You might be wondering how to stop eating for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you want a flatter belly.
Maybe you want to lose weight overall.
Or perhaps jollof rice is just an area of your life where you want to have more control.
Whatever the reason you want to learn how to stop eating, these tips will help you immensely.
Just to clarify, this post does not encourage a starvation diet.
When I talk about “how to stop eating”, what I really mean is – “how to stop eating – too much“
I’m sure you already knew that but I just wanted to quickly clarify to be on the safe side.
How to Stop Eating: The Basics
I’ll bet that you have been trying to eat less but what you’re doing just hasn’t worked.
I’ll also bet that whenever you try to stop eating, you usually end up eating more.
This causes you to feel completely out of control and down on yourself.
It’s not your fault.
Here’s the problem
You’re focused on the wrong thing.
When you’re focused on how to stop eating, you’re focused on food.
And when you’re focused on food, guess what happens? You eat more.
It’s a vicious cycle.
In order to break this cycle, you must shift your focus away from food. The remainder of this post will enable you to do exactly that.
Once you gain mastery over each of these items, you’ll find yourself feeling increasingly in control of how much food you eat.
5 Tested Steps to Actually Eating Less
1. Serve your salad & vegetables before your rice
This is one of the biggest things I learned during my nutrition program at Stanford.
Normally, we serve our food in this order.
Rice first, then stew, then meat, then dodo and mayyybe a tiny bit of cole slaw (that is dripping with Heinz salad dressing).
If you’re thinking of how to stop eating, this is such a tiny tweak with big benefits.
If you start by serving your vegetables, you are more likely to eat more vegetables and much less rice.
By making this shift, you automatically consume fewer calories than if you serve your food the traditional way.
2. Pre-pack ALL meals
A lot of people try to cook every night…or worse, right before each meal.
Not only is this time consuming, but also it opens up opportunities to choose foods based on hunger (instead of goals).
I don’t know about you, but everything looks and sounds delicious when I’m hungry.
The best way to ensure that you’re eating less is to pre-plan and pre-pack your food.
Here’s a really good, high quality Nigerian food time table (with pictures)
I tend plan, cook, and pack my meals for the week on Sunday.
When I’m ready to eat, I simply heat up the pre-packed food in the microwave and go.
There is a reason so many fitness professionals do this – it’s efficient and it works.
It works because it removes the need to make any decisions about food when you’re already feeling hungry.
It’s a lot of work upfront, but it’s worth it in terms of the payoff of reaching your ideal weight.
3. Avoid Drinking Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is not bad in the same way that chocolate cake is not bad.
Both of these things are okay if consumed in moderation.
If you’re wondering how to stop eating, however, consider avoiding fruit juice altogether.
When you eat a piece of fruit, you’re consuming fiber along with the juice.
However, when you drink just the juice of most fruits, you get almost no fiber and a lot more sugar.
This combination of high sugar and low fiber is the exact formula for weight gain.
Given the choice between an orange and orange juice, try to go with the orange.
World’s Healthiest foods has lots more to say on this topic – here.
4. Put Healthy Snacks Where You Can See Them
There is usually junk food in my home.
However, they rarely get eaten and it’s because of this tip.
Before I can get to the sugary snacks and drinks, I have to walk past the following items:
- A basket of fresh fruits – usually bananas, apples, and oranges
- A fridge stocked with Greek yogurt, grapes, and healthy pre-packed salads (see #2 above)
- A stash of healthy, unprocessed nuts – usually almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews
In addition, I’d have to push aside a big jug of water, and deliberately dig to the bottom of a big bag in the pantry to get to the junk food.
In other words, I’d have to reallly want the junk in order to get to it.
It’s never the default choice.
I find that it’s so much easier to eat better (and less) when I organize my home and kitchen in this way.
It may not prevent you from eating sugary snacks altogether but I guarantee you that it will drastically reduce the quantity that you do eat.
You might be wondering why I’m not recommending throwing out all the junk food altogether. Afterall, this is what most fitness and nutrition folks recommend.
My opinion on this issue is simple.
If you have the ability to go that route, then I highly recommend that you do so.
However, for most people, this is not a realistic approach.
Personally, I like to always have some cookies and coke in the house so that when guests come over, I have something to serve.
If it’s a Fit Fam friend, I offer healthy options but otherwise, it’s cookies and coke at my house.
5. Remember that You are Not a Dustbin
Do you have any of these habits?
- Clearing your plate so that the food doesn’t go to waste?
- Eating things so that they don’t go bad in the fridge?
- Helping the kids finish their food?
- Eating dinner twice to keep oga company?
If so, please memorize this mantra: “I am not a dustbin”.
I truly say that in the kindest way possible.
Your body is a treasure. It is the only body that you have. It is yours to love and cherish.
It’s not a place to keep food that is going bad or for saving food from going to waste.
Think of it this way.
If you overeat, you will have to exercise to burn that extra weight off.
It is pretty much the same as throwing the food away – except that now, you have to run on a treadmill for 2 hours to get the same result.
Much better to throw it away or, better still, donate the food to the needy.
These five tips are guaranteed to help you eat less and eat better.
Do you have any extra tips that I haven’t covered?
Leave a comment below so others can learn from you.