If you are trying to lose weight, you will know that diet and exercise are great contributors to your success. Still, it is important to remember that counting calories is not for everyone, and you should consult your GP or a dietitian before changing your eating habits. Diet and exercise are not the only factors that affect your weight-loss success. Factors like sleep, stress levels and genetics can also affect your progress. Here are 5 things you can do to reduce your chances of overeating. 

1. Start with a glass of water  
Drinking a glass of water before your meal might increase your chances of eating less because water is an appetite suppressant. According to WebMD, if you drink water before your meal, you will reduce your calorie intake by up to 75 calories. 

2. Use a smaller plate 
Have you heard the saying ‘’we eat with our eyes and noses first’’? Eating from a bigger plate can make your food portions look smaller than they really are, making you feel dissatisfied. Once you switch to a smaller plate, you will see the reality of your portion size. 

3. Separate mealtime and TV time
If you are eating too quickly or are distracted while you eat, you will probably not recognise when you are satisfied, which might increase your chances of overeating. Avoid eating in front of the TV. This way, you will have enough time to look at the food you are eating, and be more concious of how much you have had. 

4. Observe the 20 minute rule 
If you think you have not had enough food, wait 20 minutes after eating to decide if you do need a second helping. Experts say it takes 20 minutes for your body to register satiety after a meal.  

5. Leave the leftovers for tomorrow 
While we know that wasting food is not ideal, this does not mean you should be eating everyone’s leftovers. Avoid finishing off leftovers, no matter how small they may be. Rather store them away in the fridge for the next meal or for the following day. 

You might also want to read this post on weight-loss myths debunked and understanding sweeteners.

British Heart Foundation