1. Start with a glass of water. Drinking before you eat will decrease the odds of overeating because the big empty hole in your middle doesn’t feel so empty anymore. Not only that, but dehydration is often mistaken as hunger. Staying hydrated will keep the illusion at bay.
2. Wear clothes that fit. It’s good for your self-esteem to look put together, but clothes that fit just right can also keep you from overeating because they don’t allow much wiggle room. Wear a belt, pants that aren’t too baggy, or a shirt that buttons. These non-stretchy items won’t budge past your limit, literally, when your tummy is full.
3. Add fibrous fluffers. Having oatmeal? Add some sliced apples. Having a wrap? Add some spinach. The strategy of adding more fiber will help you to feel more satiated with less food. Sauteed mushrooms are deliciously hearty in sauce as a meat companion or replacement.
4. Use a smaller plate. It’s simple logic— smaller space means less stuff. If your plate is large, food portions can easily get out of control because the correct portion looks tiny in relation to the platter.
5. Set the “eat” scene. Dim lights and relaxing music isn’t just to set the mood on Valentine’s Day. Removing distractions like television, and setting a calm tone leads to a leisurely meal. You are more likely to take your time while eating, which will increase enjoyment and awareness of the food you eat, therefore heightened awareness of when you’re full.
6. Leave the bag behind. At one point or another, we’ve all been guilty of eating straight out of the bag (or box, or carton…) but it is easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten, and how big the serving size actually is. The best idea is to put 1 serving size in a bowl or on a plate and tuck the rest away in the cabinet.
7. Enjoy an appetizer. Before diving headfirst into your entree, take the edge off with a healthy nibble. A small helping of soup or a salad will help you feel less ravenous when the main course comes around, so you’ll be less likely to gobble faster than your stomach can keep up.
8. Don’t stack- spread instead. When serving yourself a plate full of yummy, try placing each scoop around the plate as opposed to close together or even stacked. This will help you keep track of how much you’ve scooped and of which items.
9. Let smaller utensils take over. Whether it’s serving utensils or your traditional dinnerware, avoid the mega-sized scoopers. This strategy goes hand-in-hand with using smaller plates, and is effective for the same reason. If you don’t over-serve yourself, you’re less likely to overeat.
10. Plan ahead with pre-measuring. From meats to veggies and snacks, divide each item into 1 serving size when you get home from the grocery store. This will save you time and trouble later, as well as giving you a head start when it comes to guarding your waistline.