by Will Grumke January 05, 2021 6 min read
Do you think that you’re eating too much?
Do you reach for the chocolate or chips when you’re bored?
Are you unhappy with the direction your weight is going?
Have you tried eating less but only found yourself binging later?
If so, you’re not alone. I have been there, some of your closest friends and family have been there, and many other people have.
The good news is, you can overcome overeating.
In this article, we’ll look at different tactics you can try so you can finally get your eating under control.
You can use one, a few, or all of these things to help you!
First, we’ll give you some tips for appetite suppression and control. If you want to eat less, consider some of these tips.
There are two primary benefits of eating smaller meals closer together.
First, they can help you feel more satiated (feeling of full / satisfied) throughout the day. This is important because the more satiated you feel, the less likely you will feel tempted to eat something you shouldn’t.
Second, smaller meals are typically easier to eat than larger ones. Life is busy and sometimes it makes eating hard.
Sometimes it’s just a lot easier to have a protein shake at work instead of making that healthy salad you saw one time on Pinterest.
If your meals are easy to eat at your desk, you’re less likely to skip them. If you don’t skip meals, you’re less likely to feel really hungry later and eat more than you should ... or "cheat" on your diet.
The less you “cheat” on your diet, the more likely it will actually work.
At a bare minimum, if you stay consistent with your nutrition plan, you know what you did, therefore you can make changes to it to improve results if you are not earning any.
Another tip is to eat slowly.
There is a delay when you swallow your food (obviously) and it can take between 10-30 minutes to realize that you’re full.
That means that most people tend to eat more than they need. This is where you slow down. To help you slow down, you can try focusing on chewing each bite 15 or more times.
This will help you slow down and let your mind keep up with your stomach, resulting in consuming less.
Not to mention the fact that you’ll enjoy and savor your food more!
Everyone knows that soda is pretty high in calories. Each can is somewhere between 120 calories and 200 calories a pop.
Drinking your calories might be tasty, but it’s also an easy way to over-consume calories for your day.
But what many people forget is that most drinks have a lot of calories in them. Almost every juice on the shelf is packed with a ton of added sugars.
Most beers have a good amount of calories in them, especially if you are a craft beer kinda guy or gal.
If you’re thirsty, try to stick to water. Water is great because it has zero calories and it’s hydrating.
If nothing else, keeping your calorie-heavy drinks to special occasions only will help keep your calorie count down.
More on water, because water is great for a lot of reasons. We already talked about how it can help lower your calorie count, but let’s talk a bit more about its ability to hydrate.
Most people’s bodies have a hard time differentiating between thirst and hunger.
The two feelings manifest in similar ways and oftentimes people just assume they’re hungry. That means they’re eating a whole lot of extra food when a glass of water would work instead.
If you want to cut down on how much food you eat, try putting this advice into practice.
Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before you eat anything. If you drink water and wait, your brain might realize that it wasn’t hungry at all ... It was just thirsty.
The easiest way to cut down on your food intake is portion control. Stop eating out of the bag or the box.
Grab your measuring cup or a food scale, put your serving in a smaller bag or container, and put the rest of the food away.
If you’re not going to do that, buy food that comes pre-portioned.
Watching your portions is helpful for a few reasons.
One, it’s easier to watch how many calories you eat in one sitting.
Two, it’s easier to stop yourself from opening a second smaller bag, than it is to stop yourself from eating when food is still in a larger bag.
Third, portions make meal planning easier.
The hardest part of eating less is cravings. You might not want to eat, but something in the back of your mind is asking you for something salty, sugary, or something sour.
What most people don’t know, however, is that voice in your head probably doesn’t really want pretzels or sour gummies. What your body probably wants is nutrition.
Foods taste the way they do because of the ingredients they have in them. If your body is craving food, there is a good chance it is probably lacking a certain vitamin or mineral or even multiple.
Make sure to have plenty of fruits and vegetables so you’re never lacking for nutrition.
You can even add a multivitamin to your diet to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrition you need. Hopefully helping you get rid of those tempting cravings too.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of fiber and protein.
Fiber is great because it helps keep your digestion running smoothly, without adding extra calories to your diet.
Protein is good because every part of your body needs it, and it’s heavy enough on your stomach where you won’t feel the need to eat for a while. Protein is a key macronutrient when it comes to fat loss, not just weight loss.
When you’re looking to eat less, you need to make sure the food you eat does more to keep you full.
Foods rich in protein and fiber will help you eat less by helping you to stay full.
Why do you want to eat less? Chances are good it’s because you either want to lose weight or, at the very least, stop gaining weight.
Also, there is a good chance you might be at a place I was at… where you are stuck on a “never-ending” roller coaster ride of eating less for a month or two and then before you know it, right back into your old routine.
Leading to your weight going up and down … up and down. Why is that?
Well, I can’t speak for you directly, but I know for me it was because I was dieting. I was dieting to lose "x" amount of weight. I was not focused on fixing my habits or really making a change, I just wanted to weigh less… so I ate less.
But I could only "diet" so long… I could only take being hungry for so long… and then I would go right back to my old habits.
If you want to start eating healthier, you need to make taking care of your health a life-long habit, and not just something you do for six weeks while trying to "diet."
Making healthy eating something you do, instead of something you try, will lead to better, longer-term results that you can more easily maintain.
As I said above, these are just some of the tactics you can implement to work on eating less. You can use one of them, a few of them, or all of them! But keep in mind... reaching your goals might not be as simple as eating less, most of the time it is not.
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Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.