We’ve all been there. Starting the day feeling on point. Coffee, check. Healthy breakfast, check. Calorie-counted lunch, check. But as the day goes by things beyond our control happens. You have a tight deadline so you miss lunch, your colleague is celebrating his birthday in the office, you get invited out to dinner, and many other extrinsic factors that happen that can affect how we eat. Then by the end of the day, you’ve just realized that you’ve overeaten. Again. Which is a bummer if you’re trying to lose weight or just get overall healthier.
Living a healthier life doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. On the contrary, you should. That way, you can sustain it. Don’t starve yourself, but also don’t overeat. The key is to find your balance. Here are our suggestions on how to enjoy food without overeating and leave room for those unexpected eating occasions:
Use herbs and spices to flavor your food.
People trying to lose weight most often fail because when sugar and salt are taken off food, it becomes extremely bland. How can one enjoy flavorless food?
But you actually don’t have to put sugar, salt, and fat on every dish just to make it tasty. Use herbs and spices to avoid extra calories. Use lemon and rosemary on your fish, or pepper and curry in your lentil soup. These herbs still make very rich, scrumptious dishes with so much lesser calories and fat so you can enjoy yourself more.
Eat even when you’re not completely hungry.
We tend to overeat when we’re starving. We stuff ourselves, causing insulin levels to spike, causing us to crash, feel tired, then we get hungry again, then we overeat again. It’s a vicious cycle.
This is why small, frequent meals are much more recommended when trying to lose weight, or just to eat healthier. Snacking more often keeps hunger pangs at bay so there are fewer chances of overindulging. Also, you’re tricking your mind into thinking that you’re eating a lot of food when you’re actually not.
Drink more water.
Avoid drinking soda, alcohol, or fruit juices in place of water each time you have a meal. All the extra sugar in those drinks is just a quick way to go over your daily caloric needs. Also, dehydration can trick you into thinking you’re hungry when you just need to drink water.
Eat more slowly.
Instead of chowing down your meal in under a minute, try to savor the texture and flavor of your food instead.
Rushed or distracted eating will just make you eat more than you’re supposed to. It’s understandable that we tend to eat in a rush because we’re busy with our lives. But it’s worth it to set aside time for meals. Taking the time to enjoy your food will actually help you feel more satisfied and aid in better digestion, which of course, has many benefits for our overall health.
Use smaller plates and utensils.
Imagine holding a large plate with a handful of fruits on it. The empty space untaken up by fruits seem to be shouting to be filled up with more food. Now imagine a smaller plate with the same amount of fruit. Doesn’t that look more satisfyingly enough?
When you use smaller containers of food, it tricks your mind into thinking that there’s more food than there actually is. It’s an optical illusion. It’s a great way to control your portions. Also, there are fewer chances of you adding more food unto your plate if there’s no more room, thus preventing you from overeating.
Eating healthier is challenging especially when we’ve been raised and lived our lives eating a certain way. Habits are hard to break. But it can be done. It does need a lot of motivation and willpower and sometimes even those aren’t enough. Life is unpredictable. Don’t be afraid to use some techniques and tricks to help yourself succeed even when things happen that are out of your control.
Guest article written by: Cliff Bello is the CEO and creator of MindNbody.me. After losing weight and getting to a healthier place himself, he became passionate in helping people do the same by providing them with unique tools in the field of mindset, nutrition, and training–using a more holistic approach to health and fitness. It is his mission to help people love themselves again and keep the results forever. Want to get some more useful tips? https://mindnbody.me/mb-rock-launch/ – https://www.facebook.com/MindandBodyProgram/ – https://www.instagram.com/mind_body_change/ – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk_YVC2FqfUn23QmuDqEN7Q