One of the keys to managing one’s weight, is controlling how much we eat. If your daily intake of calories is greater than your daily expenditure of calories through exercise and general movement, then any excess calories will be stored as fat.
Over eating can be difficult to control, but there are generally three overeating categories that people can fall into. Each category requires a slightly different strategy to overcome.
- Eating more than is necessary at mealtimes.
- Many people do not produce enough of a hormone in the stomach that indicates to the brain that it is full.
- A low Glycaemic Index diet can fill you up more quickly and encourages production of these hormones. Choose sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, brown rice instead of white rice and brown wholemeal bread instead of white bread. Also try and reduce the consumption of carbohydrates such as pasta and heavily processed foods.
- Using smaller plates to control portion sizes is also advisable. Also waiting 20 minutes after eating before having seconds, will give your brain a chance to receive signals from the stomach indicating that you are full.
- Some people feel as if they are constantly hungry between mealtime,s leading to frequent snacking and consumption of excess food. For these people, the 5:2 calorie restricted diet has been found to be very successful.
- For 5 days a week, you can eat as much as you like, even between mealtimes, but preferably on healthy snack options such as; nuts, seeds, carrots or berries.
- For the other 2 days, you should eat a set number of calories throughout the day: 600kcal for men and 500kcal for women and stick to it.
- Many people find it is a lot easier to stick with a diet, when its only 2 days a week!
3. Stress eating.
- It is not uncommon to eat more when emotional, depressed, tired or stressed and to then gain weight as a result.
- If you are a ‘stress eater’, try and identify the triggers that turn your mind to food when you are stressed, and find ways to re-align those thought processes.
- It is often a good idea to find and implement an alternative stress-relieving activity when you think about indulging in food, such as meditation, exercising or having a hot bath.