There are many suggested ways to control overeating: eat slower, take sips of water between each bite, and use smaller plates just to name a few. Since 1 in 3 Americans suffer from being overweight, millions of people search daily for the answer to their problem. Did you know that by eating certain foods you can also minimize your chances of overeating? Here is a list of 8 foods that do just that.
According to weight loss specialists at the Mayo Clinic, people often mistake thirst for hunger. When our bodies need hydration, the same portion of our brain that controls hunger is activated. This is how we easily confuse being thirsty with being hungry and as a result, we overeat. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water every day and the next time you feel the urge to eat, drink a big glass of water first. Chances are you won't feel the inclination to eat after your thirst is satisfied.
2. Red Chili Pepper
A study was conducted this year in The Netherlands at Maastricht University where causes of obesity were being researched. The doctors gave participants a normal day’s amount of calories and monitored how much they ate. The next session, the participants were given the exact same foods only this time red chili was added. In the last session, participants were given un-spiced foods and every person tested ate 75% less! After the study concluded, the scientists polled the people who had participated in the study; every person reported a 30% drop in their daily calorie intake, even without adding red chili to their food.
3. High Protein Foods
Eating more protein 3-4 times daily keeps your body busy digesting and converting it into fuel for our muscles. This is especially important at breakfast. A diet high in protein and low in carbs and fat results in 2 important things: we weigh less and we overeat less. Our brains know that our bodies are working hard to metabolize the protein and therefore does not activate our “hunger signals.”
4. High Fiber Foods
Eating fiber-rich foods not only keeps our digestive tracts moving, it also makes us feel fuller. To activate the fiber in foods we eat, we must be drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily. When you read labels, look for insoluble fiber in the nutrition facts. Some high fiber foods are:
Fruit: Bananas, Oranges, Mangoes, Apples, Raspberries and Strawberries
Veggies: Carrots (unpeeled), Broccoli, Beets, Artichokes
Greens: Collard greens, Spinach, Swiss chard
Beans & Legumes: Garbanzo beans, Navy beans, peas, kidney beans and lentils
Whole Grains & Oats
Note: You must consume these with portion control in mind. The daily recommended serving for fruit is no more than 2 cups/day. Daily servings of veggies are a minimum of 2.5 cups/day but if you’re going to snack, grab a veggie and you can’t go wrong.
5. Fat, Salt and Sugar Addiction
A recent study at Rutgers University proves that eating a diet full of fat, salt and sugar triggers a hormonal imbalance in our brains. The lack of the GLP-1 hormone causes even more overeating and cravings for high fat foods. This imbalance triggers the same areas of our brains as other addictive substances like drugs, nicotine and alcohol. If you are used to eating foods like these, it will be hard to break the addiction but it is possible. After eating this type of food, our brains set a timer at about 4 hours. That’s when the new wave of cravings hits us. This addiction to fat, salt and sugar is exactly why overweight people have such a hard time losing weight. Avoid these at all costs, starting today.
6. Green Tea
Green tea contains catechins which are a type of antioxidant found in flavonoids, the most nutrient rich part of edible plants. This will blow your socks right off: Catechins in green tea actually trigger our bodies to release the fat from stored fat cells! Studies show that this is particularly true of belly fat. So not only are these catechins improving our overall health, they also curb the appetite! This should be front page news! Another fact about green tea is that it is so nutritious and 95% water, drinking 8 ounces of green tea counts toward the daily recommended 64 ounces of water. It’s actually healthier than plain water!
Making positive lifestyle changes feels great, but doing so isn’t always easy. The key to succeeding is first understand that you are not alone. Secondly, understand why you overeat – it may not be your fault. Eating processed foods and food high in fat, salt and sugar sets us up to fail because these foods act like ticking time bombs and just a few hours after eating them, we crave them again. It takes a few days to fight off the cravings of this addiction, but once we break our addictions we never have to go back. That’s when weight loss and fitness goals will get much easier to achieve. Remember, it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. You deserve it!