If you are stuck at home during the pandemicunable to see it is tempting to go to food for comfort. That's fine and normal to do ̵
It's easy to fall in, especially in the US, where restaurant portion sizes seem to be increasing day by day. Eating too much can lead to weight gain and blood sugar problems, both of which are linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes. But it can also just make you feel dirty, which can affect the rest of the day. There is no reason to beat yourself up if it happens to you – but if you eat too much than you would like, there are several things you can do to prevent it.
Keep reading for tips from two nutritionists on why you overeat and how to replace it with healthier eating habits.
Try to find out why it happens
The first step when you want to change a habit is consciousness. This means finding out the & # 39; why & # 39; behind what you do, which applies to overeating and your eating habits. It is helpful to determine why you are eating too much and what could be the cause, as there is usually a reason for it (even if it is just doing it thoughtlessly).
According to dietitian Amanda Nicole Steinberg, one of the most common causes of overeating is not having enough food or skipping meals throughout the day. "Often customers skip breakfast or work at lunch. Because they may not have eaten enough during the day, their bodies are starving at night," Steinberg tells CNET. "When they are finally around food, it becomes impossible to control them."
Sometimes people feel guilty about overeating because it feels like they are "bad" or out of control, but that is often not the case. "Individuals may think they have no willpower to control themselves at night. However, it is not a lack of willpower; it is the biology of our starving body that screams for food," says Steinberg.
Even if you find it difficult to fit in full meals during the day on a busy schedule, one thing you can do is always have snacks with you. Keeping healthy snacks at your desk, in your car, or in your bag or backpack is one way to make sure you have at least something to eat, even if it's not a full meal.
Try to be more attentive while eating
It's easy to spend all three meals on one screen or another – from phones to computers to the TV. While that is common, it is not exactly ideal. Therefore, eating consciously can be helpful if you are struggling with this habit.
"Technology, eating at our desk, eating out of boredom – all this can be equated with mindless eating," said Jayne Williams, an integrative nutrition coach. & # 39; If we are not aligned with our plate, we will miss common & # 39; hunger & # 39; and & # 39; full & # 39; signals. We eat more than we would if we were focused on what we were doing. & # 39;
Even if you don't eat mindlessly, another common cause of overeating is the use of food to cope with emotions. Emotional eating is common because we often associate food with happiness and celebration, such as cake and ice cream on your birthday. So when you feel down, you sometimes long for those things as a boost.
There is also science to explain this. "Food can give you a dopamine effect on the brain, which makes you feel good temporarily," says Steinberg. Often individuals will overeat to numb pain from emotions with food.
If you find yourself eating emotionally, you can try to find other ways to feel happy by nature. Listening to music, playing with a pet, talking to a friend orcan give the same dopamine enhancing effect.
Listen to your body to see if you are full.
Most packaged food comes with aon the box, but otherwise you are basically left to fend for yourself how much should you eat at one time.
And restaurants don't make this easier, because serving sizes often contain several times more calories, carbohydrates, fat, sodium, and sugar than you should eat every day. So how do you know which portion sizes are suitable? Regardless of how much food is on your plate, you should check with your body while eating whether you want to continue eating because you are hungry, or if you really feel full and need to stop.
"When you're & # 39; finished eating halfway through, check to see if you're full or hungry to keep eating more & # 39; says Steinburg." An important reminder is that you food can always be eaten, so there is no reason to finish it all at once. When you get home, store the food for later enjoyment when you're hungry again. If you go out for dinner, bring the food. "
If you tend to fill your plate with a lot of food, one tip you can try is to use smaller plates or bowls. You may be surprised at how well this simple swap can help." Bowls 15 cm in diameter are one of my favorite tricks, "says Williams." It's harder to overeat if it doesn't fit in the bowl. Make sure to load fresh vegetables with lots of color, fresh vegetables for extra fiber, lean proteins (animal or vegetable) and healthy fat in that bowl. "
Make Sure You Eat A Balanced Diet
First consider the basic food groups and macronutrients you need and how to balance them. When you get the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat, your blood sugar level stays balanced, making you feel full and satisfied for longer. Within each food category, there are better choices than others. For example, if you choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, you will feel more satisfied than a simple carbohydrate-like white bread. Adding protein and fat to every meal also keeps you satisfied for longer.
"The advice I give all my customers is to half balance their plate with vegetables, a quarter with carbohydrates and a quarter with protein," says Steinberg. "Also add healthy fats to the meal, for example avocado, olive oil or nuts. This balance will keep you full without feeling heavy. Combining carbohydrates with proteins, fats and fiber from vegetables or fruit slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, which keeps you full longer. "
If you mainly struggle with overeating at night, it is better to balance your meals.
Do not make food & # 39; forbidden & # 39;
It is normal for people to fixate on what we are told we can't have. This is why if you decide to quit sugar or never have an Oreo again, you crave that food you can't have. "If we don't allow ourselves to have a certain food, it becomes difficult to control ourselves around that food when we finally allow ourselves to eat it. Instead of keeping food forbidden, you have to Allowing yourself to get what you desire in a conscious way & # 39 ;, Steinburg suggests.
Another tip is that when you allow yourself to enjoy something like a dessert, you first have to make sure you are fed and satisfied with healthy food, which makes it less likely that you will go overboard when it's time for dessert.
"For example, if you have banned pasta because you feel you are not in control of yourself eat it, try a serving of pasta with protein and vegetables, "says Steinberg.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.