Recently, I implemented these seven simple strategies to stop overeating and they have been working! A few months ago, I was overeating mainly at dinner into the evening. at night. I would work all day, come home, walk the dog, make dinner, and then eat too much and quickly. I ended up feeling awful. Can you relate?
I think the overeating, was related to trying to decrease my energy after being on the go all day. Being so full at night, I experienced more stress and started having trouble going to sleep and so the rollercoaster started: overeating, trouble sleeping, tired the next day, overeating, and so on.
In January, these strategies were implemented to break my overeating habit, targeting dinnertime and it has definitely improved. I have noticed that I am sleeping better and feel more comfortable after dinner.
Here are the 7 simple strategies to stop overeating:
Strategey 1: Set the Atmosphere
Create a warm and inviting atmosphere for the meal. This could be simply a single flower in a vase or a lit candle on the table with a napkin and silverware. A placemat adds a nice touch too. The idea is to make the setting appealing, so when you sit down you feel calm and pampered.
Strategy 2: Remove Distractions
Eliminate all of the distractions prior to eating such as the phone, writing, reading, watching TV, etc. and focus solely on the meal. Take the time to fully enjoy the meal, taste the food, and notice the sensations in your body while eating.
Strategy 3: Take a Moment
Before starting to eat, take a moment to be grateful for the nourishment in front of you. Perhaps consider where the food is from, the farmer, all of the nutrients from the earth. This brief, but very important step, sets the tone for receiving all of the positive vibes from the food.
Strategy 4: Smell
Smell the food before eating and notice what happens. Smelling the food helps get the digestive juices going to help metabolize the food. Plus it adds to the experience of enjoying the food.
Strategy 4: Chew
This step is extremely important! Chew each bite to a liquid mush consistency before swallowing. Why is this helpful? First, it is super beneficial for digestion and it slows down the process of eating.
How many of us are guilty of eating very fast? By chewing each bite thoroughly, you are able to taste the food, notice fullness, and be more satisfied with what you are eating.
I have been working on this step every day for the past five months and it is still challenging, however, I am making progress. A good rule of thumb is to take small bites and chew the food for about 30 bites.
Interested in more information about chewing? Here is a fabulous article on how to chew food.
Strategy 5: Notice the First Burp
When you have had enough to eat, our bodies will tell us with a burp. The burp may be very subtle or quite noticeable. Practice noticing when this happens. It is a clear sign from your body, it is time to stop eating.
When I first started noticing the first burp, I said to myself “oh no, not already, I want to still eat!” and I would take a few more bites, but then noticed a shift into feeling overly full.
Now, I find it interesting to notice the first burp, which is usually very tiny. When I stop eating after the first burp, my fullness feels comfortable and notice my energy is more even versus having ups and downs.
Conscious Nibbling Tip: Instead of asking “Am I full”? ask “Am I still hungry?”
Strategy 6: Create a Balanced Meal
A balanced meal leads to feeling more satiated during and after eating. If you are eating just a salad and some fruit, chances are you are not going to feel truly satisfied. Be sure to include whole grains and legumes with the vegetables in your meal to provide depth and substance.
The vegan buddha bowl pictured above includes vegetables, quinoa (whole grain), and chickpeas (legumes). Just looking at it seems more satisfying than a salad with fruit.
Not sure what legumes and whole grains to include? Check out my blog on “How to Eat Plant-Based When Confused”.
Strategy 7: Move
After eating, get up from the table and move your body. Whatever you decide to do, do not lay down. Some movements, such as a short walk, 10-30 minutes, will help with digestion and also create a transition from eating to non-eating.
Plus the movement releases positive mood endorphins. Knowing I am going to take a walk after dinner motivates me to stop eating after the first burp. I intentionally eat less, so it is a win-win: activity, positive mood, comfortable fullness.
Start this process by choosing one or two of the steps to implement and slowly add another. Perhaps, target one meal a day to practice when you know you have more time and won’t be rushed.
Over time, these steps will become second nature and you will notice that you are eating until you are comfortably full versus stuffed and also feel more satisfied.
Let’s connect! Did you enjoy this article? Have you tried any other strategies to curtail overeating? Let me know what they are and also if you tried any, I would love to hear about it!