Red seedless grapes, dried kiwi & walnuts.
1. Gauge your hunger. Get in touch with how you're feeling to give you a clue about things like portion size, food choices, etc. Close your eyes & scan your body for how it feels. Are you absolutely starving, stomach growling, or would a small snack feel better?
2. Drink water & tea. It’s easy for our bodies to confuse thirst with hunger. I am constantly reminding myself to drink water. It also makes it a little nicer to make an infused water, adding things such as grated ginger, mint, lemons, limes, etc.
3. Use a smaller plate. This just makes you aware of portion sizes and gives a bit of an illusion that you're eating in abundance, when really you're eating a healthier amount. How much should you really be eating? That depends on a few factors, like if you're trying to lose weight, how active you are, etc. Try using things like this calculator to help you keep (in my case, loose) track of how much you should be eating.
4. Eat by the clock. As for m'self, I'm getting into a regular little routine. I guess it just kind of satisfies me psychologically to know about exactly what time I'll be eating. Knowing what time the next meal is prevents me from overeating the first one. My body seems happiest to eat every 3 or 4 hours, and it seems to get hungry right on time!
5. Be aware of nutritional value, read labels. Many products that advertise as "healthy," natural, etc, truly are not. Read and compare labels. While I love junk food sometimes, I feel good taking home mostly high fiber/protein, vitamin-rich, lower calorie foods. Knowing what is (or in many cases what isn't) in my food prevents me from indulging too much.
6. Cook at home. The healthy (inexpensive!!) fast food industry is just a little behind in our increasingly health-conscious society, don't you think? So it just turns out that it's cheaper and better for you to make most of your meals at home, after all you are paying more for the convenience of preparation But you know, if you find a way to enjoy it, preparing meals can be quite relaxing! Choose foods you love, but try new recipes & flavors too!
7. Don’t skip meals...you'll turn into a grouchy ravenous beast ooor get nauseous, or all weak and sleepy, etc! Only skip meals if you're feeling unwell. Anyway, it really just works against you to try to eat less than you need to.
8. Admit when you’re just bored. This is a tough one to accept! Sometimes it's just a matter of finding something else to do instead. I also use a piece of organic ginger candy to curb cravings & improve digestion occasionally
9. Get friends & family involved. Start conversations with your loved ones about healthy foods, wellness, etc. Support each other and share new ideas!
10. Plan for your cravings/weaknesses. If I find myself beginning to eat too much, I set it aside and tell myself I can have a little more if I want in 20-30 minutes. Many times I'm no longer interested. Or, if I know I'll crave something sweet, I make sure I have a small treat stashed away, or a healthier (usually fruit-based) goody instead. Planning delicious meals & snacks really helps me! But I think it's important not to beat yourself up too much if you "fall off the wagon," but to focus more on the pleasing feelings you can have from disciplining yourself to say no to over-indulging, and then feeling the bliss of a nourished, satisfied & balanced body.
What are your secrets for maintaining a healthy diet or preventing overeating?