Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thoughts on: How to Avoid Overeating (if you want to!)


Red seedless grapes, dried kiwi & walnuts.

I overeat sometimes, maybe you do too? Eating can be an exciting event for me, in fact, I get excited about every meal, haha! I’ve identified as fat my whole life (even now, at my smallest), and have never been shy about my love for food. So, fat's cool with me!  It's not really about that, it's more about how the body feels, not how it looks. The more I practice yoga (postures, breath work, etc) the more I felt the benefits to eating a little less, and eating as healthy as possible... most of the time. Overeating too often though, is something I have struggled with in the past, and am still learning to regulate.  Here are a few guidelines I seem to be following for those with similar tendencies!

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?



10 comments:

  1. hey megan! just wanted to say that, coming from a health at any size perspective, this is a really nice post. i have struggled with overeating for a lot of my life, and i think intuitive eating is a great way to go. listening to your body is super important, and i'm definitely going to try some of these tricks. i'm going to give yoga a shot too!

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    1. Anytime you want a free lesson, let me know! :)

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  2. This is a great post, some really wonderful tips which I'll definitely making use of. As a chronic eat when bored person this is very helpful. Thanks :)

    Charlotte xx

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    1. I'm glad you liked it :) The whole overeating thing - it's a process, oy!

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  3. Definitely feeling this post. I am stand right behind when it comes to using a small plate. In America we've been trained to think bigger is better in a lot of aspects and we eat until we get stuffed, when we should really eat in order to get satisfied. Great Posts. Keep up the good work.

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  4. Great tips! And that plate is super awesome!

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  5. Ah! These are all fantastic tips. Many of them I already do but didn't really realize I was (the telling myself I can have more etc.). Although part of that is my attempts at migraine management.... (I get headaches from not eating on a regular enough schedule).

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    1. Yikes, that's tough! Takes awhile to figure out a healthy diet that's right for our own particular body/needs/etc, seems like. Strange to think we're still learning to feed ourselves, huh? haha

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