Three simple steps to eating a smaller meal while enjoying it more

Thanksgiving! Christmas! New Year’s Eve! Office parties! Holiday parties! Leftovers! Alcohol!

Result: 7+ lbs. of extra weight each holiday season.

Halloween candy is actually what starts the seasonal binge cycle and for most people, the candy gets into the house in September when the stores start selling it.

So how do we break this cycle? Let’s start with Halloween candy and then we’ll talk about the three easy steps in the title of this post.

First, make it a rule in your house that you are not allowed to buy Halloween candy until the day of or day before Halloween, only if you will actually be giving it out to kids and only the amount you have given out in the past.

If you can’t do that, then you have an addiction problem. If that’s the case, I have a hack for that. Just click here to watch the video.

Now for the three magic steps for big meals/occasions where you typically overeat.

1.) Drink 16 ounces of water one hour before the meal. This will help hydrate you so your hunger mechanism won’t confuse thirst for hunger. This works best, of course, for people who are already properly hydrated, but it still helps for everyone.

2.) During your meal, drink only enough water to wash down bites, only when necessary. Drinking excessive water during your meal will dilute your stomach acid which hampers digestion. Then wait 30+ minutes after your meal to drink larger amounts of water, so your food has had enough time to get broken down fully by your stomach acid. *

3.) Also during your meal, eat slowly and over chew every bite (30+ chews per bite). While you are chewing, think about the taste, texture, smell, etc. of the food. While you are doing that, put your silverware down so you can completely focus on it. Then talk about it with others as much as you can. This is how the Europeans eat and they aren’t nearly as fat as us Americans (although our habits are creeping over there and their waistlines are expanding as a result).

These three steps will reduce your calorie intake by more than 50%!

Pretty simple right? It might not be easy for some, but it is certainly simple!

Oh, and then there’s the alcohol – the appetite stimulant and boundary buster – but that’s for another post…

* What does #2 have to do with eating less, you ask? Well, it’s synergistic with #3 because mindful eating is actually hard to remember to do until you get good at it since it’s a skill that is built with practice. When you are being conscious of your water intake during the meal, it serves as a frequent reminder for the conscious eating, helping to keep you focused on it.

Bonus tip: For some brain types, eating a bite of one food, then taking a bite of another on your plate, then another, cycling around your plate, using the conscious eating method can help satiate faster than eating one thing at a time, then moving on to another food. Try it and see if it helps you enjoy the meal and/or slows you down even more!