Healthy eating includes three things – eat a variety of foods from each food groups, obtain all the nutrients your body requires and eat moderate portions.
Moderation is one of the most important components of your eating habits. If you are attempting moderation, it does not mean that you are depriving yourself of anything but it means you are avoiding unnecessary consumption. There are some practical tips to help you stop overeating or eating before fullness. Use these tips and feel less hungry throughout the day and thus eat in moderation.
· Drink a lot of water: Increase in water consumption is directly associated with a reduction in daily total food intake. Drink more water to consume fewer calories, less sugar, salt and cholesterol. A new study suggests that people who drink more water, consume less food. The reason behind is that a stomach full of water may satisfy a person’s urge to snack or have sugary beverages. So, water may help with weight-control also.
· Avoid having your meals sitting on the dining table: Sitting on a dining table and having meals might be very comfortable, but it might not necessarily be healthy for you. When you sit on a dining table, your brain does not get calm down easily with less food as it cannot properly focus on the quantity of food intake in this position. You do not realise that you are full. This happens because your vagus nerve (the nerve that sends a signal from stomach to brain) sends signals late to the brain when you eat. So, you tend to eat more than you actually require. Going back to your roots, your ancestors made sure to sit on the floor, cross-legged while eating. This position helps you cognate the amount of food you have eaten and helps you feel full faster. When you sit on the floor, the vagus nerve is able to perform better and transmits signals faster and more efficiently. Also, this position makes you eat slower than you would while sitting on a table and chair. Hence prevents bingeing.
· Eat a handful of nuts in between your meals: Nuts are healthy fats that can reduce your cravings for sweets and help you feel full. Eating nuts in moderate amount like eight to ten almonds an hour before a meal can help you not to eat as much. Unfortunately, nuts are high in calories, so portion control is the key. If you would not control your portion size, you will get an unpleasant surprise when it’s time to get on the weighing scale. Use them as a quick snack a few minutes before your meal to provide your body energy, fibre, bulk, magnesium and healthy fats. It will help you feel full and thus eat smaller portions during meal time. One handful is about one ounce – just the right amount of snacking.
· Eat a plate full of raw or semi-cooked salad before meals: When you get to eat more vegetables in the form of salad before meals, you eat less of the main course. Studies have shown a pre-meal salad is helpful in filling you up and improving satiety. The most important thing here is that the salad should consist of raw or grilled vegetables without high-calorie toppings or dressings. The salad also slows down your eating speed giving anti-hunger hormones the 20 to 30 minutes they need to pick in so you feel full and eat less at your meal. It is also easy to meet your vegetable goals every day.
· Go out in sun: Go out in sun four to five times a week. It will boost the level of vitamin D and serotonin. Serotonin is the body’s natural happy hormone. Higher levels of serotonin in our bodies not only makes you feel happier and more energetic but it also suppresses the appetite. That’s why you eat less in warmer months than winter. However, never overdo the sun – excessive exposure will increase your risk of skin cancer.
· Eat a high-protein breakfast daily: A protein-rich breakfast tends to lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that aggravates hunger. It will help you to eat less throughout the day. High-protein breakfast like two boiled eggs, a cup of cottage cheese or a bowl of Greek yogurt accompanied with two whole grain toasts can keep your hunger under control and decrease the desire to overeat later in the day.
· Break your old bad habits related to eating: Embrace new healthy eating habits. This change is good for your health. For example, if you eat in front of a television or while using a gadget, you tend to eat more. Make it a point to turn off TV or other electronic gadgets before you start eating. If you eat a sweet dish daily after dinner, replace it with a hot cup of jasmine tea. These small changes will make you eat less and become healthier.
This is where you feel full and stop overeating the whole day. To lose weight and be healthy, you not only need to work out and burn calories but also need to eat a balanced diet in moderation. No more overeating!
Put back that extra serving in your pantry and you will still be on your way to a healthier you.