Many people today overeat regularly without realizing it. Overeating has just become a habit, and as a result, they end up feeling frustrated with their continual struggle with weight. Six common downfalls often undermine weight-loss efforts.
Too Much Snacking
Just because you are a twinge hungry, bored, thirsty, or tired does not mean that you need a snack. Snacks are for when you are very hungry but will not get to eat within the hour, so you need a little something to tide you over.
However, many people have gotten used to snacking on chips, popcorn, nuts, cheese, or fruit even when they are not hungry.
If this sounds like you, clear your pantry of convenient snack foods and try resting without food when you are tired or need a break. Find nourishing activities other than food to reduce stress, and be sure to get enough water and exercise throughout your day.
Mealtime magpies prefer to see everything finished up rather than see food going into the trash, but by making a habit of picking, tasting, and noshing, mealtime magpies will certainly be overeating. Get used to putting less on your plate, chewing more thoroughly, and putting leftover food away for another meal.
By chronically cleaning your plate, despite the serving size, and sampling food from your kids, friends, and spouse, you will inevitably get into the habit of overeating.
If this sounds like you, be sure to chew more, stay mindful while eating, and put away leftovers without picking as soon as you feel you’ve physically eaten enough.
Eating, drinking, and merriment often lead to extreme caloric intake. Alcohol and the food that often accompanies partying are highly caloric. Instead of overindulging, limit your alcohol intake, drink more water, and be aware of the high calorie count of alcohol and typical party or pub food.
The day after partying, plan on eating lots of greens such as kale and collards, re-hydrating with lots of water, exercising, and getting fresh air.
Low-fat dressing, butter replacements, desserts, cream cheese, and the like are much less satisfying than the full-fat forms, and studies show that people who indulge in these products eat 50 percent more than people using the full-fat alternative.
Rather then going “lite,” go real. Eat real oil, butter, and cheese, but be mindful of not eating too much. Definitely stay away from high-sugar foods such as low-fat cookies, which are known to be particularly bad for the waistline.
Many people who go the whole day without eating tend to eat more when they finally do eat because at that point they are starving. If you allow yourself to get too hungry before you eat, it is harder to make healthier, moderate choices.
Plus, going long periods of time without eating and then indulging in overeating will often cause lethargy and indigestion.
So be sure to start your day on the right foot by eating when you are hungry but before you are so hungry that you could eat a horse.
Let’s face it, eating is fun, sometimes naughty, and definitely numbing. If you notice that you often eat compulsively, then take a deep breath and a good hard look at what you are not facing.
It may be something big (for example, getting fired or the loss of a loved one) or may be the little things in life that build up and drive you to … ice cream. Perhaps you are tired, bored, sad, or angry.
Whatever it is, you must build the tools to cope with the daily stressors in life, or you will find yourself chronically coping with health-sabotaging habits.
Tysan Lerner specializes in helping people lose weight without starving themselves or spending hours in the gym. She is a certified health coach and fitness trainer. Her website is www.lavendermamas.com.