A healthy diet and exercise routine is vital for weight-loss, but changing your eating habits and developing a positive relationship with food is how you will maintain a healthy weight in the long term. Overeating is an issue many of us need to overcome, but there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to help you on your way.
See below for the common diet pitfalls that lead to overeating:
- Skipping breakfast – Starting the day on an empty stomach may seem great for saving calories, but it will only make you eat more during the day. Research suggests eating breakfast can help to prevent obesity, and also ensures your metabolism functions more effectively.
- Your portions are too big – If you are piling your plate high with food, you are not being mindful about what you’re eating. This means you will end up eating more than you actually need, and excess calories will be stored as fat. Limit yourself to small portions and only help yourself to more if you are still hungry after finishing your plate.
- Eating in front of the TV or computer – The distraction takes the focus off eating and makes it easier for you to overeat without realising. Designate mealtimes to a dinner table where you are more mindful about the portions you are eating and how full you are.
- Confusing hunger and thirst – Many people confuse feeling thirsty with hunger pangs and will reach for food straight away to resolve it. Make sure you have a drink and then leave a gap of 20-30 minutes before eating something to determine if you are actually hungry.
- You never snack – Most diet and nutrition experts agree that you should snack between meals as it prevents the body from switching into starvation mode. Healthy snacks will keep your blood sugar levels stable and will ensure you don’t overindulge at mealtimes.
- You’re driven by emotion – For many people, food is a source of comfort, especially when they are feeling down or stressed. Emotional eating however is only a quick fix, and in the long-term can lead to weight problems. Before reaching for food, ask yourself ‘Am I hungry?’. This will stop you in your tracks and will make you consider your actions.