Almost all of us have done it at some point – we start eating a small portion of something we really enjoy, and before we know it we have eaten huge amounts and are left feeling nauseous and uncomfortable. While for some overeating is an occasional occurrence, others struggle with it on a daily basis and may require a little extra help.
Taking control of your eating habits can feel difficult at first, but by doing the following, you will give yourself a great head start:
1. Drink plenty of water
Often people reach for a snack because they confuse the sensation of being hungry with being thirsty. By staying well hydrated, you won’t run the risk of eating unnecessarily.
2. Ask yourself if you are really hungry
Before you eat a meal or reach for the biscuit tin, ask yourself – ‘am I really hungry?’ Have a glass of water and consider other reasons why you want to eat – are you feeling emotional or upset at all? Are you bored? All of these things can lead to overeating.
3. Only take half of what you think you need
Once you have established that you are physically hungry, try to make a point of giving yourself half of what you think you need, assuring yourself that you can go back for seconds. Once you have finished the first half, ask yourself if you are still hungry and whether or not you truly need the second helping.
4. Eat mindfully
When you eat in front of your TV or computer at work, it can be all too easy to lose track of what you’ve eaten. Try to be more mindful about your food and eat at the table away from any distractions. Take in every sensation, from the smell and texture to the taste itself. Enjoying your food like this will help your brain recognise when you’ve had enough to eat.
5. Eat slowly
Take your time over your food and chew each bite thoroughly. It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to realise it’s full, so by giving it time to recognise this you will reduce the chance of overeating.
If you think you would benefit from extra help, it may be worth considering hypnotherapy. Find out more on our food addiction page.
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