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Filtering by Category: Weight Loss

5 Tips to Avoid Overeating

Lisa Eberly

Overeating. We’ve all done it from time to time. Maybe the piece of cake you were eating was so good, you finished it off even though your stomach was full. Or perhaps you ate the entire half-pound burger, even though you know you would have been satisfied with a smaller one. But you were treating yourself to a meal out, so you told yourself it was okay.

The reality is that overeating every once in a while isn’t going to cause you to pack on the pounds or drive you to an early grave because of its detrimental impact on your health. However, if you tend to eat too much on a regular basis, both of these consequences could very well occur, making finding ways to avoid overeating a priority to your health, and possibly even your life.

Here are five tips to avoid overeating to consider:

1. Eat Slowly. Why does this simple suggestion work? The Harvard School of Public Health explains that “eating fast short-circuits the signals that your digestive system generates to signal that it’s getting full.” By eating more slowly, you give your body time to communicate to your brain that you’ve had enough, helping you to stop before it’s so full that it physically hurts.

2. Eat When You Get Hungry. In a post on WebMD, Elaine Magee, MPH, RD explains that if you eat when you're physically hungry, then you’re eating in a “mindful and relaxed state.” This helps you avoid feeling deprived of food, which is often the result if you try to ignore the hunger. Deprivation can lead to food obsession, thus causing you to overeat even though you feel like you shouldn’t be eating at all.

3. Let yourself eat what you want sometimes. If you’re trying to spend a majority of your time eating healthy, good-for-you foods, then giving yourself small opportunities to enjoy some of your 'unhealthy' favorites in moderation can help make your eating plan easier and more enjoyable. After all, when you know a treat is ahead, making healthier eating choices isn’t quite so daunting a task. I recommend tihs frequently with my clients -- rather than thinking something you love to eat is 'off-limits,' it is simply 'saved for later.'  

4. Get More Protein in Your Diet. Ask the American Council on Exercise (ACE) what to do to avoid overeating and one suggestion that is offered is to get more protein in your diet. ACE reports that this “can help you avoid high blood sugar spikes that may lead to consuming more calories.” Two of the best sources they hope you consider are lean meats and almonds (the latter is thanks largely to studies that found that people who snack on almonds prior to eating tend to lose more weight). However, it is important to remember that almonds are packed with calories, so keep it to a small handful. 

5. When You Eat, Do Nothing Else. Have you ever sat down with your lunch while reading or watching TV, only to look down at your plate at some point to discover that it is gone and you don’t even remember eating it? That’s why Eating Well says that you should “focus on your food” so you know exactly how much you are eating. Plus, this enables you to pay attention to those fullness cues that are signaling you that you’ve had enough.

Follow these five tips and overeating will be a thing of the past. Or, at least it won’t be such a big part of your present, which makes it good for your health.

My most important tip, however, when it comes to overeating is of course to practice Mindful Eating. Focusing, eating slowly, appreciating the source of food, and paying close attention to your body's fullness cues are all essential in eating the right amounts of food at the right times for optimal health. 

Pieces of this article were contributed by Shelly Stinson

Whole Milk & Weight Loss

Lisa Eberly


So as far as I’m aware, there are two very different myths out there when it comes to milk.

Myth #1: ALWAYS drink non-fat milk, whole milk will make you fat.
Myth #2: Whole milk will help you lose weight.

Confusing, eh? What do you guys think?

The truth? Somewhere in between.

There is science out there to support that drinking whole milk will help you lose weight. Over 12 years, that study found that intake of high-fat dairy products was associated with lower obesity risk in males. (I’m going to give you my thoughts on the most important science about milk below.)

HOWEVER, there are a few other things to consider as to how this works.

1. Drinking fat will help increase satiety, so you will feel more full after drinking full-fat milk than after drinking non-fat. This will keep you from eating more throughout the day.

2. There might be other ingredients in full-fat milk contributing to the health benefits. Whole fat milk has several other potential vitamins and mineral that may get eliminated when removing the fat, or may lose their functioning without fat to digest them with.

3. When drinking non-fat milk and feeling less full, what is the average person going to run toward? Carbs. Sugar. Processed foods. Generally, less healthy options.

4. Many milk and dairy products that are non-fat replace the fat with other ingredients to make it taste better. What are these ingredients? Carbs. Sugar. Processed/refined sugars. All worse for your health and waist line than saturated fat.

5. Saturated fat is not only still fat, it’s the bad kind of fat. Whole milk has saturated fat, which has been consistently linked to cholesterol levels and heart disease, in addition to other chronic diseases. High consumption of saturated fat is no bueno, it’s much healthier to fill up on unsaturated fat, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease.

So, what’s this all mean?

Whole milk will make you feel more full than non-fat milk. Thus, by drinking it, you’ll end up not only wanting less milk, but less food after you drink the milk, leading to less calorie consumption from sugars and carbs throughout the day.

However, the saturated fat in whole milk is not the ‘healthy’ kind of fat, so don’t get too crazy. The same satiety effects come from healthy unsaturated fats without the added cholesterol trouble. These include nuts, fish, avocados, and olive oil. Eating any of these will also keep you full so you’ll eat less calories.

Additionally, the satiety effects of whole milk will only happen if you are eating/drining mindfully. Guzzling down a whole jug of whole milk is not healthier for you than non-fat. Drinking it slowly so you can have a chance to experience the satiety is the only way to get the effects. Similarly, if you aren’t compensating for the calories by not eating as much through the day, you’re also not getting the effects. Eat mindfully and you will notice you aren’t as hungry, so you shouldn’t eat as much.

Where do I stand?

Let me give you some science that really blew my mind. So there’s this really incredible branched chain fatty acids called phytanic acid. It is an agonist (it ‘helps’) a particular enzyme in the liver whose job it is to metabolize fat. Ergo, this phytanic acid helps your body burn fat (a good thing!). The bummer is that this enzyme is really rare, it’s actually only consumed via one food: dairy fat. So, drinking full-fat milk gives your body a ton of phytanic acid to help it metabolize fat!

More science? Well, we all know fiber is good for us/will help regulate weight, right? What does fiber do/why is it good for us? Fiber is pretty much food for the bacteria in our gut. SO, it is fermented in the gut to make short-chain fatty acids, mainly butyric acid, actually. Butyric acid is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and is really good for you in regard to preventing chronic inflammatory diseases, including obesity. So eating fiber creates butyric acid, which is awesome.

So is there any way to skip the fiber and just get some straight up butyric acid? Yep. The only dietary source of butyric acid is…..full-fat dairy. Yep. Thus, dairy fat may be as effectively good for you as fiber is. BAM.

So, I’m a proponent of the full-fat dairy. Go wild, but be careful is you are limiting or should limit your saturated fat intake (cholesterol!).

What kind of milk do you guys prefer?

How many calories should you actually be eating?

Lisa Eberly

calorie counting.jpg

I am not a big fan of counting calories, but a lot of people are into it, and for many people it can be really helpful, particularly if you have nutrition or weight goals in mind. 

Basically, your daily caloric intake should equal your BMR, plus some wiggle room for activity.

Sooo….what the heck is a BMR?

BMR is your basal metabolic rate. Your basal what a who now rate? Your basal metabolic rate refers to the number of calories your body burns just by living. Breathing, sitting, standing, sleeping, eating, just living your life. It is the amount of energy you burn through daily.

So, if you eat the same number of calories you’re burning through, you will maintain your weight. If you eat more calories than you’re burning, you will gain weight. If you eat less, lose weight. It’s really actually very simple. Once you exceed the calories you burn by 3,500 calories, you gain one pound of fat. If you burn 3,500 calories more than you’re eating, you lose one pound of fat. So, if you’re burning 1,700 calories a day and eating 2,200 calories per day (without working out or being active at all), you will gain one pound in one week. Ideally. Research indicates that it may not be quite as simple as that, but in many cases it likely is.

A lot of people think that everyone’s BMR is 2,000 calories/day. That’s where the notion of a 2,000 calorie diet comes from. That’s wrong. Everyone has a different BMR based on gender, age, height, weight, muscle, genetics, and the list goes on.

Here’s how to (roughly) calculate yours using something called the Harris-Benedict Equation:

Women = 655 + (9.6 x weight) + (1.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)
Men = 66 + (13.7 x weight) + (5 x height) – (6.8 x age)

This equation uses height in centimeters and weight in kilograms. To convert weight, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. To convert height, multiply your height in inches by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters.

Example: A 5’7’’, 140 pound, 24-year-old girl (Hi! That's me!):
Height: 67 inches x 2.54 = 170.18 cm
Weight: 140 lbs ÷ 2.2 = 63.64 kg

655 + (9.6 x 63.64) + (1.7 x 170.18) – (4.7 x 24) = 1,442 calories/day

Therefore, she should not eat more than 1,452 calories per day to lose weight, if she is not active.

But...I am active....

Based on your lifestyle, you have some room to add calories. 

If you're relatively active, multiply your BMR by 1.1-1.3 to get the number of calories you should be eating. 

If you're very active, multiply it by 1.3-1.5.

If you're extremely active (daily workouts, high intensity), multiply it by 1.5-1.7.

To reach your goals without counting calories, I recommend seeing a dietitian to help you not have to worry about them! 

So who did that calculation? What’s your BMR?!