One of the biggest reasons more and more people are becoming overweight in today's world is because of portion control. Not only are restaurant meals growing at an alarming rate but packaged snack foods are coming bigger and bigger these days as well.
Additionally, have you seen the size of the chocolate bars that are being offered at the gas stations? Many of them pack over 500 calories a pop. Considering for most dieting individuals this is higher than the number of calories that should comprise a meal, one of these monsters is definitely going to set you back.
There are various ways you can outsmart your body though to help stop overeating before you start seeing your waistline expand. The first step is to learn the reasons why people often over eat and then determining which are problematic for you.
Once you are armed with this knowledge you will be prepared to fight back and your weight loss success rate will improve.
The Expanding Waistline & How To Fight Back
You Don't Have A 'Stop' Signal
Often, when you are eating while simultaneously doing another activity you will have no stop signal that tells you when it's time to stop. Since your mind is preoccupied with whatever else it is you are doing, be it the TV, computer or talking to a friend on the phone, these will all cause you to keep shoving food in your mouth even though you are beyond full.
This is the biggest reason why it is important when you are eating to sit down at the table and eat. Only eat. Not only will you enjoy your food more but you will be aware of your bodies' natural hunger signals. Many people today are completely out of touch with their hunger signals because they eat according to schedule not according to need.
You're Stuck In The Low-Fat Safety Zone
Some people have a tendency to equate low fat as being 'safer'. They think that since it's low fat, it must be lower in calories and therefore will not be as likely to add additional body fat. Unfortunately this is the farthest thing from the truth.
You must keep in mind that often fat-free foods are high in sugar, which means they are still high in calories. In the name of fat loss, total calories trump everything else; eat more than your body needs and you are going to gain weight.
Additionally, foods that are higher in fat often rate higher on the satiety index, meaning they will keep you feeling satisfied for longer, so this is another reason why low-fat foods are not always your best bet. Load up on those and you may find that half an hour to an hour later you are back rummaging through the pantry looking for more.
You Have Gigantic Sized Dishes
People have a tendency to always eat whatever is put in front of them. Therefore, when you serve your food in an extra large bowl or plate, you are putting yourself at a much higher risk for overeating.
Try swapping your dishes for ones that are half the size for a few weeks and see if there are any changes on the scale. Try really hard during that week to eat because of hunger, refilling the dishes with more food if need be.
Chances are you will feel satisfied after your first serving and won't go back for more. This is a very painless way to decrease your total calories, as you likely won't even notice the size reduction.
Keep Treats Out Of Sight
If you are at home and just happen to walk by an open bag of potato chips or a bowl of fruit sitting on the table your mind may subconsciously make you feel a desire for snacking. Next thing you know you've ploughed your way through half the bag of chips.
If the snack foods are out of sight there are less subconscious triggers making you want to eat. It's fine to have a few snack foods in the house, just put them away in the cupboard so that you know if you are craving them, it is because of a true craving and not just because they are there and convenient.
Use Tall Versus Wide Glasses
Studies have shown that when people pour juice into two shapes of glasses, one that is short and wide and the other that is tall and thin, they fill the short one to the top while only fill the tall one to the halfway mark.
Because these glasses still hold the same amount of liquid, choosing the short one will mean you are consuming more juice than if you choose the tall one. This is more a concept of fooling the eye than anything. So next time you reach for a glass out of the cupboard, reach for the tall, thin one and you may just save yourself 50 to 100 calories in the process.
Consider If It's Worth It
It can be hard sometimes to think about the consequences of what you are eating but if you really want to control your weight it can be the best way to create an aversion to overeating. Before you consume that second plate of food or dish up for a helping of dessert, equate what you are about to eat with how much exercise you would have to do to burn it off.
It can be truly remarkable just how much work is required to burn off the food that can be consumed over a time span of a couple of minutes. Once you are consciously aware of this fact you will find that suddenly that food isn't quite as enjoyable as before and you are more likely to turn it down knowing the instant gratification of taste does not triumph over the result on the scale.
So next time you find yourself faced with an increase in body weight, consider how much over eating has been going on. If upon doing this you realize that you have somehow over time gotten out of touch with the quantity of food you are consuming, try implementing some of these strategies to get back into line with your natural hunger cues.