In the 21st Century, many of us overeat without even realising. With so many contrasting opinions of wellness readily available online, it’s hard to know when you’re eating too much. Especially as it has become common ideology that as long as you eat healthy foods, you’re fine. For the most part this is true, but here’s how to figure out if you’re overeating and how to stop!
Are you overeating?
Measure your food
It’s not essential to measure your food on a daily basis, but to see how much you are actually eating, it’s worth doing it for a couple of days. Use an online calculator to figure out how much energy you are consuming. You might be quite surprised at how much energy food can give you, which, if not used up, is turned into fat. When doing this, bare in mind the amount of exercise you do as well – the more exercise you do, the more food you need.
While preparing meals, carefully measure out your ingredients. What is recommended on the packaging might be a lot less than what you consider a portion. This will give you a clear indication if you’re overeating when it comes to mealtimes!
Keep a food diary
Write a food diary to log everything you eat and drink. Sometimes when we snack we forget what we’ve eaten. By reflecting on your day, food-wise, you’ll be able to decipher if you’re sneaking in food without really thinking about it. Do this for a week and you might find it easier to figure out what is essential, and what you can miss out.
Compare the energy you intake to the energy you expend
There are various sites which can tell you how much energy you use in a day. The accuracy of these can vary so proceed with caution! Compare this with how much you eat to see if your intake is much more inflated than your expenditure.
How do you stop overeating?
Take a lunch break
It’s easier to overeat if you multitask while eating food. You’re not concentrating on your food or listening to your body, so how are you meant to know when you’ve had enough? Always take time to chill out during a meal. You might find this helps you mentally, too, so you don’t have to comfort eat.
Eat quickly and you’ll stuff yourself with food before your body has enough time to tell you it’s had enough. If you eat slowly, you can listen out for that sense of satisfaction rather than complete fullness.
Eat as soon as your body tells you you’re hungry
If you wait until you’re ravenous to eat, you will be so hungry you can’t control yourself! If you eat when you first feel hungry, you might find it easier to eat until satisfaction, rather than gobble down loads of food to curb the rumbles!
Have a glass of water when your stomach rumbles
Having said that, it’s always important to have a glass of water when you start to feel hungry. Often we feel the hunger sensation when we’re actually thirsty. If, after some liquid, your stomach is still calling for food, go ahead and feed it!
Stop eating when you’re 90% full
Another great tactic to not overeat is to stop eating when you’re 90% full. This means that rather than eating until you can eat no more, eat until you are content. Chances are that 10 minutes later you will feel full because your brain has processed the food you have already eaten.
Boredom eating is a thing. For fellow lovers of food, when you’re stuck in the office or chilling out on the sofa, snacks are on your mind. If you keep busy you won’t feel the need to boredom eat, but will only feel hungry when your body actually needs food.
Do more exercise (if you love food)
If you really can’t bare to only eat what your body needs, make it need more! Increase your exercise and stay more active throughout the day. This way, you’ll earn the food you want to eat without it being more than you need.
Take nutritional supplements
We can often crave food if we are lacking in a certain nutrient or vitamin. By taking nutritional supplements, you’ll get the nutrients you need, without having to eat extra food that also contains a load of other stuff as well. For example, if you need extra B-vitamins, you might crave sweet potato. What you might not need is the energy in the potato, which could lead to overeating.