Life Style

Portion control: 5 tips to avoid overeating

1. Are you eating enough?

Do you notice that you mainly overeat in the afternoon or in the evening? Then check whether you have eaten enough for the rest of the day. You may be skipping a meal because you are not very hungry, because you are short on time, or perhaps because you want to save calories.

Unfortunately, we are always tempted to compensate for this meal later in the day by eating more than we actually intended – and it often involves unhealthy foods. Sin!

2. Discern physical or emotional hunger

If you want to limit overeating, it can help to determine whether you are physically or emotionally hungry. By writing down exactly what you eat, when you eat it and why you eat it, you will gain insight into your nutritional behavior.

Do you snack and snack because you have hardly eaten anything for the rest of the day – or do you snack and sneeze out of boredom or fatigue? In the first case, there is physical hunger, but in the second case, there is emotional hunger.

Are you physically hungry? Then the only option is to eat something. Preferably choose basic foods, because your body needs nutrition – not empty calories.

If you are an emotional eater, then food is not the right solution for you and you will only feel worse after eating that bag of chips.

Eat less fast carbohydrates

In her practice, Van de Waterlaat has noticed that a certain physical hunger is regularly confused with emotional hunger. Emotional hunger is mainly caused by eating a lot of fast carbohydrates. These include:

  • Soft drink
  • (fresh) fruit juices
  • sweet toppings
  • sweet silver drinks
  • desserts
  • biscuits in between
  • instant tea

Because your blood sugar rises considerably due to fast carbohydrates, your body produces a lot of insulin. As a result, your blood sugar level drops sharply and your body receives the signal to start eating again, in order to get your blood sugar level up to standard. This manifests itself in a snack attack, where you look for foods that provide fast energy.

These are often foods with a lot of fast carbohydrates. This keeps you stuck in the negative spiral of fast carbohydrates and your hunger or appetite remains. Therefore replace the above-mentioned foods with, for example:

  • savory fillings
  • unsweetened dairy
  • flavored tea
  • fresh fruit
  • a handful of nuts

Eating high-volume, low-calorie foods can help you feel full sooner. Think of water-rich and fiber-rich foods such as soup, vegetables and fresh fruit. These help you fill up faster with fewer calories.

4. Eat mindfully

We all know it: a hectic life. As a result, we tend to eat ‘a quick snack in between’. On the road in the car, standing at the counter or behind your computer: this often means you don’t even realize how much you’re eating. Unnoticed, you eat more and your feeling of hunger increases faster, with the result that you are less saturated and the chance of snacking and snacking increases.

Try to eliminate all distractions while eating as much as possible. During a meal, sit quietly, put your phone aside and focus on the food. Besides the fact that you eat less, you will also find that you enjoy the food more.

By the way, did you know that people who take regular breaks are much more productive? All the more reason to really take the time for your healthy snack.

5. Small packages and trays

We unconsciously eat more from large packages than from small packages. It is therefore better to buy small packages, or divide large packages into smaller portions. This effect is even greater with snacks than with main meals: therefore choose small bags of chips instead of one large bag.

Place sweets or snacks from a large bag in a container before eating. By first determining how much you want to eat, you are more aware of what you eat. In addition, you have to get up and refill the bowl if you want to eat more, which is often a barrier and makes you think again whether you are taking extra or not.


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