You’re curled up on the couch, engrossed in watching your favourite TV show, and a bowl of tempting snacks keeps staring at you from the coffee table. As the drama unfolds on the screen, your hand mindlessly reaches for another handful of chips. Sounds familiar, isn’t it? We’ve all been there! The blackhole of mindless eating which often leads to binge eating or overeating can be dangerous for our health. But with a little determination and the right information we can put a stop to this habit of ours. Here are 6 tips on how to stop overeating for a healthier and fitter you.
Overeating can pose various risks and negative consequences for our physical and mental well-being. If you have been struggling to lose weight, overeating can be one of the major reasons. Your weight-loss journey will become a lot easier if you get a control on your habit of overeating.
Excessive food consumption can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity, which is associated with numerous health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Moreover, the cyclical pattern of overeating followed by restrictive behaviours can disrupt our body’s natural hunger and fullness cues, making it harder to maintain a balanced and intuitive approach to eating. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of our food intake, listen to our body’s signals, and cultivate a healthy and sustainable approach to nourishing ourselves.
Also read: 9 reasons why you may be feeling hungry often and end up overeating
How to stop overeating?
1. Avoid stress eating
Stress eating is a common trigger for overeating. When we feel stressed or overwhelmed, it is easy to turn to food as a source of comfort. A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that acute stress increased the consumption of sweet, high-fat foods in women which leads to weight gain. To break this habit, it’s important to find alternative ways to manage stress. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or pursuing hobbies can help distract from emotional eating.
2. Include satiating foods
Incorporating foods that keep you feeling full for longer can be an effective strategy to prevent overeating and promote weight loss. Foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, provide satiety and promote a feeling of fullness. Additionally, including protein-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and dairy products in your meals can help curb hunger pangs and reduce the likelihood of overeating. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-protein meals led to greater feelings of fullness.
3. Avoid eating while watching TV
Eating while watching TV or engaging in other distracting activities can lead to mindless eating. When our attention is divided, we may consume more food than we actually need. A study published in the Journal Appetite demonstrated that practising mindfulness during meals reduced food intake and increased enjoyment of the eating experience. To combat this, make it a habit to eat meals and snacks at a designated dining area without any distractions. Focus on the sensory experience of eating, savour each bite and pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. By being mindful and present during mealtimes, you are less likely to overeat.
4. Don’t stay up till late
Sleep deprivation affects the regulation of appetite hormones, leading to an increase in hunger and appetite. Research has shown that sleep deprivation is associated with elevated levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and reduced levels of the satiety hormone leptin. This hormonal imbalance can result in increased cravings for high-calorie and carbohydrate-rich foods. So, the next time you want to stay up to binge watch Netflix, you might want to reconsider or otherwise you will end up binge eating.
5. Stay hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day is essential for overall well-being and can also aid in preventing overeating. Sometimes, our body confuses thirst with hunger, leading us to reach for unnecessary snacks. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you at all times and sipping water regularly. Drinking water before meals can also help create a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
6. Track your progress
Tracking your progress can be a powerful tool in combating overeating. Keep a food journal or use a mobile app to record your meals, snacks, and emotions associated with eating. This practice increases self-awareness and helps identify patterns or triggers that lead to overeating. Additionally, tracking your progress allows you to celebrate your successes and make adjustments where needed.
Consider seeking support from a registered dietitian or therapist who can provide guidance and accountability throughout your journey.
Overcoming overeating requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both physical and emotional aspects. By following these tips you can develop a healthier relationship with food and regain control over your eating habits.