The feeling of hunger is not the only motivation for eating. As food can make people feel good, many are guilty of eating even they are not hungry. Some are tempted to eat when feeling angry, stressed, sad, or lonely. The worst part is this makes it easy to fall into the trap of overeating or eating too much in one sitting. This can then lead to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases.
If you tend to overeat, it is likely that you struggle with self-control when it comes to food. Breaking this cycle can be challenging, but it is still possible to kick this habit for good. Family doctors in West Jordan note that you can start with knowing the signs that you’ve overeaten, followed with what you can do stop overeating.
Have you eaten too much?
It is all about how you feel after consuming a meal. If you usually feel bloated or uncomfortable, it is likely that you’ve eaten too much. Here are a few other things that can happen to your body when you’ve eaten more than you should:
- Your stomach expands, resulting in pain or discomfort (feeling swollen or gassy).
- You may feel drowsy or tired.
- Heartburn may set in (especially for greasy foods or those that are harder to digest).
- You may feel extremely full (to the point that you cannot move well).
- You may feel distressed after eating.
- You may feel nauseated.
Persistent overeating may signal binge eating disorder (BED). Common signs include eating faster than the usual, eating large amounts of food (even when you’re not hungry), and consuming food until you feel uncomfortably full. It is best to work with a dietician or a family doctor if you regularly notice the signs of both BED and overeating.
How to stop overeating?
Here are some of the things that can help you kick the habit of overeating:
- Track what you eat. This means recording your food choices, including when, why, and how much you consume. This is beneficial in controlling food portions.
- Avoid distractions. Eating or snacking in front of the TV, computer, or any gadget can cause you to overeat. Be sure to switch off or stay away from any distraction so you can focus on your meal and prevent overeating.
- Engage in mindful eating. This means eating slowly, taking smaller bites, and chewing thoroughly. This allows your brain to get the signal that your stomach is full. Mindful eating, furthermore, helps you to be aware of your senses and emotions to appreciate your food.
- Watch your portions. This applies both when eating at home or at restaurants. You can do this by eating a single serving according to the food label and avoiding buffets. You can also share a meal with a friend and choose healthier options.
- Reduce stress. Everyday stress increases the likelihood of overeating, so it best to find ways to lower stress levels in your life. Some of the things that can help include exercise, meditation, gardening, yoga, and listening to music.
- Eat at the same times daily. Apart from helping you lose weight, regular mealtimes are also good for your BMI and blood pressure. If you, on the other hand, eat at different times or skip meals, you are more likely to eat later in the day.
- Make healthy foods accessible. Preparing healthy food choice enables you to make better choices, especially if you want a snack. Keep unhealthy foods out of sight or stop buying and keeping unhealthy foods in the pantry or fridge.
Don’t let overeating take you over. Consider the tips and signs of overeating mentioned above or get help from healthcare professionals like doctors, dieticians, or psychologists.