How to stop calorie counting and prevent overeating

A lovely client of mine recently cracked her complicated relationship with food and a few months on has kindly emailed me to thank me for my support and let me know what particularly worked for her. I am so delighted for her and wanted to share her techniques as I think they’re spot on and very inspiring.

Happy-WeightThis approach really works to help extract yourself from a miserable cycle of disordered eating (rigid calorie counting interspersed with overeating and guilt) – although it takes a strong will and determination to change!

Tried and tested tips:

  • Rather than rigorously calorie counting and obsessing over your ‘allowed’ foods all day long, listen to your body. Do you really want it? WHY do you want it? Are you really hungry or are you just bored? If you’re hungry, eat it. If you’re not, choose not to eat it (rather than deny yourself it).
  • Think about how you’ll feel after you’ve eaten something – happy? Or guilty? If you want something – and really want it, don’t just want it as a distraction – then have it, and savour it. Don’t make the anticipation of you dinner more enjoyable than the food itself.
  • Allow yourself to get hungry rather than panicking about feeling your stomach rumble. It’s OK to feel hungry between meals – you don’t need to constantly snack to ward it off. Allow yourself to work up an appetite and then really enjoy your meals when you eat them.
  • If you’re full before you’ve cleared your plate, stop eating; don’t mindlessly carry on just because it’s there in front of you. Alternatively, stop eating just before you feel full – even if there is more food available to you. This might kick against any “clear your plate/waste not want not” instincts but it means you will eat less and will also feel less bloated and uncomfortable when you’ve finished.
  • Look at the nutritional content of items rather than just instinctively eating or buying them – being more aware of what you’re putting into your body may cause you to reassess!
  • Give yourself specific meal times and plan what you’ll eat, rather than being caught short and having to grab something on the run.

© Sarah West Nutrition

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