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How to Stop Overeating

By: Caley Walsh

If you love food, as most of us do, over-eating can be quite easy to do. Members of the “clean plate club” grew up with a habit of finishing all the food presented. With vending machines and easy food surrounding us whether we go, over-eating is almost encouraged. Here’s how to get the habit in control and begin to lose weight:

 

  1. Eat Slowly: Your stomach will send a message to your brain when you are full, but you have to eat slowly enough to receive that message before over-eating. The Japanese residents of the island of Okinawa, who have the longest life spans of anywhere in the world, have a saying: “Eat to 80% full.” This is a good way to make sure you are getting that message. Eat to 80% full and pause for up to 10 minutes. If you are still hungry, eat a little more.
     
  2. Eat Healthy First: Start any meal with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and you are less likely to over-eat foods with higher-fat content. Have a salad before every meal, or eat all your vegetables first before enjoying some of the meat or dairy.
     
  3. Redefine Socializing: If most of your social activities involve food, such as stopping by a coffee shop laden with baked goodies, ask your friends to get together for more active socializing. Meet for a game of tennis, a walk around the park, or a crafting class. The same goes for bar meet-ups, since alcohol is a large source of nutrient-less calories. Turn happy-hour into a stress-relieving game of volleyball or Frisbee in the park.
     
  4. Plan Ahead: Identify situations where you know you will be presented with large amounts of unhealthy food and plan ahead. Pack plain popcorn or a small bag of low-calorie candy to snack on at the cinema, instead of a giant buttered popcorn. Before going over to a relative’s house with a pension for pie, bring your own low-fat dessert option such as frozen yogurt or fruit. Check out our suggestions for a BBQ.
     
  5. Choose wisely: When dining at restaurants ask for a half-size portion of the entrée or ask the waiter to box up half to-go. Restaurants portion are generally MUCH larger than we need. Avoid appetizers and start your meal with a bowl of broth-based soup or salad. When dining at pizza places, go meat-less and load up the pizza with vegetables. You can also ask for half the amount of cheese.


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