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23 simple things you can do to prevent overeating

23 Einfache Dinge, die Du tun kannst, um zu verhindern, zu viel zu essen

Especially now that the less active fall and winter season with its holidays is upon us, it is all the more important to keep your food intake under control in order not to gain weight - at least not fat.

Eating too much at once or consuming too many calories throughout the day are habits that are hard to break. And while some people see these behaviors as habits, for others they can indicate eating disorders.

Overeating over time can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.

Whether it's just a habit or a real eating disorder, it can be a challenge to break this spiral. However, there are some techniques that can help. The following 23 tips can serve as a starting point to reduce overeating.

1. eat without distractions

Continuing to work on the computer while eating or munching on potato chips while watching TV are common distractions while eating that may seem harmless but can contribute to overeating.

A review of 24 studies found that distractions during a meal led to higher calorie intake at that meal. In addition, people who were exposed to distractions while eating also ate more later in the day (1).

For this reason, you should make sure to avoid potential distractions such as your phone, computer or even reading material while eating and focus on your meal.

2. know your trigger foods

Finding out which foods can trigger overeating and avoiding them can help you to eat less.

For example, if ice cream tends to trigger a binge, then it's a good idea to not have ice cream in the house. The harder something is to access, the less likely you are to overeat it.

Healthy alternatives such as apple slices with peanut butter, hummus with vegetables or homemade trail mix are better choices when it comes to snacks.

Another helpful tip is to keep unhealthy snacks such as potato chips, sweets and cookies out of sight to eliminate the temptation to grab a handful as you walk past.

3. don't give up all your favorite foods

Restrictive eating regimens that ban many of your favorite foods can lead to cravings that trigger binges on these forbidden delicacies.

Diets that focus on whole, unprocessed foods are always best, but indulging in the occasional treat is perfectly fine and healthy too. Forcing yourself to never eat a scoop of ice cream, a slice of pizza or a piece of chocolate again is simply not realistic for most people.

In the case of food addiction, however, it is important to completely avoid trigger foods. In this case, it is helpful to find healthy alternatives that are satisfying.

Focus on fueling your body with healthy, nutritious foods most of the time, while still allowing yourself to snack on something you love every now and then.

4. try volumetrics

Volumetrics is a way of eating that focuses on filling up on low-calorie, high-fiber foods like non-starchy vegetables.

Eating foods that are low in calories and high in fiber and water before meals can help fill you up and avoid overeating.

Examples of such foods include grapefruit, green salad, broccoli, beans, tomatoes and vegetable or meat broth.

Consuming a large salad or bowl of broth before lunch and dinner can be an effective way to prevent overeating.

5 Avoid eating from the packet

Eating potato chips straight from the bag, ice cream straight from the bulk pack or takeaway meals straight from the carton can lead to you eating more than one portion.

Instead, remove a portion and place it on a plate or in a bowl. This can help you control the number of calories you eat in one sitting. Use scales or measuring cups to get an idea of what a normal portion of different foods should look like.

6. reduce stress

Stress can lead to overeating, so it's important to find ways to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life.

Chronic stress increases cortisol levels - a hormone that increases appetite. Studies have shown that being stressed can lead to overeating, increased hunger, binge eating and weight gain (2).

There are many simple ways to lower your daily stress levels. Consider listening to music, gardening, exercising, doing yoga, meditating or using breathing techniques.

7. eat high-fiber foods

Choosing high-fiber foods like beans, vegetables, oatmeal and fruit can help you feel fuller longer and reduce the risk of overeating.

For example, one study found that people who ate high-fiber oatmeal for breakfast felt fuller longer and ate less at lunch than people who ate cereal for breakfast (3).

Snacking on nuts, adding beans to your salad and eating vegetables at every meal could reduce the amount of food you eat.

8. eat regular meals

When trying to lose weight, many people skip meals in the hope that this will reduce their calorie intake. This may work in some cases, as with intermittent fasting, but often skipping meals leads to eating more later in the day. Studies have shown that eating more frequently during the day can reduce both hunger and overall food intake (4).

For example, some people skip lunch to save calories, but end up overeating at dinner. However, eating a balanced lunch can help reduce the risk of overeating later in the day (5).

9. keep a food diary

Using a food diary or app to keep track of what you eat can help you reduce overeating.

Many studies have shown that self-monitoring techniques such as keeping a food diary can help with weight loss (6).

In addition, a food diary can help you identify situations and emotional triggers and foods that may contribute to overeating or bingeing.

10. eat with like-minded people

The food choices of your dinner companions can have a bigger impact on your food intake than you might imagine. Numerous studies have found that food choices are strongly influenced by the people we eat with.

People tend to eat portions that are similar to the portions of their dinner companions, which is why going to a restaurant with friends who eat too much can also tempt them to eat too much (7). In addition, studies have shown that people are more likely to order unhealthy foods when their dining companion does (8).

Choosing to eat with family members or friends who have similar goals can help you stay on track and reduce your risk of overeating.

11 Eat your fill of protein

Protein helps to keep you full throughout the day and can reduce the desire to overeat. A protein-rich breakfast, for example, has been shown to reduce hunger and snack consumption later in the day (9).

A high-protein breakfast such as eggs tends to lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger (10). And protein-rich snacks like quark can help you eat less throughout the day and keep hunger under control.

12 Stabilize your blood sugar levels

Eating white bread, cookies, sweets and other carbohydrates with a high glycemic index will lead to a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar levels.

These rapid and sharp fluctuations in blood glucose levels have been shown to promote hunger and can lead to overeating (12).

Choosing foods with a lower glycemic index will help you avoid fluctuations in blood sugar levels and prevent overeating. Beans, oatmeal and brown rice are good options.

13. eat more slowly

Eating too quickly can cause you to overeat and gain weight over time. Eating more slowly is associated with increased satiety and reduced hunger and can be a useful tool for controlling food intake (13). It has also been shown that prolonged chewing can reduce overall food intake and increase satiety (14).

14 Watch your alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption can lead to overeating by reducing your inhibitions and stimulating your appetite (15, 16). Although one or two drinks with a meal generally won't have much of an effect, several drinks in a row can lead to increased hunger.

One study found that college students who drank four or five drinks in a row more frequently than once a week were more likely to overeat after drinking compared to others who consumed only one or two drinks (17).

Reducing your alcohol intake could be a good way to reduce overeating.

15 Plan ahead

Being unprepared when hunger strikes can make you more likely to make poor food choices that can lead to overeating. Buying meals and snacks at the last minute at restaurants or fast food outlets increases the likelihood that you will choose unhealthy foods and eat more.

It is therefore better to have healthy snacks on hand, prepare meals at home for on-the-go and stock your fridge with healthy options for dinner at home.

These strategies can help reduce unnecessary calories, and more meals prepared at home can also save money and time.

16. replace sugary drinks with water

Consuming sugary drinks such as cola can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes (18).

Studies have also shown that consuming sweetened drinks with meals may be associated with overeating.

A review of 17 studies found that adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages with their meals consumed 7.8% more food than people who drank water with their meals (19).

Choosing water or other unsweetened beverages could help reduce overeating.

17 Listen to yourself

Overeating in the absence of hunger could be a sign that something deeper is going on. Depression and boredom are two common problems associated with the urge to overeat (20, 21).

Fortunately, certain measures can help with this. For example, you can try to take up new activities that you enjoy. This can help combat boredom and keep you from the urge to snack.

Also, spending some time thinking about what overeating can do to you might help you find the kind of help you need. If depression and anxiety are contributing factors, then treatment from a psychologist could help you reduce overeating.

Everyone is different, so it's important that you find the right treatment plan for you.

18. get rid of your diet mentality

Fad diets are unlikely to help you eat less in the long term. Short-term restrictive diets may lead to rapid weight loss, but they are often not sustainable in the longer term, so sooner or later you will fail.

Instead, you should implement long-term lifestyle changes that promote health and wellness. This is the best way to create a balanced relationship with food and break habits such as overeating.

19. break old habits.

It can be hard to break old habits, especially when they have to do with food. Many people have certain pleasurable routines, such as eating dinner in front of the TV or eating a serving of ice cream every night.

It can take time to identify unhealthy behaviors that lead to overeating and replace them with new, healthy habits, but it's worth the effort.

For example, you should get into the habit of eating your dinner at the dining table instead of in front of the TV or replacing your evening bowl of ice cream with a cup of hot tea. These "substitutions" will become healthy habits over time.

20 Eat healthy fats

Although high-fat foods are often associated with weight gain and overeating, foods rich in healthy fats can help you eat less.

Several studies have shown that adults who followed high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets were less hungry 3 to 4 hours after meals and lost more weight over time than those who followed diets high in carbohydrates and low in fat (22, 23)

Adding healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters and olive oil to your diet can help you feel fuller for longer after meals and reduce overeating.

21 Keep your goals in mind

Setting short and long-term goals and reminding yourself of them can often help you stay on track and reduce the urge to overeat.

Knowing the reasons why it is important to overcome overeating and why overeating is preventing you from reaching your health goals can motivate you to work on establishing new eating patterns.

Writing down motivational sayings and placing them prominently in your living space can help inspire you to stick to your plan.

22 Get help when needed

It is important to distinguish between normal overeating and eating disorders such as binge eating.

Binge eating is recognized as a mental disorder. This means that affected individuals will likely need medical help to overcome this disorder.

Binge eating is characterized by persistent episodes of consuming large amounts of food within a short period of time to the point of feeling unwell without being hungry. After such binge eating episodes, affected individuals often feel shame or guilt.

This disorder affects millions of people worldwide and binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the Western world.

If you feel you are affected by this, it is important that you seek help. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

23 Eat consciously

Adopting mindful eating techniques is one of the best ways to prevent overeating. Conscious eating emphasizes the importance of focusing on the moment and being aware of your thoughts, emotions and senses while eating.

Many studies have shown that mindful eating is an effective way to reduce binge eating behaviors, overeating and emotional eating (24).

Eating slower, taking smaller bites, chewing carefully, being aware of your senses and appreciating the food you eat are all simple techniques you can incorporate into your daily routine.


Many people struggle with overeating. Fortunately, there are ways to improve eating habits and overcome eating disorders. Health professionals such as doctors, psychologists and licensed nutritionists can also offer advice and guidance to help you get back on track.

Overeating can be a difficult habit to break, but you can do it. Use these tips as a starting point to help you adopt a new, healthy way of eating. You should also make sure to seek professional help if you need it.




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