Interested in conquering the hunger monster so you can finally see weight loss results? The thing with overeating is we generally don’t even know we’re doing it. You’ve got that stack of ribs with all the sides and fixins in front of you… isn’t this how everyone eats? Actually most Americans over-eat. We’ve been trained to expect bigger portions, and when go out to a restaurant or fast-food establishment, if the portion looks too small, we feel we’ve been cheated.
The truth is that you can still take away the same amount of food when ordering out… but the key is not to eat it all. Again, rethinking portion size is key here. How many times have you been at an outdoor barbecue or holiday party and had to sample every single food item from the buffet table? It’s customary to heap your plate, eat what you took, then go back for seconds and maybe even thirds!
Here are some hard-wired habits that we can choose to lose if we want to see the numbers on the scale go down:
Pay attention to your body’s hunger signals. Most of us wait to eat until we’re well into “hangry” mode. By that time, alarm bells are going off and we’re apt to scarf down just about any food we can find. The more filling the food is (think cheese, meat), the more we’re likely to inhale whatever we eat and go searching for seconds.
Be mindful of your body’s hunger signals
The first trick to avoid over-eating is to be mindful of our body’s hunger signals in the first place. Some early warnings are that feeling of having an empty stomach that needs to be filled, growl in the stomach, starting to have trouble concentrating, shift in mood. Later signs might include heightened irritability, even more decrease in focus, and perhaps we might even feel a headache or dizziness coming on. That’s your blood sugar dipping into an unhealthy range.
The goal is to avoid falling into that hunger danger zone in the first place. To do this, you’ll want access to healthy snacks. Each week, do your food shopping and prepping so you’ll have energy-boosting snacks at the ready. Some examples are healthy granola, nuts and seeds, veggies, eggs, whole grain crackers, hummus, and these types of nutritious food. When hunger strikes, graze on a small portion of healthy, filling snack. This way, when it’s time for your main meals, you’ll be less likely to feel ravenous. You can instead enjoy a sensible portion of a good-for-you-food.
Be mindful of when you’re full
Another tip for watching your hunger signals is to also become aware of when you’re full. Too many people take their blood sugar from one extreme to the other. First we’re starving… then we eat too much too quickly, and now we’re lethargic as our blood sugar soars into an unhealthy zone.
Be mindful of your portion size
To avoid over-eating, become mindful of how much food you put on your plate. Slow down and chew each bite thoroughly. In addition to giving your brain a chance to process how much you’ve already eaten and start to feel full, you’ll also be giving your digestive system a huge gift. Digestion starts with saliva in the mouth, and how well we chew our food. The more thoroughly you process food as it goes from your mouth to your stomach, the easier a time your body will have processing the nutrition. And yes, that means you’ll feel satiated on less food.