How to stop overeating

Susannah Hickling

As a nation we’re getting bigger and munching more. But there are effective ways to curb your appetite and eat only as much as you need

Begone, low-nutrition snacks!

That means ice cream, sweets, crisps, biscuits, cakes and any other salty or sugary snacks you graze on between meals. You can learn to live without these unhealthy—and fattening—additions to your diet, but we’ve got a tendency to eat them compulsively. Try to make it your habit only to eat them when offered at social events, or as a special treat.

 

Shell out on nuts

The fact of the matter is that compulsive eating is often about boredom, stress and other issues. But nuts in their shells require you to crack them open and extract the contents, making it a therapeutic and distracting activity. What’s more, they’re healthy. Invest in a good nutcracker and go for plain walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazils or hazelnuts.

 

Never stop at a shop to buy a snack

Get out of the habit of popping into the baker for a Danish or a pasty, forget buying a chocolate bar at the newsagent’s when you’re there for a paper, resist that pizza slice from the street stall in town. This kind of impulsive, unhealthy eating is a big contributor to your waistline.

 

Be a picky eater

Being fussy was the pet hate of relatives when we were children, but as an adult it’s good to be a bit finicky. If it doesn’t look good, don’t eat it, and forego the unappetising leftovers.

 

Leave half an hour between main course and dessert

Having a break will give your brain time to receive the fullness signal and make you more likely to refuse the sweet stuff. And, in fact, as soon as you feel the first signs of satiety, remove your plate from the table. That will tell your brain that food time is over.

 

Make yours a small

Put an end to supersized portions. You won’t be missing out—today’s small was the medium or large of a few decades ago. Select or serve yourself a modest portion and eat or sip slowly, savouring the flavours. Before you know it, small will feel just right. What’s more, ordering the smaller size leads to wearing the smaller size!

 

Distract yourself

When you find yourself hunting down food, even though you’re not even peckish, do something else for 20 minutes. Opt for something that engages your brain as well as your hands, such as playing the piano or writing a letter. If you think you really are hungry, set an alarm for 20 minutes’ time and if you still want to eat when it rings, fine. If not, the urge will have passed.

 

Keep your appetite in check

Have something healthy about an hour before dinner to stop you pigging out when it arrives. Nibble on a handful of almonds, a piece of fruit and a small chunk of cheese, or a yoghurt. Do the same when you’re going out to eat, so that you resist the temptation of the bread basket.

Fitness At Home

The best way to counteract bad eating habits is to substitute good habits in the same living space. This is the key for achieving a true lifestyle change. We recommend starting a home fitness program for 4-6 weeks, followed by live streaming workouts to maintain progress. It's also a good idea to eat foods that are high in fibre and choose protein sources that contain fatty acids. Fibre and fatty acids produce long lasting energy that are low in calories. This can help to suppress appetite levels and lose weight. Protein sources that are lean also help to shed the pounds and recover before the next workout. 

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