In this article, I mentioned how overeating on the weekends hinders weight loss for some. But the truth is, most people overeat every day.
Well, it’s impossible to lose weight if you overeat—no matter how hard you exercise. Some dieters think exercising hard after overeating will burn all the excess calories they consumed. But exercising hard only leads to overtraining and fatigue. And as you may know, overtraining raises cortisol levels and makes it harder to lose weight.
Well, you can avoid overeating by making a few changes in your eating habits. And you don’t even have to starve yourself. Use the 5 strategies below to learn how to maintain a calorie deficit while keeping hunger at bay.
1. Eat filling foods
Research shows that fullness is determined by the amount of food you eat, not the calories in the food. Basically, eating half a pound of pasta will be as filling as eating half a pound of sweet potatoes even though the pasta meal contains more calories than sweet potatoes.
So eat foods high in volume and low in calories. These are foods which are usually rich in fiber, have high water content and are unprocessed. Some of these foods include vegetables, meat, beans and so on.
2. Drink water before and after meals
Water is the healthiest beverage you can ever drink. It will make you eat less and even enhances weight loss.
Sometimes you may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will quench your thirst.
And you won’t eat until you’re completely full since you have to drink a glass of water after the meal. Water can also help control hunger between meals, so carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day.
3. Use smaller plates and serving spoons
Using smaller plates, spoons and bowls will help you eat less. If you only have big plates for now—serve food until the plate is three quarters full.
4. Eat slower
Eating slowly can make you eat less. Chewing for a long time gives the body enough time to release the gastric hormones and signal the brain that you’re full.
Chew until the food completely breaks down before you swallow. Aim for 20 to 25 soft chews per bite.
Naturally, most people won’t remember to eat slowly all the time. So here are a few tips to stay mindful while eating:
Avoid distractions and focus on eating only – turn off the TV and don’t listen to music.
Maintain proper sitting posture – Sitting upright brings you in the present moment keeps you mindful.
5. Eat less sugar
Eating sugar or foods with added sugar makes you hungry. And there are several reasons why this happens.
For one thing, consuming sugar causes the blood sugar levels to spike then quickly drop. And once the blood sugar levels go down you start feeling hungry.
The other explanation is that overconsumption of sugar leads to leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone which controls hunger. Leptin resistance prevents the brain from receiving the signal from the body that you’re full, so you end up overeating.
Eat less doesn’t necessarily mean starving yourself and being hungry all the time. You can maintain a calorie deficit and still be full. Chances of overeating will be low if you apply these tips every day.