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Overeating is a chronic problem for most Americans, and as we approach the holidays with fancy dinners and delicious party entrees, the threat intensifies. There are so many opportunities for great food and social eating during the holiday season, but unfortunately we end up gaining an average of 5 pounds before the new year. It’s not the best start, but we have a few helpful tips to help you curb your tendency to overeat this winter season.
4 Simple Ways to Avoid Overeating
1. Drink Water
Often overeating is a byproduct of dehydration. You can feel thirsty, lethargic, and headachy, which can drive you straight to a bowl of holiday candy. Instead, set a goal to drink more water throughout the day. Drink a whole glass of water before a meal to feel more full and well-hydrated, which will prevent overeating.
2. Don’t Get Too Hungry
The biggest predictor of overeating is hunger, or perceived hunger. Don’t fast all day before a huge holiday dinner or else you’ll surely find yourself at the point of bursting stomach discomfort. High protein, low carb snacks an hour or two before the meal can help you prevent overeating.
3. Half The Plate
Split your meal with a date, friend, spouse, or family member when you eat at a fancy restaurant. Ask the host or server to bring out only half of the serving, and immediately place the other half in a to-go box. If you are making your way through a house party buffet, scoop only half of what you would normally take. If you’re still hungry after finishing, you can always go back for more! Don’t be afraid to leave some food on your plate.
4. Practice Hunger Assessment
All throughout your day, practice rating your hunger level on a 1-5 scale.
- 5 Rating: Would be very uncomfortably full.
- 4 Rating: Satisfied after a perfect meal, not too sleepy or weighed down
- 3 Rating: Most of your day you should sit at a 3 – not hungry or full.
- 2 Rating: You might need a snack because you’re just feeling a little hungry.
- 1 Rating: Nearly ravenous try to avoid reaching a score of 1
You want to hover right around a score of 3, swinging up to a 4 after meals and possibly to a 2
before your meals.
Take some time during this holiday season to take care of you – fight the easy mistake of overeating and find yourself happier, healthier, and maybe a bit lighter as we enter 2018.