Overeating is easy to do — especially on the weekends or when you’re out with friends.
However, if you have a habit of overeating, it’s a good idea to form healthy habits now. This can stop you from packing on unwanted pounds and letting your health spiral over time. Regularly overeating may put you at risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and much more.
Here are 8 tips to help you stop overeating.
1. Use smaller plates and bowls
Using smaller plates, bowls, and taller glasses is an easy way to stop overeating. Big plates make it seem like your portions are small, so you’re more likely to eat more than you need.
For example, one study found that people ate around 77% more pasta with large-sized bowls than when they had medium-sized bowls (1).
Another study found that using tall, thin glasses instead of short, wide glasses cut back the amount of liquid they drank by up to 57%. This could be helpful to cut back on alcohol and other high-calorie drinks (2).
Summary Using smaller plates and bowls may help you feel full with less food.
2. Make it harder to overeat
If you find yourself mindlessly overeating certain foods, try to make them harder to reach.
Simply placing the food a few meters away or on a higher shelf can make it harder to mindlessly overeat because you now have to make the conscious effort to do so.
In one study, scientists discovered that placing a candy bowl 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from the participant’s desk, rather than on their desk, slashed their candy intake by more than half. That’s because the participants now had more time to think if they wanted the candy or if they just wanted to eat it because it’s nearby (3).
Summary If you mindlessly overeat, try placing food further away or in a more challenging to reach place, so you have to think twice before eating.
3. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
Eating slowly and chewing more is an effective way to stop overeating.
In fact, studies show slow eaters tend to eat less, feel fuller, and enjoy their meals more (4).
Not to mention, taking more time to finish your meal gives your body the chance to make more hormones that tell your brain you feel full — before you reach for more food (5).
Summary Taking more time to eat can help give your body the chance to let your brain know it’s full.
4–8. More tips to help you stop overeating
Here are a few more tips to help you stop overeating:
- Keep trigger foods out of the house:if certain foods make you want to overeat, it’s a good idea to keep them out of the house to prevent temptation.
- Cut back on variety:surprisingly, having a wider variety of food options stimulates your senses more than usual and could make you eat up to 23% (6).
- Add fiber to your diet: fiber-rich foods like beans, oats, and veggies help curb your appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Adding more fiber-rich foods to your meals can help fight your hunger and stop you from overeating.
- Choose more protein-rich foods:protein helps you stay full throughout the day and resist the urge to overeat. Add more protein-rich foods like lean meats, eggs, and tofu, to your diet to help keep your hunger under control (7,8).
- Cut back on alcohol while eating: alcohol can lower your inhibition and increase your appetite, making it easier to overeat. Stick to only a drink or two if you’re trying to stop overeating (9,10).
Summary Other tips that can help you stop overeating are keeping trigger foods out of the house, limiting variety on your plate, adding more fiber to your diet, choosing more protein-rich foods, and cutting back on alcohol while you eat.