Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. From the holiday office parties, family gatherings and then...New Year's Eve parties.
And it's not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn't always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (...just sayin').
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You've heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don't start there.
(Don't worry, you can have some...just after you've eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They're “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you're not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
It's snowing outside, and I was craving something warming and nutritious. I am not usually a fan of "creamy" soups as I avoid dairy, so I decided to transform this traditional comfort soup making it vegan and gluten free.
It far exceeded my taste buds expectations, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I. Oh, and guess what, I made this in 5 minutes using my blender! Yup, super quick and simple. Gotta love that!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Serves 4. Vegan, Gluten Free, Yeast Free.
Wash and chop broccoli and cauliflower into florets if using fresh. I used frozen and simply steamed these along with the celery until fork tender.
Heat vegetable stock on stove if using store bought (or your own homemade). I used HarvestSun Organic Vegetable Bouillon Cubes, which are vegan, gluten and yeast free. Add 2 cups boiled water to a blender along with 1 bouillon cube.
Add in cooked vegetables and MCT oil, seal lid tightly. This is going to be hot, so trust me you want to make sure the lid is on good and hold the top down while you blend. Mix well until smooth on soup setting if using a Blend-Tec or simply pulse to desired texture. You could also use a food processor for this. Emulsion blender is not recommended as it will not make it smooth and you risk splashing hot soup all over.
Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with a TSP of hemp hearts. Enjoy!
There you have it, simple and delicious - and gone! Yup, I just couldn't resist.
Confession, I ate up all 4 servings over the course of the day and drank fresh vegetable juice in between my soups to give my digestive system a bit of a break. I am not much of a calorie counter, but rather encourage eating whole unprocessed foods, easy to digest protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fiber. This prevents over eating and therefore, reduces overall caloric intake supporting digestion and body metabolism.
Do you enjoy soup as much as I do? Please let me know how this one turns out for you or if you have a favourite of your own.
Nancy Este is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She is here to share with you over 17 years of experience in the Alternative Health field. It is her hope to help save you time, money and stress when it comes to regaining your balance in life.