Tips to Control Overindulgence & Stop Overeating: Part 1

Halloween just passed and with all the candy and chocolate on display everywhere for weeks (and now it’s half off!), many of us have been fighting urges to overindulge. Here are a few tricks and tips for anyone who wants to indulge every now and again without going overboard.  

There are lots of reasons why we might overindulge during any day of the year, but for almost everyone, the holidays are the most challenging. We live in an abundant society and, especially around the holidays, everywhere we go we’re bombarded with the sights, sounds and smells of every kind of food known to man that provides pleasure.

Add stress into the mix and no wonder so many of us succumb to the temptations! The following are some tips in how to satisfy our hunger and cravings in moderation.

Tips to Stop Overeating

  1. Eat regular, healthy meals. When your belly contains filling and nutritious whole grains, vegetables and lean protein, you’re less likely to overindulge because you’ve already satisfied your hunger. All junk and processed foods contain empty calories, which takes A LOT to fill an empty stomach, ultimately leading to overindulgence. If you’ve just got a craving to satisfy, the full belly will enjoy a little rather than a lot.
  2. Plan your meals. This tip, of course, helps you regularly achieve tip #1. When you haven’t planned, or planned at least most of your weekly meals, then you’re more likely to find yourself in the middle of a million things with a hunger-on so strong that even the most health-conscious individual will choose convenience or give into cravings.
  3. Tips to meal planning. An extension of tip #2, here’s what I try to do: Every Saturday morning I take a half hour to go through a couple of recipe books and choose a few easy-make big pot dishes (like chili, stew, casserole, etc.) that I’ll use throughout the week for lunches. From those recipes, after checking my cupboards and fridge, I start creating my grocery list. While I’m checking my stock, I’ll come up with a few easy breakfast and supper ideas, like James’ Pre-Workout Protein Pancakes and veggie pasta. Then I’ll add any missing ingredients for those on my grocery list. At first learning the discipline to do this is tough but after awhile of cooking and making different meals, you can be a little less disciplined and end up creative enough to make healthy meals based just on the staples you store and a few fresh veggies, fruits and lean meats!
  4. Practice mindful eating. Many of us overeat/overindulge because it’s mindless habit or we’re in the middle of 3 other things while we dine. If you haven’t heard, there’s already a Slow Movement started by people who wish to create a cultural shift towards slowing down life’s pace. Part of this is truly enjoying the food we eat, taking the time to savour every bite. Interestingly, this works in tandem with our bodies. Many of us who overeat eat way too fast for our brains to register that our hunger is satisfied, so we continue to eat to the point where we’re bloated, lethargic and feeling just plain terrible. Choosing to set aside time for meals is a start. When we cannot take the time to eat or we’re just too stressed, we can opt for an easy-to-digest smoothie.
  5. Learn to be pickier. Like a connoisseur of fine wines (who wouldn’t even think of touching a $20 bottle of wine), we can learn how to refine our tastes. You don’t have to settle for food of lesser quality just because we need food to survive. If you are in a pickle and need the food-energy but haven’t much choice, you can always choose the best available and if you really don’t like it or will feel poorly after eating it, eat a few nibbles and put it aside. Same goes with your junk cravings, choose the best quality available and you can always choose to have the other half the next day.

These are just 5 tips in how we can control overindulgence and stop overeating. They aren’t easy tips to undertake if you haven’t lived this way all your life but they are possible to achieve. Just like any lifestyle change, it takes practice. So don’t give up if you slip!

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of this post for more tips and tricks to stop overindulging and overeating. Do you have any tips you’ve learned along the way to control the green beastie of food pleasure?  

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