It happens best to us: you go to your favorite restaurant, order your favorite delicious dish and finish the entire plate. But when your stomach protested, you knew your eyes were bigger than your belly, and now you wish you could rewind and eat half as much as you did.
Overeating is easy to fall in, especially in the US where portion sizes of restaurants seem to be getting bigger by the day. Overeating can lead to weight gain and problems with blood sugar ̵
Keep reading for tips from two nutritionists about why you eat too much and how you can replace it with healthier eating habits.
Try to explain why it happens
The first step when you want to change a habit is consciousness. This means finding out what the & # 39; why & # 39; is behind what you do, what applies to overeating and your eating habits. Identifying why you eat too much and what the cause may be is useful because there is usually a reason for it (even if that reason is that you just do it thoughtlessly).
According to dietician Amanda Nicole Steinberg, one of the most common causes of overeating is not eating enough during the day or skipping meals. "Often customers will skip breakfast or work through lunch. Because they may not have eaten enough during the day, their bodies are hungry at night," Steinberg tells CNET. "When they are finally eating, it becomes impossible to control them."
Sometimes people feel guilty when they eat too much because it feels like they are "bad" or have no self-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 cries out for food," Steinberg says.
Even if you find it difficult to include full meals during the day in a busy schedule, one thing you can do is always bring snacks. Keeping healthy snacks at your desk, in your car or in your bag or backpack is a way to ensure that you have at least something to eat, even if it is not a full meal.
Try to be more aware when you eat
It's easy to spend all three meals on a kind of screen – from telephones to computers to TV. Although that is common, it is not exactly ideal. This is why conscious eating can be useful if you are struggling with this habit.
"Technology, eating at our desk, eating out of boredom – this can all come down to mindless eating," says Jayne Williams, an integral nutrition coach. "If we are not aligned with our plate, we will miss common & # 39; hunger & # 39; and & # 39; full & # 39; signals. We end up eating more than we would have had if we had focused on what we had were doing it. "
Even if you are not eating thoughtlessly, another common cause of overeating is the use of food to deal with emotions. Emotional food is common because we often associate food with happiness and celebration – such as cake and ice cream on your birthday. So when you feel gloomy, you sometimes long for those things as a boost.
There is science to explain this too. "Food can give you a dopamine effect on the brain, which makes you feel good temporarily," says Steinberg. "Often individuals will eat too much to numb the pain of emotions with food."
If you find yourself eating emotionally, you can try to find other ways to feel happy naturally. Listening to music, playing with a pet, talking to a friend orcan give you 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 your own devices to find out how much should you eat in one go.
And restaurants don't make this easier, because portion sizes often contain multiple 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 must check in with your body during dinner to see if you want to keep eating because you are hungry or if you really feel full and need to stop.
"When you're done with your meal halfway through, check with yourself to see if you're full or still hungry to keep eating more," Steinburg says. "An important reminder is that you can always eat the food again, so there is no reason to finish it all at once. When you get home, put the food away for later enjoyment when you're hungry again. When you eat, take the food. "
If you fill your plate with a lot of food, a tip is that you can try using smaller plates or bowls. It may surprise you how well this simple swap can help. "Bowls with a diameter of six inches are one of my favorite tricks," says Williams. "It is harder to eat too much if it does not fit in the bowl. Just make sure you use 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 that you need and how you can keep them balanced. When you get the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat, your blood sugar remains balanced, which means you will 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 proteins and fat to every meal also ensures that you stay satisfied for longer.
"The advice I give to all my customers is to balance their plates half with vegetables, a quarter with carbohydrates and a quarter of protein," says Steinberg. "Also include healthy fats in the meal, for example avocado, olive oil or nuts. This balance will last you without feeling heavy. Combining carbohydrates with proteins, fats and fibers from vegetables or fruit slows the digestion of carbohydrates, making you full longer. "
If you suffer from overeating, especially during the night, it is better to keep your meals in better balance.
Do not make food & # 39; forbidden & # 39;
It is normal for people to determine from what we are told that we & # 39; cannot have it & # 39 ;. This is why if you decide to quit sugar or never have an Oreo again, you will long for those foods that you cannot have. "If we do not allow ourselves to have a specific food, it becomes difficult to control ourselves around that food when we finally allow ourselves to eat it. Allow yourself to be banned instead of food, get what you want in a conscious way, "Steinburg suggests.
Another tip is when you allow yourself to enjoy something like a dessert, make sure that you are first fed and satisfied with healthy food. This makes it less likely that you will go overboard when it's time for dessert.
"For example, if you put pasta out of limits because you feel like you can't control yourself when you eat it, try a portion of pasta with protein and vegetables," Steinberg says.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.