How to Stop Overeating
We all know that the body stores excess calories as fat, but the sudden intake of an inordinate amount of calories from one sitting can also have detrimental health effects.
When you overload on food, your body automatically reacts to the excesses and puts all your systems on alert.
Your liver, which helps digest fats and regulates cholesterol levels, can be damaged by overeating. And the pancreas, whose role is to remove the excess sugar from your blood or your heart, must work extra hard to keep your body functioning at its optimal level.
Adhering to sensible portion sizes will help in managing calorie intake; however, eating proper portions has become even more challenging, no thanks to the super-sized meals we are served in restaurants.
According to the National Institute of Health, lack of portion control directly contributes to:
- The increases in unhealthy weight gain and obesity rates among children and adults alike
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Indigestion and discomfort of digestive system functions
- Post-meal malaise from overeating can affect the nervous system
- Obesity or weight gain-related heart disease
Portion and serving sizes are often used interchangeably, but did you know the two are entirely different?
Note that a portion is the amount of food you eat in one sitting and a serving size is a measurable and recommended amount of one particular food.
For example, the amount of grass-fed steak you have for dinner is a portion, but 3 ounces of steak is a serving.
Eating proper portions and serving sizes can seem daunting, but there are some simple ways to make it easier.
How to Exercise Portion Control
- Chew food deliberately, appreciating each bite
- Estimate portion sizes using measuring cups and spoons to ensure your portion is the same as the serving size
- Overcome portion distortion and downsize your helpings by reading the Nutrition Facts label to identify the appropriate serving size
- When dining out, stick to the serving size you know you can eat at one sitting without feeling too full. Also, always start with the fresh fruit and vegetables in the appetizer tray and opt for a small dessert
- To help you digest more effectively after the meal, drink a full glass of water, go for a leisurely walk, and avoid snacking to give your body time to digest
- Avoid binge-eating while working or watching TV
- Measure snacks like nut, fruits and veggies into proper portion sizes
- Track your calories using a food diary to keep you conscious of your choices
Whether you are working towards losing a few pounds, or simply maintaining a healthy body weight, practicing portion control is just as important as eating the right foods.