Overeating and mindless snacking are so easy to do– they’re a problem for lots of us. Doing either of these can derail your fitness and nutrition goals, but they’re such a common problem. I’ve got 6 ways for you to avoid these roadblocks and stay on track!
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Judge your hunger realistically.
Before you put anything in your mouth, make a realistic analysis of your hunger level. If your stomach is growling and you can’t stop thinking about food, this is a good time to have a meal. If you’ve past that point, you need to eat within the hour to avoid getting into low-blood pressure territory. If you just want something to snack, check yourself. You might be bored or thirsty– two sensations we often confuse for hunger. By really thinking about whether or not your body needs food before eating, you can stave off snack attacks and overeating.
Eat something every 4 hours.
Full-on hunger usually hits us 4-5 hours after a balanced meal. By eating regularly, you maintain a steady blood sugar and energy level, which helps you avoid the desperate, will-power-out-the-window decisions we sometimes make when we’re starving. Set your watch and prepare balanced meals. Having a 150 calorie snack between meals if you’re just not satisfied can help tide you over until the next meal.
Eat breakfast no matter what.
We all know it’s the most important meal of the day, but the morning can be hectic. It’s been proven in study after study that the more carbs, fat, and protein that we eat in the mornings, the fewer of those things we eat throughout the day. Even if you’re super busy in the mornings, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself in line. Chop fruits the night before so you have an easy breakfast in the morning– just add yogurt! You can stash some granola, oatmeal packets, or other dry goods at your desk at work if you know you won’t manage breakfast before making it out of the house. Even if you can’t stomach a meal at 6 a.m., eating a later breakfast around 9 will still give you the benefits of a good breakfast.
Keep your foods high-volume.
When we eat solid foods with a high fluid content (fruits and vegetables, for example), we stay fuller for longer because we’re getting bigger portions for fewer calories. Try starting lunch and dinner with a salad, choose fresh fruit over dried fruit, and slip veggies on your plate at every chance you get!
Up your fiber consumption throughout the day.
Fiber will help you feel fuller faster and for longer, so it’s important to consume it throughout the day to stave off snacking. Try to get 25 grams of fiber each day. The easiest way to do it? Snack on carrots and apples, which are naturally high in fiber.
Get some protein in every meal.
Egg whites, tuna, or skinless chicken are great options to throw into a salad or on toast, and that’s before considering other options such as beans, quinoa, lentils, and seeds. By consuming more protein, you’ll feel satisfied for longer. That will make a big difference in the temptation to snack after lunch.
What are your top ways to to avoid overeating?
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