Hunger is one of the worst enemies of weight loss! When you’re hungry, it’s hard to think about eating healthy when really you want something that is filling and delicious. But what if it’s not actually hunger you’re dealing with, but instead cravings? Food cravings are most likely to cause you to overeat, often on foods that are terrible for your health. If you want to avoid giving in to the cravings, here are a few tricks to reduce overeating:
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Did you know that a messy kitchen can increase your chances of overeating? One study found that cluttered and chaotic environments increased the risk of snacking (only on junk food, not healthy foods), while orderly environments led to better mental discipline. If you’re the sort of person who is prone to snacking or overeating at the wrong times, take a step to combat that problem by ensuring your kitchen is nice and clean. That way, when you go in for a glass of water or to cook your meals, you won’t feel tempted to snack.
This is a two-for-one bonus! Often cravings are simply fleeting, and they’ll pass within 5 or 10 minutes once you distract yourself doing something else. If you spend the time washing dishes, you’ll forget about the cravings. At the same time, you’ll improve the orderliness of your kitchen and reduce the risk of snacking. It’s worth spending a few minutes washing the dishes piled up in your sink as one of the simplest, most effective tricks to reduce overeating.
Play Video Games
Remember how distracting your mind from food can help to get you past the cravings? All you have to do is spend a few minutes engaged in something you enjoy, something that sucks your mind in fully, and the cravings will pass within 5 or 10 minutes. Video games can be a great way to distract yourself. If you’re feeling those cravings tempting you to overeat, turn on your console or PC and get a few minutes of gaming in. Or, if you’ve just eaten and want to keep eating even after you’ve finished your recommended portions, get up from the table and head to your gaming area. A few minutes of gaming will help to distract your mind while your body digests and sends signals to your brain that you are satiated.
You’ll often hear people recommending that you drink a glass of water to shut down your appetite because water can fill up your stomach. While this is true, it can take a lot of water (3 or 4 glasses) to really shut down your cravings. However, it’s recommended you drink water simply because your cravings might be a sign of underhydration. Your brain sometimes misinterprets the signals from your body as hunger when really it’s trying to tell you it’s thirsty. Drinking a cup of water can help to satiate your thirst and shut off those signals from your body.
Eat Fruits or Veggies
One of the best tricks to help curb your appetite is to have a piece of fruit. The fiber will fill you up while the sugar will satiate your sweet tooth or sugar craving. Having an apple 20 minutes before your meals can drastically decrease overeating. Eating veggies during your meal can also help to stop you from eating too much. The fiber is highly filling and will expand in your stomach, thereby helping you to stop eating before you overdo it. Raw foods are your best friend when it comes to managing your food intake and keeping your eating habits in check.