(Natural News) A lot of people want to lose weight, but not everyone succeeds at it. One harmful habit that contributes to weight gain is overeating. During the past century, food production has significantly advanced, leading to an abundance of food supply.
It is understandably difficult when there is so much food available, but too much is detrimental to health. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one in three American adults is overweight. Obesity can lead to worse conditions, like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you wish to avoid or stop overeating, here are some lifestyle habits to help you out:
1. Limit distractions
Nowadays, people often scroll through their smartphones or watch television while eating. However, when a person does not pay attention to his meal, he is more likely to overeat.
Avoid this by setting aside your electronic devices during mealtimes, limiting the distractions while you’re eating.
2. Remove temptations
A bag of chips or a sugary donut is beacon for late-night hunger pangs. High-calorie foods contribute to weight gain, especially if you eat them near bedtime. Avoid the temptation of binge-eating these foods by not buying them in the first place. Remove them from the cupboards and fridge. While doing grocery shopping, avoid the snacks aisle.
3. Eat fiber-rich foods
Consuming dietary fiber helps a person feel full longer. Consuming 25 g of fiber daily is the recommended amount for people who eat 2,000 calories per day. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, green leafy vegetables and oats.
4. Eat high-protein foods
Like fiber, foods rich in protein create a longer sense of fullness and satiety. Eating these foods help reduce ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger. These foods include fish, nuts and seeds and beans.
5. Avoid alcohol
6. Drink lots of water
Research has shown that there is a link between lack of water intake and elevated body mass index (BMI). While there is no clear link between dehydration and overeating, researchers suggest that a person may mistake thirst for hunger. Drink lots of water every day to avoid overeating.
7. Eat slowly
For reasons still undetermined, eating slowly and lower BMI are somehow linked. Some studies have shown that it helps a person feel fuller for a longer time. To practice this, put the utensils down or breathe deeply after each bite.
8. Prepare healthy portion sizes
Each person has different calorie needs. It is useful to know how much of each kind of food you require daily. In this manner, you can set a limit on how much food you eat. (Related: Overeating doubles risk of memory loss and cognitive decline as we age.)
9. Stick to a meal pattern
Skipping a meal causes a person to eat more at other times. Aside from one cup of coffee, some studies have shown that eating a proper breakfast reduces overeating later in the day. Try to eat at the same time every day.
10. Plan meals
After knowing the right amount of each food, you can set a meal plan for the week. Most people choose fast food and quick snacks when they are hungry. Preparing meals a week in advance reduces the risk of choosing unhealthy food and you can incorporate more nutritious foods.
11. Avoid stress
When you’re under stress, you use up a lot of energy. To replace lost energy, your body promotes hunger. Without proper stress management, this may lead to overeating and becoming overweight.
12. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is focusing on the moment and accepting emotions and thoughts without judgment. Eating mindfully may help curb overeating. To practice this, savor the food by focusing on its smell, texture and flavor.
13. Track your diet
It is useful to see how much food you consume every day. This awareness may help you be more careful about what you eat and set measures to prevent overeating. By using an app or noting down a list, you can also determine poor eating habits or patterns.
14. Resolve personal issues
Hunger is not the only reason people (over)eat. Many people eat for comfort, especially when they are stressed, tired or sad. Addressing these concerns may help you to stop seeking comfort foods – which are often unhealthy. Instead of eating, try other activities instead, like listening to music or jogging.
15. Dine with others who eat similarly
The food you eat will likely be influenced by your dining companions. For example, dining with people who want to eat at a fast food restaurant may influence you to eat there as well. On the other hand, eating with people who choose home cooked meals and healthy foods may encourage you to eat those instead.
Overeating is a problem with varying causes, but it is not impossible to quit. Try these ways to avoid this habit and replace it with more healthful ones.