It is the question that many ask themselves, some in secret, others out loud.
Someone may tell you something like “you can only achieve this with a will,” or like “you will only be able to do it if you apply this spell that Aunt Juana taught me,” or perhaps “I think you should get bariatric.” The result is that you end up blaming yourself for lack of willpower or not trying hard enough, and this makes you eat more! And to top it off, you see that you gain weight, and you feel like it’s out of control.
However, there could be something else at stake.
First, it is essential to understand the causes. And of course, overeating can have many causes. The fact is, no one recognizes that the problem may be more straightforward than it seems. The real reasons you eat more than you want may surprise you, and many of them are relatively easy to fix.
My answer to your question is YES!
Many lifestyle habits tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out what things you’ll want to do differently.
How to deal with eating habits that make you overdo it:
- Be flexible. You may think you are being virtuous for starting a super strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so depressed that you end up eating a whole pizza.
- Reduce your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited amount of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety quenches the appetite.
- Eat carefully. Overeating happens when you are busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Try not to nibble while cooking or if you stay at the table after dinner.
- Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that it is full. Chew well and pause between bites. A trick to do this is to leave the silverware on the plate while you chew (you can count the times to a minimum of 30). If you practice it every day, very quickly, you will do it without thinking about it.
- Listen to the cravings (maybe some area of your life needs pampering). Strong urges often try to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from being so hungry that you crave junk food.
- Avoid low-fat foods. Did you know that low-fat foods typically have only 10% fewer calories? Plus, they often contain more sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more. The energy from fat lasts longer, and your body uses it better.
- Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to determine how much to eat based on the number of calories in food. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your mind loses the ability to make correct judgments.
How to deal with other lifestyle habits that cause you to overdo it:
- Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Get to bed early consistently so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you are enjoying Christmas dinners and office parties. Try to find a healthy lunch partner so you can support each other.
- Get more exercise. Physical activity burns calories and helps fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week.
- Face your feelings. While it is natural to associate food with celebration and comfort, it is important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
- Talk to your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much damage, but there are sometimes deeper issues at stake. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and embarrassed about eating, talk to your doctor. There are effective treatments available.
Eating disorders may have other causes.
Eating too much can be the symptom of a disorder. It is important to determine if you have “compulsive eating disorder” or “binge eating disorder.” Very often, they are used interchangeably. However, these are different types of eating disorders.
When you have a compulsive eating disorder, you overeat consistently and continuously, but not necessarily in excess amounts each time you eat. Also, you may only eat small amounts of food at a time, but the accumulation of food eaten at a steady rate can lead to overeating.
When you have binge eating disorder, you eat a large amount of food at one time, leading to overeating.
Understanding why you are overdoing it is the first step in finding solutions that allow you to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to control your eating so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.
Being the nonchalant me, I would never have taken this to be any serious before, but it actually makes sense to see this here. I really appreciate all that has been shared here with us all, and it makes so much sense, so see this here. I fancy all hat has been shared here, and I think this would make so much difference for us all. Thanks for sharing this with us all
Thank you so much! I appreciate your comment. It definitely is a serious health issue that goes beyond an individual’s will. It might be long-lasting programming of the person’s eating habits, which can be solved with consistency one step at a time. But sometimes it is a symptom of an underlying mental health issue. I am glad I could call your attention to this topic that is causing so much trouble in people that struggle with compulsory or binge eating.
Overeating can be very bad for the body sometimes, as much as there is need to eat and have the right to eat a d have the right nutrients in it, it’s also important that we watch how we eat. You have helped with some vita tips on how to go about it and I believe they will work well. Working out and having enough sleeping would he very handy here.
Thank you, Lawson! I appreciate your comment. I agree, eating is one of the most important human activities, yet we are sometimes unaware of how much harm we are letting into our bodies. I love this article shed some light on this current health topic.
Thank you for the article
I agree with you that ‘Understanding why you are overdoing it is the first step in finding solutions’ . And like you said reasons for overeating are not complex. Immediately we stop and pay attention, we begin to understand and when we understand we can do something about it, I was laughing because most of what you wrote I am familiar with but not practicing it. Thank you for a reminder
Thank you! Bogadi. I appreciate your comment. Certainly, most of us know what to do, but we don’t. I tell my clients to notice what motivates them to overeat from curiosity rather than judgment. At the end of the day, the act of eating comes out of good intention.