Overeating is one of the main causes of depression and feelings of lethargy in humans today, which is never a good thing as it seems as though the rest of the world is geared towards staying fit and healthy. But when food is so tasty and excites the senses as your chewing and digesting it, how is it possible to stop from going from enjoying it to essentially becoming a glutton?
Well, we’ve got a few tips for you that are actually very easy to follow. None of these crash courses that you feel overwhelmed by and are daunting to read.
No, simply a few alterations to make during meal times to put the power back into your eating habits. See, you’re feeling better already!
1. Balanced meals at regular times
One of the main issues for most of us is being able to get as many nutrients as possible from meals at regular times during the day.
But with most of us having a very busy lifestyle, it can be hard to pay attention to every single meal. We often go for the easy option, choosing a ready-made meal or takeaway whenever we find some time.
What you need to remember is that, just like sleep, you can’t just make up for meals you lost during the day by overeating all at once. It’s not that simple.
Wake up a little earlier, consciously set out what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and stick to it while taking into account at least the basic food groups of vegetables, fruits, grains, oils and meat and incorporate them into your diet throughout the day. By eating regularly and balancing your meals according to what your body needs you’ll instantly start to feel better while eating less.
2. Chew longer
The information age that we exist in today has given us so many things to love about the world and has connected everyone in a revolutionary way but with that comes a few negatives. As we bustle about throughout the day, taking in new ideas everywhere we turn there’s a lot less time to stop, think and relax. It’s because of our intense lifestyles that we tend to not leave enough time for the act that essentially keeps us alive, eating…a close second to breathing.
We realise that in some cases work and life gets in the way but if you put in the effort to quietly sit down and eat at a pace a little slower than shovelling, you’ll feel much better and will be energised to complete the tasks at hand rather than continuing to feel tired and lacklustre.
Your mom wasn’t lying about chewing your food, it’s the difference maker between gorging food into a bottomless pit and actually allowing your digestive system time to get going.
3. Cut down on the drinking
This can be a hard one. Drinking often leads to one of two effects on your eating habits, so this can go either way. One is that you grab a few beers after work and don’t bother to eat a proper meal. By substituting that chance to take in proper nutrition with drinking alcohol, you’re delaying the inevitable, and you’ll go to bed hungry. The cycle of overeating then happens when you’re forced to grab a greasy snack and wake up a little hungover without much of a care for what breakfast is about.
The other way is, obviously, the inevitable late night trip to McDonalds or Burger King and consuming copious amounts of fast food, even after you’ve eaten. Although you feel full for a bit, the alcohol has weakened your impulse control and made you susceptible to primitive cravings. You have now entered the “I don’t care club” that ultimately puts you back to square one. This isn’t to say that you can’t drink at all, but the choices you make before and after those pints and shots might be a serious setback for your healthy eating habits.
4. Watch your portion sizes
A plate full to the brim with delicious eats and treats. You’ve got all the food groups there and they’re ready for the taking. You plunge deep into your dish with forks and knives of fire and fury taking no prisoners as you eat meals upon meals that could match up to your own body weight.
Even though you’re eating balanced meals regularly, you’re just eating too much. Your stomach is only so big and your body can only comfortably digest so much food at a time, so please be kind and have some consideration for your organs. They love you and only expect you to love them in return. Another issue that comes into play is not being able to finish but not wanting to waste so…leftovers! And we all know what that means. When you’re sat up at night watching late night television your mind slowly slips to the humming of the fridge and before you know it, you’ve eaten it all.
5. Eat a good breakfast
You’ve probably been told this a million times and then some, but there’s a reason for that. It’s because breakfast can help to control your appetite for the rest of the day and it’s worth waking up a little earlier for, even if it’s cold out and you adore your bed. Think about it: you’ve eaten between the hours of 6pm and 8pm, done your nightly chores, slept (hopefully) and you’re up again. That’s almost 12 hours of not eating and although your body has been functioning on a lower level you still need to replenish what you’ve lost.
By eating breakfast you’re basically eating to get energised for the day to come. Imagine how you feel trudging into work on an empty stomach, hungrily and anxiously waiting for the lunch hour compared to how you feel when you wake up a little earlier and take the time to eat a complete and nutritious breakfast. There’s a stark contrast there that’s all too plain to see.
6. Stay fit and active
We’ve gone into detail about food groups and portion sizes and knowing when and how to eat but the main reason why many people overeat is because they’re bored. Moving along in a monotonous routine without anything to get your blood pumping and your body working at an optimal rate simply causes people to eat more.
How you feel after a gym session or run is incomparable to when you’ve just spent the day sitting in front of the television after work or driving around lifting the constantly calamitous kids. The more active and energised you feel allows your body to not only digest food better and use the nutrients to better effect but you’ll also generally feel better and be on that high long after you’re done. All it takes is a little bit of activity to rip your mind away from the fridge. Bonus: you’ll also crave healthier food to complement your training to get maximum results.
7. Are you really starving?
There may be underlying reasons behind your hunger that stretch further than simply being hungry and in need of another quick snack during the day. Yes, the day is long but it can be filled with so many things other than food. Think of breakfast, lunch and dinner as treats and something to look forward to rather than something you have to do to survive.
This isn’t to say that you can’t have snacks but if your overeating is becoming problematic then you have no option but to cut them out. Ask yourself if you’re really starving. Is what your body needs definitely food? Or could you be putting that time towards more productive activities that’ll make you love life and expand as a human?
8. Get sleep, dammit
Sleep is one of life’s luxuries that we all have access to but an alarming number of people still don’t get enough of it. Too many late nights out or at home but staring into vibrating screens can put a toll on your ability to function while you’re awake.
For some, sleep may be difficult due to a number of factors but it is important to address these and finally be able to get a good night’s rest. It works twofold as not only will you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day but you also won’t find yourself raiding the pantry throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning.
9. Have some self-control, man!
It’s so easy to set out a plan for you to get eating better and more effectively, which will definitely optimise the way you live life but the fact of the matter is that it is still all down to you and how you control your body and mind. So, now’s the time for some tough love because we all need it at points in our lives.
Do you really want this? Is this what you really need and crave? Do you believe that this is one of the keys to becoming more successful in your daily life? Because if you don’t then there’s no point in trying. Self-control and the belief that you can achieve this is what all this is based around. It’s all up to you and the person you want to be.
10. Know what your body needs
Everyone is unique and no person requires the exact same nutrients as everyone else. It’s then imperative to know exactly what foods your body processes better and craves, alongside a balanced diet. DNAFit’s genetics-based test and reports provide fully comprehensive information that is proven to work, specifically catered to you.
No longer will you have to guess or test through baptisms of fire to fully understand what your body needs. A simple test will reveal all of this information to you based on your genes. They’re the things that make you, you and indicate in what way you should direct your nutrition. Knowledge is power and after unlocking your personal genetic information your path to eating less frequently and more efficiently will be illuminated.