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Beating Overeating (Part 2)

If you love to eat and sometimes struggle with stopping, here are some interesting research tidbits that help.

Strategies to help prevent overeating:

  1. Minimize side dishes.
    The more food choices you have, the more you eat. Studies show that when you have only 1 or 2 dishes in front of you, you eat less food overall than if you have 3 or 4 choices. This means you need to be extra careful at buffets and potlucks.

  2. Use music to your advantage.
    Listen to mellow music at mealtime. A study at Johns Hopkins University found that diners chew faster and eat more when listening to lively music and eat less with relaxing music.

  3. Dim the lights.
    Another study at Johns Hopkins found that diners ate less food under low lighting.

  4. Use smaller utensils.
    This forces you to take smaller bites and eat more slowly.

  5. Get enough sleep.
    Well-rested people overeat less, probably because they have fewer cravings and don’t need to rely so much on food to keep up their energy level.

  6. Be the slowest eater in a group.
    The larger the group, the more each person tends to eat—without realizing it. Be aware that group meals lead to overeating and try to be the slowest eater at the table.

Eating is one of life’s great pleasures, but overeating ruins the experience by making you feel regret, guilt and physical discomfort. Use a few of these strategies for a week and see if you can get in the habit of eating only until you are satisfied. I’m sure you can find new things to feel guilty about!

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