8 Clever Ways to Prevent Overeating

Table full of Mezze
Stijn Nieuwendijk (stijnnieuwendijk.com) / Getty Images

Weight loss isn’t just about what you eat; it's also about how much you eat. And overeating is all too common. We’ve all been there before. But with a few simple tips and tweaks to your mealtime habits, you can gain control and avoid overeating for good. I’ve got eight tips to show you exactly how to do just that!

Start Every Meal With Water

This zero-calorie thirst quencher is a must-have for weight loss.

Hunger is often mistaken for thirst; so before you dig in, drink at least 8 ounces of water. This will help to fill you up and slow you down. Always have water on hand to regulate that hunger throughout the day.

Find it hard to drink plain old water? Get creative with it! SweetLeaf and Crystal Light make fantastic water enhancers, and a squeeze of citrus will do the trick in a pinch.

Wait at Least 5 Minutes Before Getting Seconds

It takes time for our stomach to signal to our brain that it’s full. That is why it’s important to pause before you go back for more food. This is especially useful advice when it comes to buffets and parties. Give it a try; you might be surprised to realize you were full all along, so that's one piece of buffet advice you should follow.

Make Portion-Controlled Recipes

Who doesn’t want to clear their plate when it's full of something delicious? Give yourself permission by making portion-controlled meals.

I love making breakfast in a mug, meatloaf in muffin pans, and salad in a mason jar.

And just because your meals are portion controlled, that doesn't mean the serving sizes need to be small. Bulk them up with low-calorie ingredients like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles!

Practice Mindful Eating

Simply put, mindful eating is paying attention to your food.

In today’s tech-obsessed world, how often are you scrolling through your phone or watching TV while you shovel food into your mouth? It’s very common yet can easily lead to overeating. So step away from the distractions, and really focus on your meal. Sit down and savor every bite. It’s just one way you can trick yourself into losing weight.

Begin a Meal With Broth-Based Soup or a Side Salad

Since both broth-based soups and salad greens have high water content, they fill you up just like water. And studies show eating either of these before a meal can actually help with weight loss. Doing so takes the edge off your hunger, so you're less likely to overeat. That's smart soup advice!

Add Some Spice

Several studies show that adding hot peppers and other spicy ingredients to your food could prevent you from eating too much. Makes sense, since it's hard to eat quickly if your food has some serious heat! That’s enough reason for me to spice it up.

Snack Often

If you go into a meal feeling ravenous, chances are you'll overdo it. By having snacks throughout the day, you'll keep your blood sugar levels steady and never get to the point where you want to chew off your own arm! Choose smart snacks that fit into your daily calorie budget.

Here are five with 100 calories or less.

Keep Trigger Foods Out of Sight

We're visual creatures—we see, we want, we eat, we overeat. Of course, some foods are more tempting than others. Keep foods that you can’t control yourself around far away. If you know you can down an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting, don't even keep it in your freezer!

Instead, keep healthy foods, like fruits and veggies, front and center. We’re much more likely to go for the apple on the counter than the brownies on the top shelf of the pantry!

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