Whether you’re ravenously hungry, been served heaping helpings of your all-time favorite meal, or are stress eating your way through the kitchen, feeling full is likely in your future. But how full is too much? If you’ve been eating until it hurts or you feel sluggish, or if you’ve noticed your go-to outfit hugging your curves a little too snugly, you’re probably overdoing it.
Eating until you feel satisfied–meaning, neither hungry nor gorged–should be the goal. However, thanks to a number of different players, feeling stuffed is often the result. It’s actually easy to keep your satiety in check. Try these tips anytime you eat to get your portions back in whack.
Eat Mindfully: Eating too fast doesn’t give your body enough time to tell your brain when it’s had enough. Instead, wolfing down you foods can lead to taking in too much, leaving you bloated and uncomfortable. Even if you’re eating on the run, try to pay closer attention to the food you take in. It’s not just about making good food choices, but also allowing yourself to really savor each bite you eat. To do so, chew slowly and completely, noticing the smells, flavors, and textures of your food. Not only will this help to slow you down, but it will also help to make your meal more enjoyable.
Drink Up: We can’t say it enough, water is a must for any healthy body. It helps to flush out toxins from your system, keep joints lubricated and pain-free, and best of all, fill you up without any added calories. About 10-15 minutes before eating a meal, drink a glass of water. Your tummy will feel full, making less room for unnecessary food. Keep drinking water throughout the day, and you’re also less likely to feel the need to snack, since the brain can confuse the signals for hunger and dehydration.
Add Fiber: Taking in fewer calories but feeling more full may sound like the latest diet craze, but it’s truly possible with foods rich in fiber. High-fiber foods–think vegetables, fruits, and whole grains–offer slow-digesting fiber in large volume, making you feel fuller longer and with fewer calories. If you’re headed out to your favorite pizza place and are worried about eating a pie all on your own, start with a spinach salad packed with veggies before stealing a slice or two. It’s a great way to still enjoy your favorites without the guilt and bloat that comes with the check.
Eat!: While it may seem counter intuitive, the way to avoid overeating at one meal is to eat all day long. Granted, your serving sizes will be much smaller, but by eating throughout the day you’re less like to stuff yourself in one sitting. Start with a good breakfast that pairs lean protein (e.g., eggs, greek yogurt, or turkey sausage) and fiber (e.g., an apple, a slice of whole grain toast, oatmeal). Munch on fiber-rich foods when a snack is needed, and make protein, fruit, and veggies the focus of your meals.
While eating until you’re blissfully full can feel wonderful on occasion, it’s a thin line that easily crosses into stuffed. Food should be enjoyed, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Pay attention to what and how you eat, and you’ll be able to enjoy your food and eat it, too.
What food or meal do you typically go overboard on? Share with us in the comments!