At some point in our lives, we have overeaten. If this happens once in a blue moon, you can enjoy all the food you want. However, if this happens regularly, you may want to rethink your eating habits.
Overeating is not healthy for various reasons. For one, you are stuffing yourself even when your body is telling you to stop. Second, research has proven that chronic overeating is related to certain types of mental problems. Either way, you need to look at the reason why you overeat since it is obviously not good for you.
Overeating – Why We Do It
Before I started to choose healthy eating, I was an overeater. I used to find myself looking for food inside the fridge at midnight. This habit seemed normal to me because I used to do it since I was little. Only when I realized how grossly overweight I was did I do something about it.
I think this is true for most people. We think a midnight trip to the fridge and stuffing our mouths with pudding and cake are normal. Most of the time, it becomes automatic that overeaters don’t even realize that they are actually overeating.
On the other hand, there are overeaters who crave for food because they deprive themselves of it. I know this is true for people who are in crash diets. They think that if they don’t eat anything, they are on their way to their target weight. This may work for a couple of days. Unfortunately, by the time that they snap out of this unhealthy diet, they will overeat to make up for the suffering they have put themselves in.
How to Stop Overeating
There is no single technique to stop overeating. However, there are basic ways to address the problem.
Identify the source and address the issue
If you overeat because it is something you have known your whole life, now is the time to stop. Unlike kids, adults do not burn fats efficiently. Our metabolism slows down the older we get so think first before stuffing yourself. Also, there is always room for correcting behaviors that are no longer helpful in your present state. Just because you have been doing it all your life, does not mean it is good for you.
On the other hand, if you are overeating for emotional reasons, you need to look for the trigger. Identify which aspect of your life you are currently not satisfied with. By addressing this issue, you are addressing your problem with overeating as well.
If you are one of those people who overeat because you have been repressing yourself, stop. Eat according to your bodies calorie demand. There are apps or online calculators that can compute your calorie requirements. Identify how much you need and make sure you meet them. Eat a balanced diet and opt for food that satiates your hunger while meeting your calorie requirements and nutritional needs.
Do not stuff your fridge with food
Out of desperation to stop overeating, I stopped doing my grocery. While this may not be the best option for everyone, there are other ways to go about it as well. Perhaps instead of buying junk foods, you stock up on fruits and vegetables instead.
Buying foods that are not packaged or easily prepared is another option as well. I know I get lazy cooking food in the middle of the night. If it is not readily available, I would forget about it and go to bed instead.
Go to Bed Early
I used to stay up late to catch up on my favorite TV series. I realized how that lifestyle is not doing any good to my health so I gave it up.
Research shows that people who stay late at night have higher chances of becoming overweight. Staying late at night not only drives your body clock crazy. It also gives you more time to succumb to temptation. In my case, watching TV series is not enough without food next to me. I mindlessly watched TV while eating. Thank goodness I snapped out of it.
Schedule your meals
One of the best things you can do is to be more conscious about what you eat. There is no better way to do this than by scheduling your meals.
This method allows you to plan your meals not just in terms of time, but in terms of quantity and quality as well. Some people choose to eat two large meals a day. Others choose to distribute their meals to 6 small portions. It depends on what works best for you. However, you have to keep in mind that you should still meet your calorie requirement no matter how you want to schedule your meal.
Do not starve yourself
We talked about this earlier, but the emphasis has to be given here. Starving yourself is only asking for trouble especially since you will absolutely overeat when you have had enough with the torture.
Scheduling your meals can help satiate your hunger so that you do not crave for certain types of food. You may also give in to your cravings every now and then. You can schedule a cheat day just to give yourself a break from your diet.
The idea is to not be too hard on yourself. Dieting is a lifetime commitment. To make it sustainable, you have to compromise. Moderation is the key.
Go to the gym later in the day
If all else fails, choose to go to the gym later in the day. This will give you something to do instead of sitting in front of the television. The best part about this is you will be tired by the time you go home. You will no longer have the energy to think about food or eat.
Overeating can be avoided. All you need is determination and a plan. Think of yourself as a little kid who’s being disciplined on how to eat healthily. Work on your strategies and be consistent with them. Pretty soon you will be conscious about what you eat.