How To Stop Overeating
So let’s be real from the start. If you clicked on this article, you’re looking for a little help and a little guidance. We get you.
Eating too much in one sitting and taking in too many calories can be a difficult habit to break. And that’s what overeating is, it’s both a behavioral issue and a mentality. But like many other unhealthy behaviors, you can change and break the cycle. It just takes A LOT of mindfulness.
Below, we have a list of ideas to help get you out of your overeating habits. But know that you probably won’t see changes quickly. As with many behavioral issues, stopping your overeating habits will take time and continual effort. But if you are committed to changing this aspect of yourself and your life, we hope this list can help.
1. Remove Distractions & Stressors
First, you have to look at why you overeat. What life experiences developed this habit? But also, what stressors or distractions are triggering and enabling the habit? Whatever those things are, you can start to remove them from your life. So, you’re overeating because of stress from your job? Well, maybe this is a sign that you need to fix that somehow.
On the note of distractions, consider whether you overeat while you watch tv or are snacking in front of your computer. Being distracted while having a meal means that you’re not in touch and in tune with your body during the eating process. How many signs has your body been showing that you haven’t noticed? It’s time to fix that.
2. Know Your Trigger Foods
But stressors or distractions aren’t the only things that can trigger you into overeating. Certain foods may also act as triggers for your overeating habits. For instance, some of your favorite foods may make you want to keep eating and eating them. Imagine all the people you know who practically absorb fries, ice cream, potato chips, and more. Then you have to ask yourself, what kinds of foods do you find yourself overeating.
From there, you can start to ease out of overeating those foods. Consider finding healthy alternatives for these foods. Instead of eating chips and dip, have veggies and hummus. Then, also change the circumstances around when you eat these triggering foods. You don’t always have to have ice cream while you watch your favorite tv show. Sometimes, you can switch snacks or just not have a snack at all.
3. Don’t Ban All Favorite Foods
Of course, that’s not to say that you have to get rid of all your favorite foods. Life, and many things in it, is about moderation. You can still enjoy ice cream, chips, fries, and more. Just make sure that you don’t overeat them. You want balance. If you were to remove these foods from your regular eating cycle, you would just be upset all the time. You don’t want to deprive yourself. Instead, just remind yourself that these foods are treats and not everyday expectations. Let’s be healthy while also leaving you with a little fun in life.
4. Eat Until You're Not Hungry (Not Until You're Full)
Now, this an important lesson for a lot of us. Especially if you live in the United States of America. You DON’T have to eat everything on your plate! Mind-blowing, we know.
A lot of Western cultures, especially U.S. culture, teach us to overeat. We don’t listen to our bodies and, instead, eat the large plates served at restaurants, the large popcorn bags at the movies, etc. Or, we eat when we don't need to because it's lunchtime or we're going out with friends.
Instead of doing that, we should listen to our bodies. Don’t eat until you’re full, eat until you’re not hungry. The whole point of eating is to not be hungry. To keep your body stable and healthy. So instead of overeating, eat to no longer feel hunger.
Of course, this is easier said than done. This will take time and training. But, your body will thank you later.
5. Chew Slowly
To help you along with eating till you’re not hungry, try to eat slowly. Chewing slowly gives our bodies enough time to digest food. If we do that, we can then take the time to listen to our bodies and know when we are no longer hungry. Before long, you’ll naturally find that your stomach will shrink down.
One other benefit to chewing slowly is the idea that you can take time to savor your meals. By chewing slowly, you start to rethink the way you enjoy food. You can take the time to appreciate each bite and appreciate the flavors that come with them.
6. Eat Less More Often
One other idea that’s popular around this topic is eating less more often. What we mean is eating more small meals than a limited amount of big meals. You don’t have to eat a big plate of eggs and pancakes for breakfast, a large sandwich for lunch, and then chicken with rice and veggies for dinner. You can eat some yogurt, hummus and veggies, a modest sandwich, some peanuts, a small plate of chicken and rice, and maybe berries. The idea is to satisfy your craving to eat while stalling off hunger and overeating by enjoying smaller portions.
7. Avoid Eating From Containers
Now when you do eat, make sure that you don’t eat from containers. Get yourself a small plate or bowl instead. The problem is, containers can work a lot like a big plate. You think you want to finish off the food, but it would be unhealthy to do that. And often, bags or cartons come with serving-size labels. Those labels usually say that the container contains more than one healthy serving. Let's not fall for that trick.
8. Stop Thinking About Diets
Lastly, you should get the “dieting” idea out of your mind. It’s not healthy. In the last century, lots of companies made millions by spreading this idea that you need to go on a diet when you gain too much weight. When it comes to overeating, we think the best course correct is to diet. But that’s just substituting one unhealthy behavior for another. Instead, focus on making healthy eating habits. Cutting sugars and fats, for instance. Then, there's eating until you’re not hungry and not until you’re full. Generally, you want to be more mindful with what you eat.
Again, it’s a balancing act. It’ll take some time. But try some or all of these tips and so how far you go.