How to Control Overindulgence & Stop Overeating: Part 2
In our last post, Part 1 of How to Control Overindulgence & Stop Overeating, we gave you 5 great tips in how to manage your eating habits. Here are 6 more tips when you need some guidance in maintaining moderation for goodies and food.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”Jim Rohn
Whether you’re overeating or overindulging in your favourite food and snacks out of stress, emotional disturbance, mindless habit or because everyone around you is doing it, it does have it’s consequences. A healthy lifestyle is all about discipline and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle far outweigh the immediate benefits of self-gratification.
Hey, we’re not saying immediate gratification doesn’t have it’s benefits! Actually, immediately satisfying a craving or hunger is HEALTHY. But when we overdo it, that’s where we experience negative consequences. So in continuation of Part 1, here are more ideas in how you can control the green beastie of gluttony:
- Think of food as fuel. Some of us have had a long-term love/hate relationship with food. It’s our buddy who lifts us up when we’re feeling low. It’s also been the buddy we blame when our clothes have gotten a bit too tight. Although this might be difficult (some of us might benefit from the assistance of a professional, like a therapist or personal trainer), we must let go of that past relationship and recreate a more healthier relationship with food. Learning to train our mind to think of food as fuel rather than a friend is one option.
- Smaller portions. In our commercial world, we’re exposed to and probably grew up with the belief that “bigger is better.” This includes portion sizes of food, whether it’s a healthy meal or junk food. Now thankfully, more companies are producing “snack-size” options, like the Halloween mini-chocolate bars. But many of us are still consuming and serving portions that could feed two people! Sometimes it’s because we were taught not to waste food so we eat whatever we were served. To help with this, take or request smaller portions. If you have a large portion, eat half and save the rest for the next day, or put it in the green bin (which is used for compost so it’s not wasted!). When you’re snacking, portion out your treat, put in a separate bowl and put the rest away in the cupboard.
- Wait. Along the same lines as the above tip, we often overestimate the portion we need to fuel our bodies. When we’re talking about healthy food, when you’re done with the first small portion, wait at least 10 minutes before getting seconds. This gives your brain time to register satiation so if you are still really hungry, go ahead and grab the second portion because your body needs the fuel. If you feel satisfied in your belly after the first plate, then you haven’t burned enough calories that day to warrant the extra fuel. When we’re talking about junk food, if you choose to treat yourself in this way, avoiding second, third and fourth helpings is all about the mental challenge. Empty calories like these don’t ever satisfy a hunger, they may satisfy a craving, but never real hunger. In this case, you allow yourself a little and then just say, “No!” if you go to reach for more.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Do you eat more if it’s placed right in front of you? Do you have a candy bowl on your desk at work or one at home? For some people, this is not a problem at all. For others, it’s a different story. If you have issues with snacking, keep it in your drawers or cupboards. Have your snacks at certain times when YOU decide, not the green beastie of gluttony. Or if you really like having something sitting out for yourself and others, consider healthier versions of your snacks.
- Avoid over-buying sale items. Junk and processed foods are so cheap and go on sale so often that this can trigger hoarding instincts. Yes, lots of people still have the instinct to hoard in case of an unforeseen emergency. And when we’ve mismanaged our money or aren’t making enough to fund our lifestyles, then the urge to buy more of the stuff we don’t really need can overtake us. So all we have to do in these cases is make a few firm decisions, like buying less of higher quality foods and sticking to our budgets. We can also remind ourselves that we live in an abundant Universe that will always provide our necessities.
- Resist guilty feelings. If you do go all crazy and overindulge, give yourself a break! Beating yourself up won’t get you anywhere and might actually help you regress, especially if you tend to partake in emotional eating. The best way to approach a slip up like this is to be firm with yourself and recognize that you goofed up, brush yourself off and try harder next time. Tell yourself that you DO have self-discipline and think back to all the times in different situations where you DID display self-control.
Train your mind to train your body is our company philosophy. Many of the healthy eating tips we shared here in Part 2 and Part 1 include different ways of thinking about food as well as providing practical tips/tricks in training oneself in self-control.
Another way to help you stop overindulging is to develop more overall self-discipline. Get yourself a personal trainer to develop a regular exercise routine or join some martial arts. OR you can combine the two with fitness trainers who use Mauy Thai boxing in their programs (read “Go Ahead, Beat On Us” for more on this).
How do you develop more self-discipline?