How to eat less and feel more satisfied

Do you struggle with overeating? Most of society does. How could you not? Sandwiches with greasy meat patties, cheese with egg and bacon drizzled with gravy is not helping anyone reach their health goals, but continuously feeding our so easily tantalized taste buds. On a recent poll on doctoroz.com, people admitted to overeating mostly later in the day (between 6 and 10 p.m.).

Do you struggle with overeating? Most of society does.

How could you not?

Sandwiches with greasy meat patties, cheese with egg and bacon drizzled with gravy is not helping anyone reach their health goals, but continuously feeding our so easily tantalized taste buds.

On a recent poll on doctoroz.com, people admitted to overeating mostly later in the day (between 6 and 10 p.m.).

So on the whole, we seem to start with good intentions but as the day goes on, there are a few things to note if feeling the need to eat less.

l Eating less does not mean starving. One of the main reasons people overeat is actually malnourishment. We are not getting the macronutrients our bodies are really craving in order to feel nourished and satiated. And so we continue to shovel more in.

Most people are surprised to learn that by shifting a few behaviours around, what they put in their mouths that will actually make those afternoon cravings go away.

Healthy fats and proteins are high on the satiation factor, so make sure you are incorporating a cup of black beans, hard boiled egg or half an avocado (or all three!) mid-afternoon or at lunch.

Nutrient density is the main factor that will help you to eat less.

Hemp seeds, almonds, cashews and dates in a nice nut bar is a perfect afternoon snack.

l Understanding the expansive/contractive model taught in macrobiotics is an excellent tool to help you eat less.

Typically our days are quite contractive. Suit and tie, coveralls, mom gear … whatever your uniform most of us are out there mentally or physically expending ourselves in the day.

This is contractive behaviour. Food has similar qualities.

At the end of the day or the week, we want to “expand.”

This is where the beer comes in, the sugar, the stimulants. Drugs, coffee and chocolate are considered “expansive” in the macrobiotic expansive/contractive model.

What foods are you craving at the end of your day or leading into the late afternoon?

Here’s a tip. A healthier form of expansive behaviour is exercise.

You don’t have to run marathons every day to get some exercise, but even going for a post-work walk with your dog, or the neighbour’s dog can help tip the scale back to balance before indulging in some cream cakes.

This is why dancing can also be a great means of “expanding.”

If you’re feeling the need to eat something you know won’t nourish you — just move.

Truly.

Take the time to track how much exercise you are getting in this coming week and see for yourself.

l Be sure to fill up on the good stuff in life. Getting to the core of what really satisfies you is important in keeping overindulgences in check.

Sit down with yourself and write in a journal the response to this question: What are you really hungry for?

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Thursday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.

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