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How to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Overeating at meals is a common hurdle many of us experience.

Why? Our eyes might be bigger than our stomach. The food tastes delicious! We are distracted by TV or our child throwing food around the room. Or maybe, we have gone too long between meals.

This can have a big affect on our weight, energy levels and well-being. Furthermore, after bariatric surgery, eating too much can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and pain.

Often people attribute overeating to lack of self control and failure, but it is not.

So, how do you stop overeating at meals? The first step is recognising this is a problem you want to solve. After this, it may be about putting in place realistic tips to reduce overeating in the long-term to maintain success.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Dish up your meal with slightly less than you think you need – you can always go back for more!

  2. Start your meal with protein, then eat your vegetables

  3. Aim to eat your meal over 20 – 30 minutes, chewing well and limiting distractions

  4. Identify triggers for example: leaving too long between meals, eating discretionary foods (low in nutrition such as cake, pizza and crackers), or work stress

  5. Ensure you are hydrated, sipping on lots of water between meals

  6. Talk to someone such as a family member, friend, psychologist or dietitian

So, if you are struggling with overeating, be kind to yourself and then think about changes you can put in place to reduce your overeating in the long term.

Elize van Drimmelen

NZ Registered Dietitian

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