By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Bajaj
We’ve all had those days when you feel endlessly hungry and no matter what you eat, it’s not enough. If you’re overeating on a regular basis, here are some tips to help you feel more satiated and put an end to overeating.
1. Eat More
So many people don’t eat all day, and overeat at night. It’s something I hear so often working with patients. Don’t go down that road! Even if you’re busy, you need to make it a priority to eat. If you are trying to lose weight, don’t make the mistake of restricting your eating so much that it will backfire later. Protein shakes are an easy breakfast. Eat lunch, even if it’s a quick bowl of soup. Keep snacks at your desk at work — some trail mix or nuts will give you a boost in the afternoon.
2. Eat Whole Foods
Our bodies recognize whole foods as real food. Whole foods are full of vitamins and minerals that help us feel satiated. When we eat processed foods that are full of chemicals, our body gets confused and stays hungry because it’s still searching for nutrients. Remember – the shorter the ingredient list, the better!
3. Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut butter, grass-fed butter, salmon, sardines, nuts and seeds are great for satiety. Even some dairy sources like full-fat yogurt or goat cheese can be good to incorporate in your diet. Olive oil on a salad will help you to absorb more nutrients from your leafy greens. As Dr. Lipman always says, “Fat doesn’t make you fat! Sugar makes you fat.”
4. Fill Up On Fiber
Fill your plate with lots of vegetables, and think of everything else — the protein, grains, fats — as your condiments. Eat a high volume of fiber-packed veggies and you will feel more satisfied. Another trick I’ve discovered is to add a LOT of chia seeds to my my morning smoothies: I add anywhere from ⅛ to ¼ of a cup of chia seeds, which are packed with fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. This makes me feel full all the way through the morning, and helps digestion too.
5. Include Bitter Flavors
Tickle your taste buds with bitter flavors, which can often help to cut through cravings for sweets. Sauerkraut and kimchi are a great way to bring in more bitter flavors.
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking more water will keep you more energized, so you won’t be so quick to look to food for a burst of energy. I recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water each day — so if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water.
7. Identify your Trigger Foods
We all have certain foods that can set off a bout of overeating. It may be a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, a jar of almond butter, a jar of salted nuts, a bag of Tostitos or even cereal. Often these foods have both salt and sugar, making them irresistible. It’s good to get real about which foods you always overeat — you might be better off not keeping them in the house.
8. Take a Break from Alcohol
I often hear from patients at the wellness center that drinking alcohol is closely linked with overeating. This is why people benefit so much from doing a 2-week Cleanse, because they take a break from drinking alcohol and become more conscious of their food choices.
9. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
This is an eating guideline from Geneen Roth, expert on compulsive eating and perpetual dieting, and author of Women, Food and God. It’s a good reminder that we eat differently when we’re alone that with others. If you make it a practice to eat as if you were in full view of others, you may make better choices and keep your hand out of the cookie jar.