Have you ever felt so incredibly full and uncomfortable after eating a meal? Maybe you even felt guilty after as well, or crippling thoughts started to kick in? This is a sign that you probably overate! Do not fret, though. Most people have experienced the feeling of overeating in some way, shape, or form, and you might even feel it more times throughout your lifetime. This is okay. The first way to prevent yourself from overeating is to stay conscious of the amount of food you are putting into your body, along with how your body is responding to these particular amounts of food. This mind and body connection is very crucial when it comes to eating, and I know it is not always easy remembering to tune in to how your body is feeling, especially on days when you are hungrier than normal or are rushed to eat during your meals. In today’s blog post from Innovative Sports Nutrition, I am going to discuss a few ways you can work to prevent yourself from overeating, as well as give some suggestions as to what you can do to overcome this feeling of dismay after overeating.
Ways to Prevent Overeating
- The first tip I am going to suggest, which is definitely the one I, personally struggle with the most, is slowing down when eating your food. Eating your meals too fast can have a direct correlation with overeating. Furthermore, continuous overeating can lead to gain in body weight overtime. Try focusing more on chewing each bite as much as possible before swallowing, this may help you recognize when your body is actually full and reduce your overall food intake during each meal. A challenge I like to use for myself to help me slow down while eating is to see how many times I can chew the food in my mouth before I swallow it. Then, I try to wash each bite down with a sip of water. This also helps with the digestion of your food.
- My next tip to help prevent overeating is to limit or take away any distractions while you are eating. Distractions can range from watching your favorite TV show while eating, scrolling through your Instagram explore page, to playing a favorite computer game, and so on. According to an article from Healthline, a particular review over 24 different research studies concluded that being distracted during meals did indeed lead people to ingest more calories during that particular meal, as well as later in the day after that said meal. This is why it is so important to stay mindful while eating, so that you can thoroughly listen to your body and look for these signs that your body may be full.
- Are you diversifying your meals? Do your meals contain foods that are lower in calories and higher in fiber? How much protein are you getting during each meal? Another very important way to prevent overeating is by balancing your meals. For example, non-starchy vegetables are a great addition to any meal, and they may directly aid in the prevention of overeating. Try eating a salad or low-sodium broth based soup before lunch and dinner and see how you feel during your main course.
- A final tip I have is another big one that I struggle with quite often, which is to avoid eating from containers. Do you ever find yourself slumped on the couch watching a good movie with a bag of chips or tub of ice cream by your side? I know I have many times before! Another way to avoid overeating is to portion some of those chips from the bag into a bowl in order to limit yourself to a set serving size. The same goes with ice cream, takeout, or anything else you may find yourself eating straight from the container. This will help vastly when it comes to limiting your calorie intake during one sitting. Another tip with this is to even use measuring cups to portion out these foods. This can help you familiarize yourself with different serving sizes and help you distinguish what a normal portion should look like when eating different types of foods.
What can I do after overeating?
The most important thing you can do after overeating is tune into your body and recognize how you are feeling. You may even find it helpful to keep a meal journal to record how you may be feeling everyday after eating. It is important to never restrict yourself during future meals if you are feeling guilty after overeating. If you are hungry a few hours later, try eating a lighter meal and see how your body feels, maybe just a small snack, a salad, soup, or even a bowl of yogurt. Also, keep in mind how much water you have been drinking that day. Sometimes our bodies will appear hungry for food when really we are just craving hydration. Then, after that small snack or drink of water, if you are listening to your body and feel that it is still hungry, this may mean that it is just one of those days where your body has been working harder than normal to perform and it just needs more fuel. Give it that! Another way to ease that discomfort you may experience after overeating is to lightly move your body. Try going for a walk, stretching, or performing any light activities around the house to help your digestive system move that food through its tracts.
Always remember that your mind and body are one in all that they do. This is why it is so important to listen and nourish both your mind and body in positive ways so that they can continue working FOR you.
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