Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. I personally have the most challenges around the holiday season.
And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days. I spent many a holiday laying on the couch feeling bloated and overstuffed.
Side note: Digestive Enzymes are my secret weapon for aiding digestion and avoiding tummy upset (bloating or gassiness – TMI?! Sorry!) when you may be eating different foods, richer foods, or more dairy during the holiday season. Take just before meals and keep them in your purse (or car!).
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. During PMS week. Or All. The. Time.
I’ve picked up a few helpful habits on my own keto journey as well as my career as a Certified Keto Coach. Here are my Top 3 tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower – willpower doesn’t work!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’). Go ahead and add some Apple Cider Vinegar in there to aid in digestion of that upcoming meal.
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. Most of us recognize that it’s very easy to blow way past that signal and end up uncomfortable!
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have it…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fibre and water.
Fibre and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are four delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water (flat or sparkling):
● Slices of lemon & ginger
● Slices of strawberries
● Apple Cider Vinegar and a cinnamon stick
● Raspberries and lemon
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen low carb berries and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.