Why do we tend to overeat?
I have a big problem with portion control. Even though I eat healthy foods, it’s NOT cool to overeat! I’ve never really been asked WHY until yesterday.
I spoke with Cynthia Pasquella, a very sweet and wonderful nutritionist, yesterday, and one of the things I told her is that I have a problem with portion control. I don’t know if I was expecting her to just jump right in and say, “well, what you need to do is xyz,” but she didn’t. Not even close.
You know what’s cool about her? She actually let me work out my OWN problem in my head by asking a simple question. “Why do you have a problem with portion control?”
I started thinking about it, and even after we hung up, I thought more. There are SEVERAL reason that I think MANY of us overeat, but without knowing the reason behind it, we can’t fix the problem.
Cook or order too much food
I know when we order in or even go out, I tend to look at the menu and think.. “ok, what’s the most food for my buck”. Well, it’s not always the best thing. Try ordering off of the lunch menu, even for dinner, or asking if the restaurant has a half portion. When you go to sandwich or pita shops, order the 6 inch, rather than the 9 or 12 inch!
Don’t want it to go to waste
We live in a world where many people go to bed hungry at night, and we think… “well, I ordered it, I need to go head and eat it so that it doesn’t go to waste.” I know I’m not fond of left overs, so this is something that I struggle with. There are times when things just aren’t any good eating as left overs, or they’re not meant to sit til the next meal time. Go back to the first point about cooking smaller portions or ordering smaller sizes. You know, it’s better to cook half a chicken breast and keep the other half in the fridge for cooking later than it is to go ahead and cook the whole thing if you’re not going to control yourself on eating it!
Eating too fast
One of the things I’ve learned from Pete Cohen, The Weight Loss Guru, is that eating too fast is one of the number one reasons of overeating (at least for me!). When you scarf down your food, you’re more prone to eating more, because your mind hasn’t yet had time to catch up to your belly telling it that it’s full. Slow down. As Pete says, put your fork down between bites and chew each one 21 times. This will give the food in your stomach time to settle!
It just tastes SOO good
Yeah, you’re right… If it tastes good, we want to keep eating! Let’s go back to what Pete says, though. Take the time to slowly eat your food, savor it, enjoy it.. Most of the time, we just want to satisfy a craving for the flavor or texture. It tastes the same whether we eat one bite or ten – half the portion or two portions. You overeat things that taste good, because you don’t want it to end! Slow down with it and enjoy it!
It’s just there and I’m bored
I think we all tend to do this. We’re bored, so we immediately go to the kitchen and pull out that one yummy left over dish that we don’t mind saving for later (we all know we have one or two foods we don’t mind eating as leftovers!). Rather than sticking it in the fridge or ziplocks as the entire thing, to curb yourself from eating the whole bowl full, store it in fridge in already measured out portions! Rather than using the largest container you have, store it in 4 small containers, so that if you do get hungry (or bored) later, you can just grab a portion just right for you!
Make the decision to walk away
The bottom line is, we’ve got to make that mental decision to just practice these methods of portion control. Think before you eat. Tell yourself exactly how much you’re going to eat and exactly when you’re going to put the fork down and walk away!
If you have anymore tips, I’d LOVE to hear them! Have a wonderful day, and please check out the websites of Pete and Cynthia! Fab people!