How can I stop eating so much?

Robert DeVito

Develop a REASON

reason is your WHY. Why are you attempting to eat healthy and reduce your food intake?  Many individuals would state that they desire weight loss. In my experience this goal is too vague and lacks emotional meaning.  Work diligently at developing reasons for your wanting to change. The more specific and the bigger the meaning to these "big picture" reasons, the better.

Examples -

  • I am acting as a role model to my children.
  • I desire to live a fit and healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally.
  • I wish to live a life I will be proud of.

Develop a MANTRA

Just as important as your reasons is developing a mantra. A mantra is a go to positive message to repeat to yourself as a reminder. 

A few good mantras are -

  • Slow down. Breathe. Choose health.
  • I feed my body based on its needs, not instant gratification.
  • I am worth the control.
  • Take back control.
  • I will act as the future person I wish to become.

Develop a GAME PLAN

I have found that many people try to stop over eating while in the heat of the moment. This is not the best time to come up with a strategy for stopping. This must be worked out well in advance and this discipline takes practice.

Try this game plan -

You CAN eat more food, but, not right now.

  • Stop and begin to breathe slowly.
  • Set a timer for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water.
  • Eat a vegetable.

If after the timer has stopped and you have performed all of these actions and decide to eat more, then that is your action. If you are satisfied then stop and move on.

These strategies take time to develop and perfect. Give the effort to gain control for the long-term. You are worth it.

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
You are not alone; in fact, we are all "wired to eat" whenever food is available as it is a leftover survival trait that allowed our species to survive when food was scarce. Unfortunately we don't need it anymore because food is everywhere, but because it's still there, unless you are highly motivated to control your weight, this genetic trait (stronger for some) leads most people to eat more than what’s needed to satisfy immediate hunger. Therefore, you must pay attention to how many calories you consume and burn daily, on average, while watching your weight at least weekly. You can then keep your weight under control by eating less and/or moving more if weight climbs unacceptably. Below are tips for controlling appetite, but you should also use the free Sharecare Fitness application to record your food intake, establish your weight goal and daily calorie requirements. Additionally, the program will create examples of meals you should be consuming to help control your appetite.
  • Consume 4-5 small meals/day all containing lean proteins, low fat, fibrous foods (e.g. whole grains, large multi-vegetable salads, etc.). Always eat breakfast.
  • Plan and record all meals/snacks and read all food labels for total servings and calories.
  • Never eat from a bag; remove how much you should eat.
  • Eat slowly with smaller utensils from smaller plates/bowls.
  • Start your meal with a dinner salad and/or broth-based soup.
  • Drink water or other non-caloric fluids regularly immediately before during meals.
  • Remove or hide all tempting foods from your environment (home and office).
  • Include 1 or 2 high fiber meal replacements as part of your 4-5 meals
  • Wait 30 minutes after a meal before you decide to give in to dessert or more food; it takes roughly that long for the "I am full" message to get from stomach to brain.
  • Stay busy: plan an activity almost immediately post-meal where eating would be difficult or impossible. Stay busy between meals.
  • Brush your teeth immediately following a meal: it sends a message that the meal is over.
  • Stick sugarless gum in your mouth every time you get an urge to eat or keep eating when you shouldn’t.
  • Drink a diet soda, coffee or tea when an eating urge occurs, or to end each meal.
  • Weigh yourself regularly and record it in the Sharecare Fitness app.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.