Top 5 Strategies to Help Manage Overeating
We all overeat from time to time. However, constantly eating more than your body needs can be detrimental to your digestion — hi, bloating and stomach aches! — as well as your weight. Try these five strategies to help manage overeating; however, if you believe you have a binge eating disorder, please speak with your doctor or dietitian for personalized support.
1. Stick to Mealtimes
Many people overeat when they are over-hungry. This can happen when we skip meals — breakfast is a common one — leading us to overeat at lunchtime. Instead of skipping meals, try to stick to relatively consistent meals every day. It’s okay if you miss your mark by a bit, but aiming to keep mealtimes within a one-hour consistent window each day can help manage overeating. You can also schedule snacks if you often get hungry between meals.
2. Go High-Fiber
It’s much more difficult to overeat high-fiber foods (think: raw vegetables, quinoa, berries) than low-fiber, refined carbohydrate foods (like crackers and chips.) High fiber foods can also help to increase satiety, which leads to you eating less. As a bonus, fibrous foods are linked to healthier weights and cholesterol levels.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We can often overeat when we are just thirsty, as hunger is a common early symptom of dehydration. To make sure you’re eating out of true hunger, try drinking a large glass of plain water before you nosh.
4. Master Mindful Eating
Mindfulness is a critical practice in eating just the right amount of food for you. Rather than eating in the car, in front of the TV, or while scrolling social media, try sitting — at a table with your food on a plate! — and focus on the meal in front of you. When you remove distractions, you might find you start to fill up faster and end up eating less.
5. Harness Healthier Snacks
Healthy snacks throughout the day can help curb overeating at mealtimes, as you won’t be ravenous and ready to eat anything you find. These snacks can be high-fiber foods, like fruits and vegetables, high-protein foods, like hard-boiled eggs or jerky, or snacks high in healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, or avocado.