Why do People Overeat
It is easy to eat too much food in one sitting with so many factors that will push you towards mindless eating, including stress, lack of sleep, boredom, deficiency of nutrients, and eating too fast.
Although people try to lose weight by reducing their daily caloric-count through a restricted diet, they actually gain weight when they fail to stick to a long-term diet and end up overeating to satiate their cravings. There is a psychological factor that if they do not reach their desired weight, they feel so terrible that they overeat.
Luckily, there are some strategies that will help you in controlling your appetite and stopping yourself from obsessive overeating.
9 Ways to Stop Overeating and Lose Weight
While these tips will stop you from eating too much food, you do not have to worry over the number of calories you take.
1. Do Not Keep All Your Favorite Foods Out of Your Diet
Restricting yourself from having all your favorite foods may make you want to binge on unhealthy things. So, though you have to mostly eat unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts, olive oil, lean meat, and fishes like salmon that are rich in nutrients, it is equally important to allow yourself an occasional treat.
This one may especially help those transitioning to a vegan diet, as cravings are normal when you are restricting your diet in that way. So, find some vegan substitutes for your favorite treats.
2. Avoid Getting Distracted While Eating
Eating mindfully by putting away or turning off potential distractions like computers, phones, and magazines allows you to focus on the present and be aware of your senses, thoughts, and emotions while taking food.
Simple mindful practices like taking small bites, eating your food more slowly, chewing thoroughly, and appreciating your food can help in reducing emotional eating and overeating, especially after a busy day at work.
Practicing mindfulness also helps to avoid overeating when you are trying to quit smoking or drinking, as it is common to want to suppress your nicotine or alcohol cravings with food.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress is known to increase the levels of cortisol hormone in the body, increasing appetite. Several studies have linked stress with binge eating, and weight gain. You may consider doing yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, gardening, and listening to music to reduce your stress levels. Reducing stress by exercising regularly helps alleviate depression and lessens overeating tendencies.
4. Write Down Everything in a Food Journal
Self-monitoring by writing down what and how much you eat, and how you feel after eating specific items will make you aware of the situations where you will possibly overeat. So, you can be careful the next time you are eating out, or having a cheat day.
5. Get sufficient amounts of sleep at night
Try to get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night to control the fat-regulating hormones and reduce cravings. Scientific studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes your body to develop resistance to the hormone insulin, making you susceptible to obesity and type-2 diabetes. And it is also normal to want to snack on something to stay alert when you feel sleepy at work, causing you to eat more than necessary.
6. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Skipping the morning meal makes you feel hungrier through the rest of the day, causing you to eat more than you normally would to feel full. A research study has revealed that people who eat breakfast regularly can shed excess weight more easily, keeping it off for longer. Eating your meals regularly helps keep your blood sugar levels constant, also reducing your chances of overeating.
Skipping a meal, especially the breakfast, can also make you feel hungrier after a workout session. It may then cause you to eat more than you need, keeping you from getting the whole result of your regular exercising schedule.
7. Do Not Eat Food Straight From Containers
Eating foods like chips or ice cream out from the box can cause you to overeat. Make sure that you measure out a serving size in a bowl or on a plate to prevent yourself from consuming excess calories. Moreover, measuring and plating the food would help prevent your mind from running aimlessly and stop you from eating out of boredom.
8. Eat Out With Like-Minded People
Choosing to dine with friends who eat similar amounts as you, and have similar preferences may help you make healthier food choices, lessening your chances of mindless eating.
9. Go For Brisk Walks
Going outside for brisk walking or running not just helps in isolating yourself from the sweets and other foods you crave, but also releases endorphins, which are ‘feel-good’ chemicals responsible for triggering a positive feeling in your brain, while turning off food cravings.
Use these tips to try and break your habit of overeating. Some of these may also come handy for controlling unhealthy cravings and overeating during pregnancy. If you are still unable to get a hold of your eating habits, you can consult a professional dietitian or health care provider who can guide you with making smarter choices for a healthier lifestyle.