Many people start to work out because one of their main fitness goals is to lose weight. Getting into a calorie deficit can be extremely challenging for some, not because they are mentally unprepared, most of the time they are distracted whilst eating without knowing it or might not know the importance of their eating environment. Overeating is one major reason why several people don’t reach their goal or tend to give up too soon. When I changed my lifestyle I fell for some of the exact same reasons. Old habits cannot be eliminated over night, we have to learn new habits and especially we need to know what we can do better.

Here are a few strategies that might help you too to eat better:

Eat in a calm, conscious and relaxed manner
Take your time, chew your food (digestion actually doesn’t start in your stomach it starts in your mouth) and taste it. Pay attention to yourself and your food, enjoy your meal and try to blend out everything that is happening around you. By doing so, you will recognize the signal from your body when you are actually full. In many cases, one of the reasons why you “overeat” is simply because you are distracted.

Fix your plate, don’t eat out of a pot or serving dish
Many people are more likely to overeat and not even be aware that they are doing so if they don’t fix a set portion size on their plate. If you arrange your food on a smaller plate, in a more aesthetic way it sends a signal to your brain and might make you happy by just looking at eat.

Don’t clean your plate
When you realize you are almost feeling full, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. If you realize that you are full, good. Store your leftovers in the fridge – we are not living in the past where your grandparents might tell you that you have to clean your plate. Don’t do it. The feeling of being full is a natural mechanism in your body which you should listen to.

Don’t wait until you are starved to eat
This could be the major reason why you are overeating. If you wait until you are so hungry you will probably eat anything, way too much in a too short amount of time. Try to avoid situations like this from the beginning.

Don’t read or watch TV while eating
Another major reason for overeating: being distracted by reading in a book, watching television or checking your social media accounts. When you eat, you eat – you are not driving a car and reading a novel at the same time either.

Eat slowly
It takes time for your brain to get the signal that you are full. If you eat too fast by the time you feel full you will end up being stuffed.

I really noticed a difference in my own eating patterns and my total calorie intake per day after I incorporated small and simple changes as mentioned above. You don’t have to change everything at once, make small steps every single day and remember this is a lifestyle and not something seasonal. We are trying to create new habits and therefore we have to re-program our brain and our “old” habits.