Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance. Remembering why you are thankful!
AND it is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there. Does it?Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals. (Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. And you get too much “air” in the belly!
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting hytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”. And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
There may be some that can’t eat salad greens…so find a high fiber veggie single and enjoy. Find some and learn more about the benefits of fiber here.
• Have a glass of water
• eat mindfully
• start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water
to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful
looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of lemon & ginger
Slices of strawberries & orange
Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
Chopped pineapple & mango (my fav)
Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
How Do I Keep My Blood Sugar Stable?
And do I need to worry about it if I am not a diagnosed diabetic?
Oh, the words “blood
Does it conjure up visions of
restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?
Blood sugar is the measure of the
amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your
blood to fuel your brain and muscles.
The thing is, it can fluctuate. A
This fluctuation is the natural
balance between things that increase it; and things that decrease it. When you
eat food with sugars or starches (“carbs”), then your digestive
system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down
into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting
insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get it out of your bloodstream and into
your muscle cells and other tissues
Why keep my blood sugar
Your body wants your blood sugar
to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so you’re not
light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body
isn’t scrambling to remove excess from the blood.
When blood sugar is too low, this
is referred to as “hypoglycemia.”
When blood sugar is too high, it
is referred to as hyperglycemia.
Prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar levels (chronic hyperglycemia)
can lead to “insulin resistance.”
Insulin resistance is when your
cells are just so bored of the excess insulin that they start ignoring
(resisting) it, and that keeps your blood sugar levels too high.
Insulin resistance and chronic
hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.
So let’s look at how you can
optimize your food and lifestyle to keep your blood sugar stable.
Food for stable blood sugar
The simplest thing to do to
balance your blood sugar is to reduce the number of refined sugars and starches
you eat. To do this, you can start by
dumping sweet drinks and having smaller portions of dessert.
Eating more fiber is helpful too.
Fiber helps to slow down the amount of sugar absorbed from your meal; it
reduces the “spike” in your blood sugar level. Fiber is found in plant-based foods (as long
as they are eaten in their natural state, processing foods removed fiber). Eating nuts, seeds, and whole fruits and
veggies (not juiced) is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
FUN FACT: Cinnamon has been shown
to help cells increase insulin sensitivity. Not to mention it’s a delicious
spice that can be used in place of sugar. (HINT: It’s in the recipe below)
Lifestyle for stable blood
Exercise also helps to improve
your insulin sensitivity; this means that your cells don’t ignore insulin’s
call to get excess sugar out of the blood.
Not to mention, when you exercise, your muscles are using up that sugar
they absorbed from your blood. But you already knew that exercise is healthy,
Would you believe that stress
affects your blood sugar levels? Yup! Stress hormones increase your blood sugar
levels. If you think about the “fight or flight” stress response,
what fuel do your brain and muscles need to “fight” or “flee”?
Sugar! When you are stressed signals are sent to release stored forms of sugar
back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels. So, try to reduce the stress you’re under and
manage it more effectively. Simple tips are meditation, deep breathing, or
Sleep goes hand-in-hand with
stress. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, you tend to release stress
hormones, have a higher appetite, and even get sugar cravings. Sleep is
crucial, often overlooked, factor when it comes to keeping your blood sugar
stable. Make sleep more of a priority – it will do your blood sugar (and the
rest of your physical and mental health) good.
Your body is on a constant
24-hour quest to keep your blood sugar stable. The body has mechanisms in place
to do this, but those mechanisms can get tired (resistant). Long-term blood sugar issues can spell
There are many nutrition and
lifestyle approaches you can take to help keep your blood sugar stable.
Minimizing excessive carbs, and eating more fiber, exercising, reducing stress,
and improving sleep are all key to having stable blood sugar (and overall good
Recipe (blood sugar
balancing): Cinnamon Apples
2 apples, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Place chopped apples into a small
saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. After about 5 minutes the apples will become slightly soft, and
water will be absorbed.
Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir
apples and oil together.
Cook for another 5 minutes,
stirring every minute or so.
Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
Cook for another few minutes,
stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!
Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Keeping the peel on increases the fiber, which
is even better for stabilizing your blood sugar.
Let me know when you try the recipe! And if you want to know more on specifically how to stabilize your Blood Sugar…reach out! I am here to support you.
Well hello! SO I am finally getting into the swing of things after the prep and completion of a joyous event! YES, a joyous event…my oldest son married! And wow, did we have some great food choices for the rehearsal, the wedding, the day after…from dinner items to cupcakes to a cook out! And I was very mindful, well mostly, of what I was choosing and walked a bunch! There were about 54 steps up and down from the one area of he lodge to the upper level! Aren’t they great together!
But you know we live in a
funny society. We look up to the slim, thin, skinny and we dole out mountains
of processed snack, junk and fast foods. We sit around and watch
television instead of getting up and walking to the park or grocery store. Or we “play” on the Internet! NOTE: there was no TV watching or Internet surfing for me this past weekend! Except for posting pictures!
It seems like it is a constant obsession to try to get fit and healthy, yet all the
time we keep reverting back to the food and entertainment forms that are so
prevalent. Every single family get together, every holiday, every
celebration is centered on food and drink. Most of the time gluttonous
food and drink! Do you see that in your family?
So, when we
start to become unhappy with the way we look (no one associates their illness
or sluggishness with food) we start cutting calories. Every New Year the
diet industry pulls out all the advertising plugs, because every New Year we
resolve to lose all the weight we put on the years before. Diet pills,
replacement shakes, artificial sweeteners, surgeries, magazines and fad
diets. The problem is, these things all make our problem worse. We
may lose weight quickly at first but we lose muscle at the same time and then
gain back all fat, which is not so good.
Then we are
minus the muscle and plus more fat.
If you want to
lose weight and keep it off, look to people who have successfully done
it. You will notice that they did not use diet pills, meal replacement
shakes or fad diets. Here are my quick best tips to lose – get healthier and keep it off!
Proven ways to lose weight for good:
- Eat breakfast
- Eat all day long
- Drink more water
- Eat at home
- Eat whole foods
- Reduce stress
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Get moving
- Keep a journal
some good, high quality protein
- Take a
up the “c”‘s
- Do a
kitchen makeover and get the unhealthy foods that tempt you out of your
This is what you eat!
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Small amounts of high quality protein
- Small amounts of healthy fat (coconut oil, avocado)
What do you
think of skipping the fad diets? Relying on the “newest” and “quickest” way to lose! JUST Start eating healthy! Add in simple things to increase veggies first!
If you want to
lose weight, eat more green vegetables and less simple carbohydrates.
Give up the “C”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy and chips! Once those are out
of your house and your life you WILL
notice a difference on the scale! Or rely on Mindful Eating
! You can read more here in this e-book: Mindful Eating
– Practicing Mindful Eating not only transforms your health, but your relationship with the foods you ingest, as well. Happy eating!
So…Quit going to
McDonalds and Burger King or any other fast food places…and then come back and leave a comment (will probably
take 24 hours) about how good you feel! AND if you do eat out often…what are some tips for that? Coming soon….
not a normal BLOG post!
me to you!
have some amazing fans!
AND I hit
a milestone this week!
a milestone for the Facebook world!
to celebrate and thank everyone for their support…let’s do this Challenge