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10 ways to avoid over eating

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The winter months are notorious for us overindulging and overeating. Well, not anymore. Emma-Storey Gordon has the answers…

Whether you’re reading this before Christmas, in the New Year or beyond, it’s important to remember the real reason we get together. Any social gathering, be it with friends or family, often revolves around food and drink. Use my list of tips on the right and remember if you do put on some weight at any point, it is not the end of the world. Plus, there is plenty time to lose it, so don’t beat yourself up about it!.

1. Take your time

That means don’t eat in a rush. You are much more likely to over eat and/or not enjoy your food if you eat in a hurry.

2. Sit down and enjoy your meal

Avoid eating on the go. If you can, take a break and sit at a table. Your environment is important. Not only will you be less likely to mindlessly overeat but you will be more likely to take pleasure in your meal and more focused when you go back to whatever you were doing before your meal. This is especially true at work! It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a break is likely to make you work better after.

3. Remove distractions

Eat mindfully. That means switching off the TV, putting down your phone and turn your attentions to your meal.

4. Acknowledge what you are eating

This is to avoid mindless eating – are you hungry or just bored?
Pay attention to your hunger signals… are you full? Remember that you don’t have to finish your plate if you are not hungry, and that we get most pleasure from the first few bites of food.

5. Avoid snacking

Or, if you are going to snack, make sure you are choosing wisely, not just the first thing you see. There tends to be a lot of little appetisers around Christmas.
Be mindful. That means thinking about what you are eating and thus actually enjoying it.

6. Remember that the people, not the food, make Christmas/New Year/your party

It is who is sitting around the table, not how much you overindulge, that makes any event special.

7. Pick your indulgences and enjoy them

Have a bit of what you fancy but use portion control and choose your indulgences. e.g. ‘I am going to have two roast potatoes instead of six and enjoy a mince pie for pudding’.

8. Start with vegetables

Fill yourself up with some high-volume foods. Vegetables are a good start (assuming they are not glazed in honey or goose fat).

9. Stay Hydrated

Drink enough water. Having a glass of water with your meal won’t mean you definitely won’t overeat, but it will mean you are less likely to.

10. Alcohol

Not only do alcoholic drinks tend to have a lot of calories in, they also tend to lead to poor food choices and typical high-fat ‘hangover foods’.

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