Why do we overeat?


Nov 23, 2023

Be kind to yourself. While personal choice plays a role in how much we eat, overeating is usually the result of multiple factors, both internal and external. Get to know some of them and learn how to avoid eating more than your body needs next time.
1. Distracted Eating: Nutrition studies show that eating while engaged in another activity, such as working at a desk, watching TV, or driving, can lead to consuming
more than you realize. Sit at a table in the kitchen, dining room, or somewhere else where you can escape distractions during each meal and engage your senses in the
2. Eating Too Quickly: Often associated with nutrition, eating too quickly can lead you to eat beyond the point of fullness. To give your brain time to receive the signal from
your stomach that you’re full (about 20 minutes), you should pace yourself while eating. Try putting your fork down between bites and pay attention to your eating
pace; this will put you in a better mood by satisfying your hunger.
3. Deprivation: Many children will ask you to put some of their favorite foods on the “no” list. While it may be wise to reduce some treats, abstaining from some of your
favorite indulgences usually has one result: the next time, you’ll eat too much. Instead, set limits on the food that triggers overeating. If you know it’s hard to eat just one
piece of chocolate, stick to the rule: only eat high-quality chocolate that you buy once a month.
4. Emotional Eating: Sometimes we forget that the role of food is to nourish our bodies, not our emotions. Remember that good nutrition offers long-term benefits overimmediate satisfaction. Celebrate your triumph, comfort yourself, or take care of your well-being by engaging in non-food-related activities. When emotions are strong, emotional eating can easily lead to overeating. Congratulate yourself on your improvement by spending a relaxing afternoon with friends or calling a loved one when you’re feeling down.
5. Uncontrolled Stress: Chronic stress can increase the release of cortisol hormones in your body, which boosts your appetite and makes you crave high-fat and sugary
foods. If you stock up, you may not only overeat but also face other health issues, from headaches to sleep problems and more. Use stress management strategies to
control tension and overeating.
6. Portion Sizes: When we look at food portions in restaurants and stores, it’s no surprise that we eat more than before. For instance, in the 1950s, the average muffin weighed about 90g; today, it’s likely closer to 200g, double the size. Try to halve your portion before taking the first bite.
7. Skipping Meals: Have you ever skipped breakfast and then eaten too much for lunch? When our blood sugar is low, we eat more than we need – this is a side effect of skipping meals. Eat three small meals – ideally six small meals a day – to maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid excessive hunger.
8. The Clean Plate Club: Many of us have learned to eat until the food in front of us is gone, not when we feel full. If you’re still accustomed to this, allow yourself a modest
amount of food at first. If you’re truly hungry, you can always go back for more, but you may discover that you actually need much less than usual.

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