1. Stop Counting Calories: Give yourself the occasional green light for forbidden foods, despite how many calories a treat may contain. Once you let yourself decide, you may find that instead of wanting to eat too much of a forbidden high-calorie food, you’re satisfied with a small portion because you know you can have it again in the future.
2. Don’t Be Fooled By Your Hormones: During the perimenopausal transition (which takes seven to 10 years), what feels like a need for food can often be exhaustion instead. When you’re craving a quick fix—something most easily found in a vending machine or deli, in the form of fatty, processed food—try another tactic before assuming you’re hungry.
3. Focus On Your Food: The more you grab meals on the go and then multitask, the easier it is to lose track of how much you’re actually consuming. Be more mindful when eating (feel the textures, inhale the aromas), because engaging your senses slows down the process, leaving you more satisfied.
4. Wear A Pedometer: This tool helps you connect your hunger level to your activity level. If you know for a fact you haven’t moved that many steps, you may realize you aren’t as hungry as you thought.
5. End Automatic Eating: By midlife many long-term dieters have learned to rely on scheduled mealtimes—rather than their body’s signals—to decide when to eat. Just because the clock says 1 p.m., that doesn’t mean you need a big meal.
6. Experiment With Meal Size: By now you know your personal need-to-eat signs—stomach rumbles, vague crabbiness, an inability to focus—so you should definitely grab a bite before you get to that point. But responding shouldn’t mean stuffing yourself senseless. Tune in to your natural “stop” signals.
7. Eat More Slowly: It takes 20 to 30 minutes for the fullness cue to travel from the stomach to the brain. But over-40 women can have an even harder time knowing when to stop eating, because the hormones that signal satiety are among those that fluctuate during perimenopause. Eating more slowly can help you eat less.
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