Behavioural scientists believe that people overeat because of subconscious decisions, and not because they actually feel hungry. On average, we make over 200 decisions every day about food but we are only consciously aware of a few of these. This can lead to mindless eating, which in turn causes weight gain. There are a few things you can do to help avoid overeating and become more mindful about what you eat.
If you eat while watching TV or doing work, you’re likely to eat more as you’re not focusing on enjoying the food and living in the moment. You won’t be thinking about how hungry you are and will fall into the mindless motion of putting one mouthful of food in after the next -before you know it the plates finished and it’s unlikely that you will feel fully satisfied from the meal. Try to focus on each bite and really enjoy the process of eating.
Most of us have been brought up to finish every last bite on our plates, even if we’re full. You can still live by that philosophy but try to start off with a smaller serving size so you won’t be able to overeat. You may expect to get hungry in between mealtimes by doing this but bear with it and you’ll probably be surprised at how quickly your body adjusts.
Use Bowls When Snacking
Eating straight out of a crisp packet can usually lead to you consuming much more than the recommended serving size. Pay attention to the packaging and portion out the serving suggestion into a bowl so that you can’t eat more than you’re meant to.
It takes 20 minutes for your body to realise that food is being consumed and for you to feel full. Eating too quickly can therefore cause you to overeat and contributes to weight gain. Slowing down the pace of your eating can help you gain control of what goes into your body and allows time for you to recognise when you’re no longer hungry.
Substitute With Better Habits
There are many other ways of combatting your habits of over-indulgence. When your mind turns to thoughts of snacking between mealtimes, you can channel those thoughts to other activities that will benefit your body such as exercise or crafts. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, why not run up and down the stairs or do a row of knitting? These will quickly start to develop into habits of their own.