Tips to avoid overeating

Want to Avoiding Overeating? Try This.

Have you ever gotten home from work so famished that you stand over the sink stuffing hunks of cheese into your mouth? Chased by a couple handfuls of blue corn chips? And then found the time to make dinner, and eaten all of it, too? No? Just me?

The problem isn’t that you lack self-control, the problem is that you’re really freaking hungry, and your body needs something to eat, stat! And when you get that hungry, controlling your portions can be really, really hard, so here are some strategies to help you avoid ending up here.

Strategy One: Don’t let yourself get overly hungry in the first place

Makes sense, right? Giving your body enough fuel to make it through the day ensures you don’t get so hungry that you’re in the position of cramming cheddar into your mouth as soon as you walk in the door. But you’re also trying to eat sensibly, so what can you do?

Pack snacks. Whether you’re heading off for a day at the job, going for a long car ride, or are just going to be super busy, pack snacks! Nuts, dried fruit, regular old fruit (okay, not old fruit, that would be bad), string cheese, trail mix, half a sandwich, whatever, just plan ahead and have healthy things available to you, preferably in pre-portioned-and-perfect-for-snacking sizes. If you can’t stand preparing things ahead of time, buy snacks, but again, make them pre-portioned.

Eat regularly and please, don’t deprive yourself. If you’re trying to lose weight you may be tempted to skip a meal here and there, but when it sets you up for overeating later, you’re negating the calories you’ve saved (not to mention that slashing your calories too much is a great way to slow your metabolism and make weight loss even more difficult). So what should you do instead? Eat! Eat three meals and a couple of snacks, and eat stuff you enjoy. I’m all for packing a lunch to take with you, but do whatever floats your boat.

But if you do end up way too hungry:

Reach for something small to tide you over. A handful of almonds fits the bill perfectly. Just take the tip from above and keep it small, preferably pre-portioned.

Plan what you’re going to eat before you get home. You’re driving home from work and your stomach is threatening anarchy. Instead of thinking about the quickest things you can get your hands on, consider what would make a complete meal, what you need to do to throw it together, and resolve to eat just that, and to sit down when you do eat it. And, even better, plan ahead and portion out the meal before you leave the house in the first place. If you’ve got something ready to go and have thought about it ahead of time, success is within your grasp.

Eat at home, if you can. If you go out to eat at a restaurant or hit the drive through, it’s easier than you think to over-order in your state of super hunger. You’ll end up with more than you need, like appetizer, huge meal, or extra fries. When you eat at home it’s easier to keep your portions in check, especially if you plan ahead!

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