Many people find themselves often overeating at dinnertime, even when they are not hungry. Overeating at dinnertime can cause you to eat more calories than you need, which can lead to weight gain. Many people find it difficult to control their appetite, especially with today’s increased portion sizes and fast-paced lifestyle.
The occasional oversized meal or snack will not cause too much harm, but, over time, overeating can lead to many serious health conditions. In this article, I am going to tell you a few simple ways to help regulate appetite and reduce the risk of overeating.
1. Know Your Triggers
Many people might seek comfort by eating as a way of trying to deal with stress, boredom, loneliness, and sadness, and distance themselves from emotional pain. When they do this often and becomes a habit, it will eventually lead to overeating, especially at dinnertime when the willpower is weak at night. Identifying these triggers can help you avoid and manage them by seeking another way instead of emotional eating. One effective way to identify the cause of your overeating is to keep a “food and mood” diary. Tracking your eating and exercise habits alongside your feelings can help you identify patterns, enabling you to work on breaking any negative cycles of behaviour.
2. Snack in Between Meals
When trying to lose weight, many people cut out meals in hopes that they will decrease the number of calories they take in. While this may work for some people but restricting meals may cause you to eat more later in the day. Snacking in between meal provides a boost of energy and maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. It helps curb your appetite to prevent overeating at the next meal. Snacking can also help keep your hunger level on an even keel, especially on days when your meals are spaced further apart. Choosing a snack is also important to make sure you feed your body well. Instead of munching on junk foods, healthy snacks like fresh fruit or nuts.
Stress is the most common reason why people eat when they are not hungry. After a stressful event, hormone levels raised and promote hunger to encourage the body to replace lost energy. As a result, chronic stress could lead to persistent hunger, overeating, and excessive weight gain. Instead of using food to curb your emotions, which generally tends to be a temporary solution, try to find another way to let go of the negative emotions and relax. This can be taking a hot bath, doing yoga, gentle exercises, stretching, or meditation and breathing exercises.
4. Include Protein in Every Meal
If you eat due to hunger, including protein at every meal may help curb your hunger. The protein-rich foods tend to create a longer-lasting sense of fullness and satisfaction than other foods. Eating protein-rich foods, especially at breakfast, also help to reduce the levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin. It could also help you feel satisfied throughout the day, stop you from being preoccupied with food and help prevent overeating at night. The research found that eating high-protein meals reduced cravings by 60% and cut the desire to overeat at night by half.
5. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
If you are prone to eating high-fat, high-sugar, and highly processed foods, try to limit your consumption. Instead of snacking on snacks with low nutritional value, fill your house with nutrient-rich food that you enjoy so that when you have the urge to eat, you won’t snack on junk. Limit the number of junk foods within easy reach, and you are much less likely to eat them. Good snack-friendly foods to have at home if you get hungry include fruits, nuts, berries, plain yogurt, and cottage cheese.
Overeating is a common problem that can affect your health in the long term. There are many tips and tricks to help limit overeating and curb appetite. These include being more aware of food choices, controlling portion sizes, and identifying eating patterns.