Are you trapped in the vicious circle of overeating & feeling guilty about it?
I know this feeling very well and I have been overeating for years. I love cooking & eating, and I have a sweet tooth too.
Like many of us, when the food tastes fantastic, we tend to get the second serving with an excuse that it is a healthy meal.
Unfortunately, calories are calories (healthy or unhealthy), and it is important to watch WHAT you eat WHEN and how much you eat to keep the optimal health and energy levels.
The following strategies helped me and many of my clients to get out of the vicious circle of overeating and enjoy meals without feeling guilty.
1. Measure your portion size
An average woman should not consume more than 600g in one serving (2 cups of solid & dense food). However, if you overeat regularly, you have most probably stretched the stomach.
To test how large is your serving size put the plate on the scale and see if you can adjust your usual portion. Use the same size dish (preferable smaller size plates). Alternatively use the size of your hand to measure portions.
- handful of nuts
- two handfuls of pasta or quinoa
- cooked chicken should be the size of your palm
- cheese stick size of your thumb
2. Mindful eating
Mindfulness is a buzzword, but what does it mean? How can you practice it?
- Stop multitasking and get fully focused on what you eat
- Don’t get distracted by TV, phone or any other activity
- Don’t eat under stress to avoid overeating or eating too fast
- Eat initially on your own (if you are new to the concept of mindfulness) so that you can focus on food
- Use all your senses: look at the presentation of your dish, smell the food, taste and chew each bite
You can also film yourself initially to see if you shuffle down mindlessly the food like a machine without knowing what you eat or if you truly enjoy your meal in a calm environment.
Chances are that you are unconsciously putting another spoonful into your mouth even before swallowing the previous one.
3. Eliminate tempting food but avoid a restrictive diet
If tempting snacks are in your cupboards, there is a high chance you will eat more than you need.
- Go shopping with a full stomach and buy only nutritious food from my shopping list (download for FREE on my website).
- Choose healthy alternatives of snacks (an apple with peanut butter, 75 % cocoa organic chocolate with a handful of almonds, Greek yoghurt with berries and chia seeds).
- Drink 20 minutes before you eat. Chances are you will not feel tempted to snack.
- Distract yourself before you reach for dessert (phone a friend, engage in an enjoyable activity, go for a walk). Your brain needs at least 20 minutes to process the sensations of fullness and satiety.
4. Choose the right macronutrients
- Add protein to every meal
- Choose carbs with a low glycaemic index
- Don’t be afraid of healthy fats
High protein meals decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin and therefore decrease cravings.
Equally choosing food low in glycaemic index keeps the blood sugar levels under control so that you avoid the blood sugar roller coaster.
Healthy fats such as nuts & seeds or avocado make you feel satisfied for longer and reduce the temptation to grab a sweet treat.
See an example of a well-balanced meal plan.
Take the action today :
Keep a food journal
Honestly write down your daily food consumption. Score your physical and emotional hunger on a scale from 1-10.
Soon you will discover repetitive patterns that lead you to emotional overeat (anger, loneliness, boredom, stress).
Awareness, acceptance and action are the necessary steps to beat any bad habit.
If you don’t think you can manage on your own, I would be delighted to help. Download my free Health & Wellbeing Diary and take the first step to break the vicious circle of overeating.
We tend to make poor food choices when we are on the run. Be prepared and carry with you nuts & seeds or an apple. Prepare your main meals in advance. For more tips on batch cooking tips sign up for my free newsletter or check my YOUTUBE CHANNEL with step by step meal plans for busy professionals.
Practice meditation & deep breathing
If you want to activate the digestive system, you need to switch off your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
This simple visualization technique will do the trick. Close your eyes and take five deep cycles of breath into your belly. Remind yourself what you are grateful for and then enjoy your healthy meal.
This is my favourite meditation track from Davidji.
Remember that habits are powerful, and it takes a minimum of 21 days before you break the bad habit and automatize the new habit.
I would be delighted to hear from you. What do you struggle with most? What worked for you?
Would you like to solve the mystery of your belly fat, low energy levels and mood swings? Schedule a FREE discovery call and let me know more about you.