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6 Ways To Avoid Overeating

First Posted: 09/18/11 11:47 AM ET   Updated: 11/18/11 05:12 AM ET

By Tina Haupert

In my book, "Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time," I share my experiences and advice on how to lose the pounds and keep them off.

Instead of suggesting restrictive dieting and obsessive calorie counting and endorsing constant hunger, I show readers they can shed pounds by adopting eating habits that are healthy, balanced and, above all, livable.

It’s possible to hang out with friends without packing on the alcohol pounds, navigate buffet tables at parties and handle the holidays painlessly. Read on for my top six tips to avoid overeating.

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  • Eat Enough During The Day

    I've noticed that if I don't eat substantial meals that include fiber-packed carbs, low-fat protein and healthy fats, I usually encounter crazy cravings later. Now I make sure that all of my meals and snacks include a combination of all three. <strong>More from Health.com:</strong> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20524121,00.html" target="_hplink">9 Summer Diet Tips to Stick to in the Fall</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20500418,00.html" target="_hplink">9 Easy Ways to Sneak in More Exercise</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20454528,00.html" target="_hplink">25 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day</a>

  • Keep "Trigger Foods" Out Of The House (Most Of The Time)

    Cookies, chocolate and cereal are foods that give me trouble when it comes to portion size. Instead of keeping my favorite foods in the house, I purchase them only once in a while. I love peanut butter chips, but I buy them only every other month or so because I know I will finish off the bag in less than a week. Every now and then it's okay to splurge, but I don't let myself have these treats in the house on a regular basis. When it comes to cereal, I buy mostly "healthy" cereal that I tend not to overdo it with. Kashi is one thing; Frosted Mini-Wheats are another!

  • Don't Mistake Thirst For Hunger

    In the afternoon, especially right after lunch, I always feel hungry. But much of the time, my hunger pangs are satisfied with a big swig of water or a hot mug of tea. A little hydration goes a long way when it comes to dealing with emotional eating.

  • Eat By The Clock

    If I just ate a meal or a snack, I will try to wait at least 20 minutes before I eat something else. When I wait, I put a buffer between myself and the food, which helps make the temptation go away -- at least most of the time!

  • Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself

    A single slipup isn't going to cause a huge gain in pounds. If I do overdo it, I don't let it become an excuse to continue to eat poorly, though. I don't get down on myself, and I make sure to get back on track the very next time I eat.

  • Just Don't Start

    Especially, when it comes to baking, I don't let myself taste my treats until it's time to do so. If I bake muffins for breakfast the night before, I don't allow myself to have one until the next morning. Same goes for cookies or blondies -- I wait until dessert time. Otherwise, I'll start eating them and not stop. If I pick a specific time to enjoy a muffin or cookie, I savor it during that set period and cut myself off after that. <strong>More from Health.com:</strong> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20524121,00.html" target="_hplink">9 Summer Diet Tips to Stick to in the Fall</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20500418,00.html" target="_hplink">9 Easy Ways to Sneak in More Exercise</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20454528,00.html" target="_hplink">25 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day</a>

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Filed by Julie R. Thomson  |