How do I stop overeating

All in moderation: How to keep your diet under control

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What's your biggest challenge?

We ask our readers this question when they subscribe to the Healthy Newsletter. Some answers keep coming up - for example that moderate nutrition. Many of our readers struggle with this. In her own words it reads like this:

  • “I keep thinking of chips, chocolate, cake. Look at the clock when I can eat something again. I just want to eat normally. Eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. But I just can't do it. "
  • "I am currently concerned with my inability to stop eating."
  • "Can you manage to eat sweets in moderation?"
  • "Food cravings! I eat a lot of unhealthy foods in a short time and can't stop until I'm sick! "
  • I feel sabotaged by myself. If I make up my mind to have a healthy, low-carb dinner, I'll soon get cravings for anything in the closet that contains carbohydrates. An inner struggle takes place there, in which the weaker self always wins. Then I have a real binge eating. "

I know this only too well. Up until a few years ago, on many evenings, I shoveled into everything that the supplies held. For me there wasn't just one dinner. No, after that it really started. The whole evening consisted of food. After a meal, I ate fruit quarks, ice cream, cookies, peanut flips, Nutella breads, etc.

So excessive I don't eat anymore today. Still, on some evenings I never find an end. I literally snack my way through them. Shortly before going to sleep, my body no longer needs this energy supply.

Still, a lot has improved for me. This text is about my moderate eating strategies. I don't have an answer for everything, but I can show you what me helps keep my diet under control.

I eat real food

If you've been reading along here for a long time, this is no longer a surprise. But neither does it lose its truthjust because I mention it a lot.

If we were to consistently eat healthily - that is, eat unprocessed plant-based foods - we would have to Not ask how a moderate diet can be achieved. The nutrients and fiber would make sure we stop eating pretty soon. If you nibble on vegetables in the evening, you quickly get tired of it. This is what nature intended.

How much We only eat becomes a problem when that What bad is. The more processed a food is - and contains ingredients such as sugar, fat, salt or wheat flour - the sooner this energy sets in our fat pads and the more difficult it is to stop eating. You can feel this most clearly with sweets: The mixture of fat and sugar makes us fat and sick - but it is so irresistible that we want more and more of it.

Therefore: Eat real food! As good as it can be. But it is also clear that this does not work 100 percent in today's world. We make it about 80 percent. The other 20 percent are not for our slim line idealbut they don't make us fat. Rather, the problem is that this 20 percent makes controlled eating difficult for us. If I overeat on something, it's not carrots, but these less healthy foods.

I make sure to get full

If I don't want to eat from one snack to the next all day, I need three whole meals. Saturation is important to me. If this does not happen, the next snack is not far and in case of doubt it is less healthy than a real meal.

The best way to get full is to take these three things to heart:

1. Eat real food: Yes, we already had. Real foods are not only healthy, they also fill you up well. They contain significantly more nutrients and fiber than industrial goods. That is why 100 calories from fresh foods fill us better than the same number of calories from finished products.

2. Eat enough: Getting full also means enough to eat. I don't want to deceive myself by keeping the portion unnecessarily small and then getting the missing energy back through snacks. We have to eat a lot of fresh foods in particular, as their energy density is often low. So don't give up with one small Portion of salad satisfied. If you eat salad, hit it right.

3. Take your time: The more time I take to eat, the fuller I get without eating too much. It works best when I have good company and good company. However, if I am alone, I have to force myself to take my time. Here, too, real groceries help again, because if I've only been in the kitchen for 30 minutes, then I don't wring everything down while standing, but set the table and enjoy my meal.

On some days I don't take the time for three filling meals, but instead eat something quick and of lesser quality. In most cases, that haunts me for the rest of the dayby constantly feeling the need for more snacks. A moderate meal therefore includes filling meals.

If you don't know what to cook: You can find our recipes here.

I eat with my senses and my mind

Brian Wansink explains in his book "Eating Without Sense and Mind" why we often eat more than we need without being aware of it. If we throw 20 grams more pasta into the boiling water, we don't even notice it. It doesn't make us noticeably fuller either, but we absorb additional energy that we don't need.

Of all things, we use too large quantities of noodles anyway, as they look very little on the plate. On the other hand, we don't use enough vegetables because the same amount of calories is much more voluminous. Assuming we want to absorb half of our energy from vegetables and half from pasta, there should be a large mountain of greens and a small portion of pasta on the plate. But very few meals look like this.

Don't be irritated by these optical illusions, but rather consciously take more of them healthy Food. If it helps, weigh everything initially. Also support yourself by using large containers for the healthiest foods (then they will work less) and small containers for unhealthy foods (then they will work more). Also, pay attention to how much food you are preparing in total. Cook for yourself a Meal or two - but not one and a half.

With such little "tricks" you make yourself more conscious of your food and stay in control.

I don't eat too early in the evening

It is often said not to late eat in the evening so that the body can still utilize the energy. I don't know whether that really makes sense. I don't really care either because my meal times are dictated by everyday life anyway.

Since I play sports many evenings, I often eat late, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. But even on days when I don't have a sport, I don't try too early to eat. Because if I eat at 6 p.m., I'm still awake for five hours afterwards. It's too long to get through the evening without (unhealthy) snacks. Once I'm hungry, a few carrots are no longer enough to nibble on. Unhealthy snacks are inevitable because I ate the main meal too early. Knowing that, I prefer to eat later and less overall.

I drink instead of eat

I prefer to fill my stomach with water or tea than with unhealthy snacks. A drink can help, especially if I don't feel hungry, just an appetite.

To drink more, I always put a carafe in sight whenever possible. I fill this with tap water along with fruits and herbs. Alternatively, I brew a pot of tea and let it cool down. I drink it cold or lukewarm. I also like to have a glass of wine in the evening. That keeps me from eating.

The more I drink, the less I eat.

I have clear rules for snacks

Although I prepare real food, get full, eat with my senses and drink a lot, I can't quite avoid snacks. Most of all they bother me after dinner. On some evenings I still consume a lot of energy in the form of muesli, fruit, nuts, dried fruit and whole grain bread. After all - these snacks are clear healthier than my feeding orgies a few years ago. Completely unhealthy snacks are no longer an option because I don't have them in my household. I stay away from everything that I couldn't keep my hands off of when in doubt. So I can avoid my vices as best as possible.

My snacks today are healthier, but my body no longer needs this energy in the evening. Now I'm finally tackling this habit. At the moment I either don't snack or only eat vegetables after dinner. So I nibble on carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi or radishes. Even if vegetables are less satisfying, they have worked very well so far. A challenge that I agreed with Jasmin helps me get started. I feel responsible towards her to remain steadfast. It remains to be seen whether this will also work in the long term. But at least I am learning that it is basically possible to get through the evening without unhealthy snacks.

What else helps

All of this advice is comparatively easy to implement. But to be honest, you can excessive eating not always so easy to turn off. Otherwise we would all do it and I wouldn't have to help myself with challenges.

Not being able to stop eating almost always has deeper reasons. We have to get to them. After all, everything is related to everything else. This is our approach at Healthy Habits: Eat, Move, Feel, Grow. If one column gets out of control, the others suffer too.

When I'm emotionally weak, I don't care. Then I strike. The same applies to physical complaints. As soon as my head hums, all restraint falls. Boredom is also a reason to eat all the time. These examples show how important it is for a healthy diet To take care of yourself in other matters too.

Unfortunately, food is a quick substitute satisfaction for many things that don't run smoothly in our lives. As long as these construction sites are fallow, trying to eat a moderate diet is a battle against windmills. In the long run, you should therefore work on the challenges that make you dissatisfied, even outside of eating. You are at the right place at Healthy Habits.

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