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What are the Reasons Behind People’s Overeating?
Eating too much in one sitting or eating too many calories throughout the day are normal habits that can be difficult to break. While some people see these behaviors as habits that can be stopped, they may indicate an eating disorder in others.
People who compulsively overindulge use food as their way of coping with negative emotions. As a result, they often feel that their eating habit is out of control. They think about food all the time and feel guilty, ashamed, stressed out or depressed after over-eating.
People often indulge in food as a way to cope with stress and a negative body image. You may establish a diet because you feel bad about your weight or size but find that it’s too hard to stick to, especially since you use food to cope. Eventually, you hit your “breaking point” and binge on foods you’ve labelled as “forbidden”, and then the guilt and shame set in, and the restrictive dieting begins anew.
Side Effects of Overeating
Besides creating a reliance on food to help you cope, you start to gain weight which also becomes another stressor that causes you to overeat. You also become addicted to certain foods (especially sugary and fried foods) because they become soothing/comforting, which also leads to various health issues, such as diabetes or coronary heart disease.
People become so focused on what they want to eat, that they don’t stop and ask themselves why they want to eat. You may forget to ask yourself, “am I hungry?”. If you use food as a way of coping, you will be out of touch with the cues that signal hunger or fullness.
What should I do after Overeating?
Stop thinking that you have to be ashamed of binging, it is done, in the past and now you have to get over it and move on with your life. Sitting around and feeling bad makes you fall back into the cycle of overeating and stress eating. If you feel like you need to break away from this cycle, identify what is the root of your problem and tackle it.
Are you stressed out over your busy work schedule or you’re always feeling tired? Eat more foods that are healthy and naturally high in energy and take the time to go for a walk or exercise.
15 Natural Ways to Stop Overeating
Eating slowly allows you to appreciate your meal while also allowing your brain to send signals to the body that you are getting full. Taking more time to eat may promote a greater sense of fullness and makes you feel as though you ate more than you did.
Get Rid of Distractions
It is very easy to unknowingly binge while you’re watching tv, on your phone or reading a book. Turn off or get rid of potential distractions like phones, computers and magazines. Concentrating on your food during mealtime can help prevent binging.
Identify your Triggers
Identify the unhealthy foods that trigger your overeating spree and keep them out of the house and make healthy options easily accessible instead. Having chips, cookies and other snacks within sight is a primary cause of overeating.
Realize it’s okay to Sometimes Eat What You like
Completely banning foods that make you happy or labeling them as “bad” is unrealistic and makes eating them seem exciting. The core idea behind a sustainable, healthy diet is to concentrate on eating whole, unprocessed foods most of the time while allowing for a treat once in a while.
Stressing out can lead to overeating, so reducing the stress in your everyday life is one important step to tackle overeating. Take steps to reduce stress; go for a walk, exercise, watch a film, etc.
Avoid Eating from the Cartons
Instead of eating food straight from the carton, portion it out. Try measuring out appropriate serving sizes to help train yourself to identify how much food is recommended as an average portion.
Eat more Protein
Protein-rich foods (such as lentils, nuts, meat, protein powders, etc.) tend to create a longer-lasting sense of fullness and satisfaction than other foods. Eating protein-rich foods, especially in the morning, also reduces the levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin.
Consider Meal Prep
Plan ahead for when hunger strikes. The more prepared you are to eat healthily, the less likely you are prone to overeating. Keep your fridge/pantry stocked with healthy and filling foods.
Eat more Fiber
Say no to Sugary Drinks
Avoid sugary beverages such as sodas and processed juices because they’ve been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and other diseases and may be linked to overeating. Drink water instead or homemade juices instead.
Skipping meals in order to cut your calorie intake may cause you to eat more later on in the day. Alternatively, focus on keeping your body feeling satisfied by eating balanced meals made with whole foods.
Track Your Meals
Food diaries, journals, and diet tracking apps can often help minimize overeating and allow you to identify poor eating habits or patterns.
Make sure You Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Eat foods that help keep blood sugar levels constant. High-glycemic foods like candy, chocolate, and white bread can make your blood sugar levels spike then drop, which can lead to overeating. Instead, prefer foods like beans, oats and brown rice.
Consume Healthy Fats
Although high-fat foods are often connected to weight gain and overeating, choosing foods rich in healthy fats can help you eat less. Foods rich in fats (nuts, avocados, nut butter, and olive oil) help you feel more satisfied after every meal and reduce binging.
Eating more slowly, taking smaller bites, chewing thoroughly, being aware of your senses and appreciating your meals are all simple mindfulness practices that will help you.