The festive season is a time when we are all together with our family and friends. Invariably getting together involves eating, and consuming large amounts of food or excessive amounts of unhealthy foods.
Ways to avoid them
The answer lies in tricking your stomach into believing its full. Here are some smart tips that you can apply to your binging times -
- Drink More Water - Drinking more water helps because it can help the stomach feel fuller and minimize strong food cravings. Water should be drunk before a main meal. A great water-based concoction is hot water and lemon juice in the morning. This increases metabolic rates and help burn calories too.
- Enjoy a Starter - A hot low-fat soup or other vegetable broth soup, or a salad with low fat dressing will give you filling fiber and some servings of vegetables.
- Watch Portions - It's annoying to have to measure everything, yet you might want to take a look at any packaged foods you eat and see what a real portion is. Measuring it once will give you an idea of what it should look like. Stick to the recommended portion size. Take half of your normal serving. You will eat whatever is on your plate and if you are still hungry, you can always eat a little more.
- More Can Be Merrier - If you are eating healthy, it's fine to have several snacks or small meals during the day. Keeping hunger at bay prevents the desire to binge because we are starving. If you get hungry, have a low-fat yogurt, fruit or cheese and a few crackers.
- Chew Food Properly - A study done by researchers revealed that women who ate slowly consumed nearly 70% calories less per meal. Eating and chewing food properly allows the body time for appetite-related hormones to kick in, letting the body know when it’s full. To slow down the eating process, put the knife and fork down before taking the next bite.
- Use Smaller Plates and Bowls - The bigger the dish, the more likely a person will eat more. So use smaller plates, bowls, glasses and serving spoons. As the size of dishes drops, so will the amount of food consumed. Those who deliberately serve themselves about one-third less than they normally would also stand a better chance of eating less. Finish the smaller portion first, then wait to see if an extra helping is needed. With time to think it over, one is less likely to indulge more than is necessary.
- Keep Snacks Out of Sight - People tend to eat more when they can see the food. So it’s a great idea to store snacks in the cupboard or colored containers. Avoid using clear containers. The sight of snacks inside clear containers may prove to be too tempting for some people.
- Avoid Eating Straight from Food Containers - Refrain from eating straight from a multi-serve packet or container. The tendency to keep reaching for the food is reduced if food is served in a separate bowl or cup. Pour out the amount you intend to eat. Stop when the food in the dish is finished.
- Eat More High Fiber Foods - Store a variety of healthy foods in the kitchen or pantry. Wholegrain breads, whole pasta, oat meals, legumes, fruits and vegetables are packed with dietary fiber as well as complex carbohydrates. So eat more such high fiber foods to give the stomach a fuller feeling for a longer time.
Putting an end to pigging out does not necessarily mean you cannot treat yourself once in a while. Here’s a deal – one week of sticking to the rules, and a Belgian Dark Chocolate ice-cream scoop as a reward. At least that’s what 21 year old Ruby does – “I love eating so much, that if I don’t watch what I eat, and how much – it won’t be long before I tip over from average to overweight. Though I reward my week-long vigilance with my favorite ice-cream in my favorite parlor!”