9 easy ways to curb overeating at home
Post-retirement, chances are you’ll find yourself spending a lot more time at home. Whether you’re babysitting the grandkids, pottering around the garden or exploring a new hobby, snacking can quickly become a habit. It’s all too easy to find yourself impulsively reaching for the cupboard or raiding your fridge, even when you’re not hungry. If this sounds familiar it could be time to introduce a few rules to help curb the habit.
- Don’t go shopping hungry
The first rule of curbing your in-house snacking habits is to stock your kitchen accordingly. There’s no arguing with the fact that when you head to the supermarket hungry you can’t resist filling your trolley with snacks. As soon as they’re in the house it’s almost impossible to say no. Instead be sure to treat yourself to a filling and wholesome meal before you hit the aisles. This way you’ll approach shopping with a clear mind and plenty of perception.
- Reassess your diet
If you snack purely because you’re hungry it’s time to reassess your diet. Some foods keep you fuller for longer, for example a few slices of white toast and butter in the morning aren’t going to have the same effect as a few slices of wholegrain bread topped with avocado, nuts and chia seeds. Experts maintain that one of the easiest ways to trim down without feeling hungry is to shift to a fiber rich diet loaded with lean protein.
- Meal plan
If snacking is a way to fill up without lifting a finger you need to embrace the art of meal planning. In a nutshell, it’s far less tempting to snack when it’s just as easy to reach for a premade salad or throw a portion of frozen vegetable soup into the microwave.
- Essential oils
If you just can’t seem to get rid of hunger pangs and food cravings essential oils can work wonders. A natural remedy, they work to balance the mind and the body, as well as stimulate certain areas of the brain to influence both your mental and physical state. Research backs this theory up, with a recent study from the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago concluding that inhaling culinary scents like grapefruit, rosemary and peppermint can actively “suppress the desire to taste and therefore eat.”
- Don’t use eating as a break
For some people snacking is a way to break up the day or enjoy a little down time. This means that when you’re doing tedious tasks like cleaning the house or sorting through old clothes it can seem appealing. If you’re a procrastinator this can quickly mean you start mindlessly snacking multiple times a day. Instead of using your desire for a break as an excuse to head to the fridge, think of other ways to take five. For example, walking around the block, listening to your favorite song or impromptu playtime with a pet.
- Set daily meal times
Without the prompt of a daily wakeup call or work break it can be easy to skip breakfast or forget about eating lunch until the late afternoon, when you may think that all you need is a snack to tie you over until dinner. This can be counterproductive as you’ll often end up intaking more snack calories than you would by eating an actual meal. A great way to avoid snacking is to set meal times. This way you know exactly when you should be eating which eliminates the question of whether you deserve a snack.
- Drink up
Did you know that it’s surprisingly easy to mistake thirst for hunger? With this in mind, before you reach for a snack simply drink a glass of water or a cup of tea. Chances are this will sate your “appetite” for a matter of hours.
- Brush your teeth
As well as keeping your teeth squeaky clean, brushing after meals can act as a mental signal that eating time is over. Most food also tastes off with a minty mouth which means brushing can help to reign in your desire to snack. Sugar free mints can also be a clever way to nip a snack craving in the bud.
- Practice mindfulness and eliminate multitasking
One of the worst habits you can slip into is mindlessly snacking. This means eating in front of the computer or TV, or even as you clean the house. All stomachs are equipped with stretch receptors which tell the brain you’re full. They don’t kick in if you eat while you’re distracted which means you can easily ingest extra calories simply by not being fully aware of your actions. If you are going to snack be sure to approach it mindfully and savour every bite. Ultimately this can be a powerful tool to avoid in-house snacking.
Do you suffer from a snacking addiction in your own home? Maybe you’re a reform case and have some tried and tested tips on how to kick the habit?