How to Not Eat Too Much

Recently sent an email to a friend, and said to her,  “My goal today, as most days, is to try not to eat too much.  I have a lot of healthy food in the house right now, and sometimes that is dangerous.” To which she replied, “How do you keep  yourself from eating too much food?”

So I’ve been thinking about that for a couple of days.  Here are some of the things I came up with.

  • Get enough sleep.  Studies show that this helps to curb hunger.
  • Spend some time with God.  The day is ALWAYS better when this comes first.
  • Get outside and take a good walk.  Many days I am resistant to this.  If Noah weren’t around, I’m not sure how much walking would get done.  But what I was thinking about today was that taking a long vigorous walk elevates my mood.  Whether its the sunshine, the fresh air, or the actual exercise I don’t know.  But I usually don’t get so down in the dumps if I’ve had a good walk.  (Down in the dumps =  possible need for comfort food.)
  • Keep on top of my finances.  Live without debt.  I know.  This is a weird one.  But I’m just thinking of things that used to make me anxious.  (Anxious = definite need for comfort food.)
  • As much as is possible, live in peace with everyone.  I bet you’re surprised this is ever a problem for me.  But having unresolved conflict can be a major source of anxiety for me.  Usually it is more of an undercurrent, but it can definitely trigger the ‘need’ for food.
  • Have a plan for the day.  Keep busy.  Of course I am talking about the days I spend at home.  The keep busy is not just housework.  For me it is gardening, quilting (duh) and blogging (double duh!)
  • Eat a good breakfast.  I used to be someone who was proud that they didn’t eat until 1pm.  Yeah, that worked to keep me at 257 pounds for a LONG time.  Now I think of breakfast as my most ‘luxurious’ meal of the day.
  • Choose wisely.  By now I know what foods will satisfy me (meaning I enjoy them plus I know that they will nourish me and keep me satiated for a longer period of time.)
  • Think ahead.  I will think ahead to the next meal, or sometimes plan out the whole day’s menu.  If I know I am going to have a sweet snack in the afternoon, I am more likely to skip the sweet snack in the morning.
  • Be flexible.  If lunchtime comes , and what I have planned no longer appeals to me, I change my plans.
  • Stop when you are full.  Hmmm.  This can be a hard one for me.  Easier to start with small portions.  But sometimes if I realize I have more food than I need in  front of me, I will get up immediately and put part of the food away, then go back and finish the rest of the meal.  Again, this is just what works for me.

That’s all I got for now.  What do you do to keep from eating too much?

Some pictures from the evening walk.

Sophie's always ready to head home.

Bird's eye view of Mr. Monk.



16 thoughts on “How to Not Eat Too Much


    and I too was a NO breakfast person and that was a big part of my problem too. My breakfast, snack, lunch are my biggest meals of the day and OHHHHHHHH SOOOOOOOOO important to keeping my food early in the day when I am active. Early food makes such a big difference in nighttime eating!

    Things from my life that I would add to your list:
    keeping on top of clutter
    drinking my water
    taking my meds
    keeping on top of my secondary conditions (asthma, knees, lower back, migraines, GI) so that I stay pain free and symptom free
    I still weigh and measure portions. This is mostly things like yogurt and cottage cheese – I just use measuring cup instead of serving spoon. But it makes a big difference.

    • Most of yours are things I do that I just didn’t think of. I definitely ‘make’ myself glug a glass of water when I’m feeling ‘snacky.’ And clutter–not sure it makes me want to eat. But I definitely ‘feel’ better if I’ve made a dent in it–was so pleased with myself yesterday when I put two things on my list in the morning, and I accomplished three–SO PLEASED! And, the measuring cup scooper–can’t live without them–so second nature that it didn’t occur to me. And I use them A LOT.

      At first I was going to disagree with the clothes, because I like comfy clothes. But I do use that technique, especially when I am going out to eat.

      Thanks for the additions to the list!

  2. Anyone who reads my blog knows that 4-6 p.m. is my problem time. What has helped me more than anything is to 1) use that time to write my next post or 2) find a brand new blog (preferably someone who is maintaining a successful weight loss) and read it from start to finish.

    I use a lot of your strategies as well. Good ideas!

    • Sharon that is pure genius!! 5-5:45 is my snacky time (that’s when I get home from work)- I’m pretty sure I could bust out a blog post in that time!! 🙂

  3. I do love this post and you’ve reminded me of some things I needed reminding of!

    The only thing I would add – and I realize this isn’t for a lot of people – is watch the alcohol. Sometimes even one glass of wine can lead to two can lead to the munchies so to speak.

  4. Its so important to think ‘ourside the box’ when it ocmes to losing weight. In that i mean that other things effect your eating. Stress, your enviroment all things that you mentioned. To be successful long term at weight loss i think you have to be willing to embrace this idea. After all we all don’t eat just because we’re hungry.

    At 250 pounds i NEVER ate breakfast and like you i extremely proud of that fact. How far could i push it till i was starving and HAD to eat. Crazy! Now i eat oatmeal nearly every morning. The only time its different is when say we are on vacation or hubby and my days off coinside we might do a breakfast out.

    Idle time is a nail in my coffin. So i try to keep busy either my hands or my mind or both! LOL!

    If i can stay away from the TV at night i do much better.
    Great tips here girlfriend! Notice how the breakfast issue tends to be dominant? deb

  5. Great post Debby! I love to read how other people deal with this type of stuff.

    I am a mint popper. When I feel snacky, I reach for an altoid. Yes – they have calories, but I would rather have 3 of those for 15 calories over 200 calories of snacks.

    Keeping meals and snacks spaced out evenly helps me as well because I can sometimes think “Well, in a hour you are eating X, so you don’t need something now”.

    I was never a meal skipper, but my breakfast choices were often pretty poor, like Cinnamon Toast crunch cereal or Pop Tarts. Never knew how much I could enjoy oats. I always thought they were boring and not filling enough!

  6. Great tips! If I can keep on top of sleeping regularly and staying organized and “on plan” in other areas of my life, like housework and finances and writing, I find it much easier to manage my hunger. Don’t get me flustered! 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you answered this question. I really like the first 4 plus the one about thinking ahead. I tend to be impulsive about my food (once I’m home) and have a selective memory about what I’ve eaten.

    I think this post is going to get printed out and put in my Blog of Fame notebook. Actually, I might just make a new page on my blog for posts like these. Yea!!

  8. These are some great tips, Debby! Yes to all of these – especially walks in the fresh air and sunshine. I don’t always work them like I should and end up eating too much, but for the most part, there’s a balance. Some things that help me:

    – I often find “free foods” helpful: broth, flavored tea, mints, gum.

    – I will often try a partial serving of something instead of a full serving, and sometimes that’s just right.

    – I also know I like to clean my plate, so I plan around that, too.

    I’d have to say, though, eating to my blood glucose meter and regular a1c testing are the most valuable accountability tools I’ve got. Those are my non-negotiable thing. But of course, that still gives me a lot of caloric rope with which to hang myself… 😉

  9. Here via Vickie’s link. Thank you for sharing this, it’s a really helpful compilation. 😀

    I’m still struggling with the sleep and walk-instead-of-frustration-food end of things. What I’d add, as other commenters have suggested, is: finding little errands or tasks to do when feeling down. It gives me a boost when I’ve tidied up this or that or finally brought in something for repair.

  10. Water and gum are my go-to standbys when I’m in a munching mood…eventually my jaw gets tired of chewing from the gum and my stomach gets all bloated and full from the water – but I know that I haven’t done myself any harm. Interesting list – and although I never acknowledged it, having my finances under control does keep my eating under control as well.

  11. I like your honest to god truth about how “not to eat too much.” I stumbled upon your blog (via Tag search). So HI!
    That’s exactly what I’m talkin bout! I don’t want anyone counting anything unless it’s how many minutes you’ve moved your bum doing exercise, or how much longer until that souffle possibly flops, oh…and how many more minutes til my squash has baked cause I’m doin pilates and I can’t be interrupted.

    Healthy, Happy Day!

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