3 Ways to Stop Yourself from Overeating
Nutrition is a topic that has the potential to confuse even the most educated consumer. I feel like for every person that is going to tell you something is good for you, there is another that will tell you that it is not. Fat can be good or bad, depending on who you ask. Some sources will tell you intermittent fasting is the way to go, others will tell you you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t eating a small meal every three hours. It goes on and on. When Emily and I talk about nutrition on The Whole Equestrian, we try to keep it simple. Every person is unique in their habits, routines, and eating preferences. We’re not here to tell you that one method is superior to another but we are here to help! So I thought I would touch on a subject that is no stranger to the Equestrian lifestyle: overeating. Those working in the barn tend to let the day get away from them. They spend all day working on their feet only to go home and ravenously eat just about everything in sight (been there, done that!). This pattern tends to become a cycle, and unfortunately, it is one that is neither healthy nor sustainable so I wanted to give you a few tips to help you stop yourself from falling into this trap.
It is not an actual lack of time during the day to eat but a lack of planning ahead that prevents Equestrians from fueling up during the day. An extra 5-10 minutes in the morning is all it takes to eat a balanced breakfast and assemble healthy snacks or small on-the-go meals that will ward off the HANGER associated with the “I just worked a 10 hour day and haven’t eaten anything” phenomenon. Show yourself a little self-love and take the time to make your eating and nutrition and priority and you WILL see the benefits in your energy levels and productivity.
GET OUT YOUR CONTAINER
This is a practice I started in college when I was trying to budget out my groceries for the week and it has really paid off in terms of making sure I hold myself accountable to eating a proper serving size for dinner. When I cook for myself, I make sure I have a container ready to go for my leftovers and I pack away my lunch (or dinner) for tomorrow BEFORE I sit down to have my nice warm meal. Believe me, there are times when I haven’t done this and seconds turn into thirds and the next thing you know there isn’t really enough food left in the pot to justify leftovers so you might as well just go ahead and finish the rest of it off. Sound familiar? Yeah… be proactive and put those leftovers away before you even get a chance to fall down that spiral.
DO SOME MATH
As someone who has gone through phases of counting calories, weighing and measuring all of my food and calculating out macros obsessively, I actually DO NOT recommend any of these methods as part of a sustainable nutrition plan (mostly because the stress of sticking to plans like that can outweigh the positive effects of the nutrition) HOWEVER, if you are overeating and have gotten to the point that you feel you have no control over the situation, it is wise to take a good look at your diet. How many calories on average are you consuming? What is that number in regards to what you are burning? Basically you need to answer the question “am I getting enough nutrition to support my activity level?” If the answer is “no”, overeating may just be your body’s response to fill this deficit. You might just find that when you stay on top of making sure you have enough nutrient-dense foods, cravings for junk start to subside.
Again, it is important to remember that nutrition is very individual. What works for me might not work for you, but you can always be mindful in your choices to ensure that you can remain happy and healthy for many rides to come :) ENJOY IT!