We all have times when we might eat too much and feel really stuffed, but it’s easy for this to become a habit…which can lead to over consumption and weight gain.

Whatever the underlying cause of this is, the following tips can help you get back in control of your eating:

  • Go small

Using smaller plates and cutlery will encourage you to eat smaller portions.

  • Fill up on low calorie foods

Change the balance of your meals by having more salads and vegetable portions and cut down on calorie rich carbohydrates. Aim for a maximum of 1/3 of your plate as carbs.

  • Plan your dessert in advance

Making this a firm decision before the meal makes it much easier to do, and helps to avoid the cheesecake!

  • Only serve what you intend to eat

If you over cook, or cook extra in batches for other days, then pack away what you aren’t going to eat straight away, to prevent the temptation for seconds.

  • Think before you chew

Eating slowly will give your body more time to recognise that it’s getting full. Some of us take longer to respond to this, so don’t be impatient and eat too quickly. Try eating whilst sitting down and just enjoy the break and the experience. Eating on the move will encourage you to eat too quickly, and often too much because of it.

  • Go crunchy

If you are cooking vegetables, don’t over cook them. Eating them when they still have some crunch will encourage you to eat less, and will keep you feeling full.

  • Be colourful

When making salads, use as many colours and textures as possible – the brightness and variety of colours helps us feel that we are eating a large meal and that we are getting all the nutrients we need. Clever stuff…but it works!

  • Be smarter with your starter

When choosing starters aim for a soup (without bread) or salad as they are proven to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

  • Cut it up

When eating fruit, trying slicing or cutting it into pieces first as this makes it feel like a bigger portion.

  • Drink

Don’t forget to have a cup of your begu appetite healthy tea before the meal as this will help you eat smaller portions. If you normally go for seconds, have a glass of water first to give your brain a little more time to know its full. It really does help to fill you up!

Ann has 8 years experience of working in the area of behavioural change, and in the field of nutrition for 5 years.