Listen to “How to Stop Overeating”.
Eating too much in one sitting or taking in too many calories throughout the day are bad habits that can be hard to break. Over time, overeating can lead to weight gain and put you at risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
What are the reasons for overeating, and how can you prevent it?
Perhaps you are having a stressful day, in the middle of significant life changes, or are just exhausted. You might have had a fight with your partner and decide to pick up a pizza because you feel confused or upset and just want comfort food. Food is a wonderfully symbolic substitute.
Many foods, especially carbohydrates, increase the production of serotonin and tryptophan, allowing us to experience a much needed, but temporary, feeling of calm. In these cases, your body is reacting to food like it’s a drug because it is literally changing your biochemical reactions. Your body isn’t actually craving nutrients or calories; it’s craving comfort.
Being tired, stressed, unfocused and even eating certain foods can cause us to overeat. The trick is to resolve these issues and adopt strategies to avoid regular overeating.
Both physical and emotional components can trigger overeating, but these strategies will help you sidestep them all.
Add more awareness into your life
Start with the simple act of noticing what is going in your life when you overeat. Look for patterns and ways to interrupt them. Calling a friend, taking a short walk, deep breathing, reading a book, listening to music, or getting a massage can short circuit the desire to overeat. It will take time and practice, but commit yourself to trying this out for a few weeks and see what happens. You’ll be amazed how effective it is.
Eat real food
The most important factor in losing weight and avoiding overeating is to include real, whole, unprocessed foods in your diet. This means switching to vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, organic, range, or grass-fed animal products (poultry, lamb, beef, pork, eggs), and wild fish.
Turn off the television, put down your phone and really focus on the food you are eating. Eating mindfully allows you to appreciate all the complexities and nuances of the food in front of you. Not only will you be more aware of how much you’re consuming, you’ll also notice the flavours exploding in the first few bites of your meal. This will gradually decrease and becomes less satisfying, reducing your chances of overconsumption.
Stop when you’re full
This may seem obvious, but most of us continue to eat even when we’re full. Eat until your hunger is satisfied, not to clean your plate, please others or for emotional fulfilment. Trust your body’s feedback. This isn’t easy, especially for lifelong dieters. However, with practice, you can learn to trust your body to tell you when it’s hungry and when it’s satisfied.