Emotional eating, eating out of boredom, stress eating, social eating and eating for various other reasons that simply aren’t related to hunger and/or fueling our bodies are key reasons why we feel lethargic, gain weight and compromise our health; this is especially true if you’re not eating healthy foods. Of course, changing this behaviour is easier said than done without specific tactics for changing your behaviour. If you want to stop eating when you’re not really hungry, here are a few simple tips that you can implement today:
- DISTRACT YOURSELF: In many cases, the urge to eat goes away after a little while if you’re not really hungry to begin with. If you feel like eating, take a break and do something else that you enjoy first. Watch TV, check out a video online, read a magazine, listen to some music, or clean up a bit. If you’re actually hungry, your feelings of hunger will continue. If you’re just bored, your distraction will likely pay off and you’ll forget all about eating.
- GO FOR A WALK: This is a healthy way of distracting yourself and also a good way to burn off some calories. Going for a walk can also help clear your mind and improve your mood, which can reduce stress eating and emotional eating. Walking is also a good way to socialize. Rather than meeting a friend at a restaurant and eating unhealthy food, why not meet for a walk instead?
- EAT REGULAR MEALS: You’re a lot more likely to chow down on a box of chocolates when you haven’t eaten all day. Get into the habit of eating regular meals at around the same time every day. This will ensure that you never feel hungry enough to finish a whole bag of chips on your own.
- CHOOSE HEALTHIER FOODS: Eating a healthier diet can reduce the likelihood of eating “junk” throughout the day. If you eat healthy food in proper portions, you’ll stay full for longer, which will keep you from binging on unhealthy snacks. If you do want to have snacks throughout the day, make them healthy ones. It’s a lot better to snack on fresh fruit or vegetables (for example) then it is to choose chips or ice cream.
- DON’T STOCK “BINGE FOODS”: There are certain foods that just invite overeating. These are different for everyone. If you know that you won’t be able to control yourself if you have a bag of chips or a carton of ice cream in the house, don’t buy these items to begin with. You can’t overeat what isn’t there!
- KEEP A FOOD DIARY: Write down everything you eat in the day. There are a number of reasons why this is helpful. One way is that this helps is that it allows you to see what you’ve eaten every day. Reviewing your diary can show you where you’ve slipped up and eaten too much of the wrong foods, which will prevent you from doing it again. Keeping a food diary also helps you determine if you’re actually hungry or if you’re eating for another reason. Before you eat, look at your diary. Have you eaten enough today? If you have, you likely don’t need to open the fridge or pantry again.
If you’re looking to improve your diet and need a little help, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.