seconds or thirds.
Another strategy is to keep a visual reminder. For example, tape a picture of that suit onto the refrigerator. When you go to the fridge to grab another slice of pizza, the picture will remind you that might not be the best choice to reach your goal. Positive and motivating reinforcements will work as well, such as taping a sign saying, “You can do it!”
Often people mistake hunger for thirst. Instead of immediately reaching for a snack, drink an eight-ounce glass of water. Wait about ten minutes and see if the feeling of hunger comes again. If it does, then go for the snack.
Not only will water curb hunger, but it helps with weight loss. Drinking water cleans your body and helps boost your metabolism. Although this sounds backwards, drinking more water promotes the loss of water weight and reduces water retention.
Furthermore, and most obviously, water has zero calories. You should be focusing on zero or low-calorie drinks if you want to lose weight. Water is the number one choice, but more options include black coffee, tea, and zero calorie soda.
If you’re spending a lazy Sunday at home, it’s easy to make frequent trips to the kitchen. A common reason people overeat is due to boredom. They figure there’s nothing else better to do so might as well eat, even when they’re not really hungry.
Conquer your boredom by doing a non-eating related activity. Perhaps also refrain from doing something that can be associated with eating, such as watching television. Read a book, write in a journal, play solitaire, run some errands. Bonus points if you do something active such as taking a walk or riding a bike to help burn calories and promote exercise.
Identify Trigger Foods
Sometimes you have that one food that no matter what, you can’t resist. You say you’ll limit yourself to a serving, and before you know it, you’ve eaten way more than necessary. One scoop of ice cream turns into five scoops. These are often dubbed as “trigger foods,” and make you lose all self-control.
Put a stop to this by identifying your trigger foods. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” works well in this scenario. Place your trigger food on the highest shelf, so it isn’t staring you in the face when you open the cabinet doors. Better yet, take it off your shopping list and don’t buy it at all. If someone offers you this food, politely decline, and maybe inform them of your weight loss goal.
Once you have strengthened your willpower, you can indulge a little. However, by this time you may find you’ve lost those urges to binge on the food, and that’s the best possible result. If you want to have ice cream, reassure yourself one scoop won’t kill you, nor will it set back your diet by much. On the other hand, five scoops will definitely set you back.
Practice Portion Control
Many people complain about not losing weight despite working out and eating right. Although the problem may lie in quantity rather than quality. Even though almonds possess healthy fats, the small nuts are calorically dense. Twenty-eight nuts contain 140 calories, and no one counts out each nut!
Look on the back of the container and at the nutrition label. Above the calorie count, there will be the number of servings per container. Usually, the label will also list the exact serving size. If not, divide the number of servings per container and figure out how much a single serving would be. Look online or use MyFitnessPal to help figure out correct serving sizes if you are truly unsure.
Taking a closer look at portions will help you correctly count calories and will create the calorie deficit necessary to lose weight. Overestimating portions is a common mistake that can easily be fixed with effort and attention. If you want, you can even invest in a food scale for even more accuracy.
Focus on Fiber
No, not the Fiber One cereal or granola bars. The nutrient fiber is essential for weight loss because it promotes satiation. In other words, it will help keep you full and thus prevent overeating. If you start incorporating more fibrous foods into your meals, your body and appetite will thank you.
Don’t peel your fruit (unless it’s a banana of course) because the skin contains many nutrients including fiber. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower contain fiber. Oatmeal is a great way to get fiber at breakfast and will prevent overeating at lunch.
Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals is popularized as an easy solution for weight loss. You may say: “If I skip breakfast, then I’m setting myself up for a caloric deficit.” This logic is understandable but ultimately flawed. In fact, skipping breakfast, and skipping meals in general, is one of the worst things you could do for your body.
In this example, say you do skip breakfast. When noon rolls around, your stomach will most likely growl, and at lunchtime, you’ll eat whatever you can get your hands on. At this point, you will have been fasting for twelve hours, which is way too long for your body to go without a meal. There’s also the reasoning of since you skipped a meal, you can eat a bit more, but considering how hungry you’ll be, a bit more will most likely turn into a lot more.
If you have to skip a meal due to unforeseen circumstances, it’s okay. It happens every once in a while. Pack a small snack in your bag just in case something comes up. The ideal set up is eating all of your meals, and making sure they include healthy fats, proteins, and produce for optimal weight loss results.