All the wine (or what’s left of it), Netflix ‘n snack, and tempting baked treats can make lockdown seem like a time loaded with waistline booby traps. When you’re an old hand at ignoring your body’s stop signs, it’s easier to pile your plate. Here’s how to avoid those overeating pit-falls.
1. Fill a (small) plate
Portion control is key! If you use smaller plates and bowls, you’ll tend to put less on your plate or in your bowl and therefore eat less.
2. Sharing is slimming
A good tip for when we are allowed to venture out into public spaces again: Share large restaurant portions with a friend or S.O., but choose those dinner pals wisely. Studies show that we frequently pick something from the same category as the person they were eating with, so make sure that you’re eating with someone who is loading up on the good stuff and not indulging in a cheat day.
3. Drink more fluids
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Another possibility — you could be cold, or just plain bored. Stay hydrated by having plenty of water or a health juice, it will make your skin glow too.
4. Mindful eating
Eating mindlessly increases the risk of overeating.
5. Slow and steady sheds the weight
Eating a meal too quickly (in less than 20 to 30 minutes) often leads to overeating because your stomach needs time to register the food and let your brain know you’ve had enough.
6. Listen to your body
Teach yourself to stop when you’re full. Most of us are guilty of this, especially when food takes really good.
7. Spoil your appetite
A small snack before a meal can dull hunger, making you less likely to pig out at the main event.
8. Eat selectively
Think about what you want to eat — don’t just suck up whatever’s put in front of you. While the holidays might seem cheery, they’re also stressful and this can lead to emotional eating.
9. Beware of the giant packet
One recommended serving of, say, chips might be 30g, but chances are, you’re going to flatten the whole 150g packet (five servings). Rather dish a small helping into a bowl.
10. Don’t starve yourself
If you eat too few calories, it’s only a matter of time before you go on a bingeing spree. Even though the most tempting events (like your Zoom parties) will usually happen at night, what you eat for breakfast can play a major role in keeping your appetite in check. By eating a nutritious brekkie you’ll still feel full at that festive lunch, you won’t be as tempted by the canapés.