It is very easy to overeat at any meal and often we do so without thinking it through and before long it becomes ‘normal’ to reach for or eat that much food! Overtime our metabolism does change especially with age and we can no longer afford to just eat as much as we feel like without facing the consequences.
Shifting weight as we get older is much harder than when we were younger. You can exercise as much as you like but if you do not watch your portion sizes and the foods that you are eating, dropping weight can be a real struggle. You do still need to enjoy the foods you really like whether it be, cake, muffins, cheeses and takeaway for example, but you do need to enjoy this in moderation and still watch just how much you are eating.
Ways to help control portion sizes and to prevent you from overeating include;
- Start with a bowl of salad or vegetables before moving onto meat and starchy carbohydrates (potato etc.).
- Start with a small bowl of soup made on a base of salt reduced stock.
- Use smaller plates with every meal.
- Use smaller forks and spoons with meals to slow you down.
- Enjoy a glass of water before eating (being careful not to drink too much otherwise food cannot be digested as well).
- Learn portion control (carefully serve up proper portions and have the willpower not to eat anymore) – this is me!!
- Take food to work for lunch in smaller containers so it looks like a lot.
- Add protein and fat to every meal followed by lots of fresh vegetables or salad. Can’t go wrong with lots of greens!
- Portion control your snacks (small handful nuts, 1 piece of fruit, ½ cup yoghurt, 3 tbsp hummus/cottage cheese and celery, 1 hard-boiled egg etc.) and put these in small containers so you cannot eat more than what is there.
Other factors that contribute to overeating;
- Lack of sleep – need to aim for 8 hours every night as the more sleep deprived you are the hungrier you feel.
- Emotions and stress – this is the biggest problem for many. When you are upset or stressed most people have a tendency to lean towards food but not good food, instead foods that give you a quick release of energy and make you feel better for a short period of time. Finding ways to destress that works for you is extremely important too. Yoga, meditation, walking, enjoying a massage, group coffee dates and herb/nutrient supplements can be very effective.
- Imbalance of good/bad gut bacteria – having more bad gut bacteria can cause you to crave foods (particularly sugar) and these cravings can be so intense that it is extremely hard not to give in. Try a probiotic or two daily along with fermented foods/beverages to assist with correcting the balance.
If you do require further assistance in healthy eating, controlling your stress or improving your sleep quality please make an appointment with me today so I can help you get back on track 🙂