So, a month ago, I visited an old friend at his place. We talked a whole lot and he said he had been following my discussions on this platform. A complaint he had about himself is that he seemed to have lost control on matters of food. He just couldn`t stop eating, no matter how hard he tried. In fact, he felt he was cursed with food. I told him some ways he could control his cravings for food and he was quite grateful. However, on leaving there, it occurred to me that there are a number of people in America who have the same challenge; they have issues with knowing when and how to give eating the red card. This is one reason there are a lot of obese persons around. This is why I have decided to share some of the things I told him. Here are five simple things to do to curb how much you consume food. Let’s get talking!
First of all, why Are you Even Overeating?
This is a good place to start. My friend kept complaining that he didn’t even know why he ate so much and this is the case with so many people. In fact, when many nutritionists ask their patients why they eat so much, the usual answer is: I DON’T KNOW. I JUST CAN’T STOP EATING! This makes overeating seem like some ancestral curse that you have little or no control over. I’ll tell you three reasons you may just be way above the benchmark when it comes to eating.
There`s Food Everywhere!
Your entire house is a kitchen. Left and right, food litters the whole place. This is exactly what I noticed at my friend’s place. In fact, I couldn`t resist taking a few bites from the delicious looking sugary balls lying on his work desk. Apparently, my friend had never heard the words: Out of sight, out of mind. Food is one deliciously tempting thing, and the best way that you can keep your eating habits in check is to ensure that you only have food close to you when you are actually ready to eat. The less food you have around, the lesser the possibility of you having uncontrollable cravings for food. Kill your overeating habits by making sure there is no food all over the place or at any place that is just a stone`s throw from you. Store up your food in places that are a little difficult to access.
Doing too Many Things at a Time
You love multitasking — eating while working, eating while watching your favorite TV show or while sitting in front of a computer and completing a proposal. For you, it seems like a smart way to manage time and accomplish a lot in little time. What you don`t know is that doing this makes you eat more than you should. Focusing on more than one thing at a time distracts your stomach receptors so that they forget to send a signal to let you know when you have filled your stomach to its brim. Thus, you may end up eating your way through a twenty-page proposal or a three-hour movie. This is certainly a bad habit you should curb. Try to practice mindful eating. Suspend every activity when it is time to eat and you`ll have a controlled and more beneficial eating experience.
Not hitting the Sack Often
With the kinds of schedules we run in this part of the world, it is not unusual to miss one or two nights of sleep especially when you`re working to meet a deadline or have an assessment to prepare for. Try casting your mind back to the last time you missed a night rest: How hungry did you feel the next morning? Ravenous, I suppose. Well. It`s nothing strange. In fact, nutritionists say that missing your sleep schedule can make your appetite increase on a double and make you eat a whole lot more than you actually should. Try sticking to having six to eight hours of sleep every night regardless of how crazy your schedule is.
Now you know some reasons you are overeating. Apart from the simple suggestions attached to the reasons already highlighted, here are five other ways to stop overeating. Here we go!
Keep your Mind out of the Pantry
One reason people overeat is that they don`t think of anything else but food. As stated earlier, having food all over the place can keep your mind locked on food and food matters. Apart from keeping the food away, try engaging in activities that can take your mind off food. Outdoor activities and exercising are good options. You could sign up for dance or gym classes or just chat with a friend.
Slow Down the Eating
Avoid eating fast especially when you feel like you still need to eat, even though you have already consumed a plate or two of your meal. Usually, it takes your stomach receptors almost twenty minutes to let your brain know that you are filled up already. This is an awfully long time enough for you to gulp down an extra plate of food. One way to deal with this is to take your time while eating. Do not just rush from one plate to the next. Take your time to feel the taste of each bite. When you are done with your meal, take a break to know if you are filled up already or if you can afford to eat a spoon more.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Now, this is a hard one considering the fact that our days start quite early and there is hardly enough time to sneak in breakfast. However, you may want to make breakfast your best friend if you wish to stop overeating. Research has shown that eating breakfast can actually help you resist overeating. Funny right? Well, consuming breakfast actually helps your brain secrete higher amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone that helps to control cravings and curbs your impulse to keep eating.
Stay Away from Junk!
Junk foods are usually high in everything bad for you. Unfortunately, they are also addictive, even though they contribute little or nothing to your body nutrition-wise. Consuming junk food can make you overeat because you keep getting hungry at short intervals. This makes you eat a whole lot more than you should. Slow down on the junk food and embrace wholesome meals. Instead of filling your stomach with sugar-based meals and other sweeteners, embrace healthier diets that can actually stall hunger and control the way you eat.
Keep it Small
Using small sized plates helps to control your ration and keep your eating in check. Instead of facing the temptation of filling a large plate with food, use smaller plates that will help you consume smaller portions of food.
Controlling how you eat can be a herculean task, considering how much of food is around us. My advice? Be a baby. Babies naturally know when and how to eat and when to stop eating. We all started as babies. Try bringing back that natural food meter you had as a child. You will be glad you did. Meanwhile, my friend is doing well with keeping food away from his work table. We just have to make him keep food out of his mind too! You could do the same.