Sometimes those holiday feasts are just too tempting. And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance. It’s way too easy (and common) to indulge on unhealthy food on those days. Not good if you’ve just spent time following a detox diet.
The problem for some is that it doesn’t always stop there. It can lead to overeating on other days too. Or at regular meals. Or all the time!
Related reading: How to Beat the Party Season Weight Gain
Here are my 3 top tips to avoid overeating at meals:
Turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to overfill a plate and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss.
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism. Filtered or a good bottled spring water is best.
It’s a win-win!
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits? This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less. When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), use a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Related reading: 5 Tips For Mindful Eating During Thanksgiving And The Holiday Season
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don’t start there. (Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Green leaves and veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”. And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
Related reading: Winter Detox Salads To Prevent The Festive Season Pudge
Tips in a nutshell:
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
- Slices of lemon & ginger
- Slices of strawberries & orange
- Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
- Chopped pineapple & mango
- Blueberries & raspberries
Check out my post on detox waters too: Detox Water Recipes For Everyday Drinking