Has this ever happened to you? You sit down to eat a meal and the next thing you know you are sitting at the table wishing you hadn't ate so much? Or what about this- you haven't even taken the first bite of your meal and you know for sure you're going to have seconds?
If you are the slightest bit over-fat and you're attempting to shed some fat and inches you know, hopefully that your food consumption plays the biggest role. Well I'm going to share some simple steps you can use at your very next meal to help you minimize the chance of over eating. None of these tips or suggestions require you to make a costly investment, (they're free) or perform any major diet overhaul. And like I said, you can and should start them immediately and start developing these habits. Here they are:
First, take up some space. Your stomach can hold only so much food, comfortably. Drink a full glass of water before you start to eat. I'm not going to tell you an exact amount but obviously the more zero calorie water you put in your stomach the less room you will have for food. Less food means less calories. One other thing you might like to know is that it's not unusual to confuse your body's request for water with hunger.
Second, slow down. Unless you're standing at a table alongside Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi there's no reason for you to be eating fast. And if you are standing at that table losing fat inches probably isn't your top priority. Your hands, and mouth can sometimes beat your nervous system in a race. Eat too fast and you can wind up eating way more than needed. Before you know it you've distended your stomach and consumed too many calories. You're eating for nourishment, not sport.
Here's my advice, take a small mouthful of food. Go hands free- return your utensil to the table, or if it's finger foods, set it back onto the plate. Chew slowly and fully. Mastication, which is the fancy schmancy technical term for chewing is the first phase of digestion. So fully chewing your food is going to help your body digest the food. Before taking the next bite have a sip of water.
If you are drinking something else I hope you've already taken into consideration the nutritional benefits over plain water and how it is going to help or hinder your fat loss efforts. That's not the focus of this post so on to the next suggestion.
Third, be a part of your own dining experience. Focus on what you are doing which is providing nourishment to yourself. Keep in mind this can be as much mental as physical. Think about what you are about to eat and why. Not everyone eats an entirely clean diet, which is completely fine as far as I'm concerned. Some of your diet might be more about pleasure than simple nutrition. These pure pleasure foods are usually the easiest to over indulge in. Pay attention to how big a mouthful you're taking in. Pay attention to how fast you are chewing, remember slower is better.
Are you distracted? Eating while watching television, socializing on Facebook, playing a game, or doing any other task that divides your attention can cause you to eat too much too fast. Concentrate on your meal. Enjoy every bite. Focus on the fullness your belly is feeling.
You'll enjoy your meal more when you slow down and savor the foods' flavor!
Fourth, stop at satisfaction. If you've been disciplined enough to be successful with the first three steps this one might happen before you've finished your meal. Your stomach shouldn't be distended at the end of your meal. You should feel comfortable, not stuffed and miserable.
Fifth and finally, leave some behind. It might be odd if you were raised under the mealtime rule to 'clean your plate' but remember the entire mental aspect involved with nutrition, eating, and satiety. If you've convinced yourself that you need to eat everything on your plate to be satisfied you need to retrain your brain. Get in the habit of being full and satisfied with less than you're served, and stopping there. Even if it is a fraction of a bite, break the habit of cleaning your plate.
Hopefully these five simple tips will assist your fat loss by overcoming overeating goals. Remember the importance of getting your nutrients through real food, eat a variety of foods, and keep pleasure in your diet. And most important when I refer to diet I'm talking about the way you eat and drink, not a prescribed temporary restriction on what you can consume.
Do you have any tips or advice that you'd like to share that has helped you control your eating habits? If so please comment below and please share this with anyone you know that could benefit from these tips.
Aaron Harris provides in home personal training in the following north San Diego county cities: Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista. Call Aaron at 760-295-4206 for your free fitness consultation.