Why We Overeat And How You Can Stop

Large bowl of popcorn

Today’s news is filled with stories about obesity rates in America, which, continue to climb in spite of all the attention the problem has received. Much of the problem with obesity is related to what we eat, but how much we eat is also a big concern. Many people have no idea of the correct portion size of any food, so they’re overeating without even knowing it.

5 Reasons Why We Overeat

There are many reasons why we overeat; some of which we may not even recognize. But, before we can conquer our overeating problem, we must recognize it. Here are some of the reasons why we may be overeating.

1. Habit

Once you get into the habit of eating a certain amount of food, or eating at certain times of the day, you’ll often continue to do so whether you’re hungry or not.

For instance, if you become accustomed to eating dessert every night after dinner, you may eat it even when you are already stuffed from the meal.

2. Boredom

Many people use overeating as an activity to stave off boredom.

3. Stress

Many people turn to food for comfort.

4. Not recognizing when we’re full

Many people eat until they’re stuffed at every meal. But, it takes our bodies a few minutes to send the signal to our brains that we’re full.

5. Social pressure

Meals are activities in our life. Social gatherings often revolve around food. We meet our friends for dinner and happy hour and celebrate most holidays around a big meal.

If we eat just because the occasion calls for it; we may find ourselves overeating. We may also find ourselves overeating more often at social gatherings than in regular meals at home.

5 Solutions for Overeating

1. Recognize your triggers

If you eat because of stress or boredom, learn to recognize when these feelings are sending you to the kitchen. Then redirect yourself to another activity that will fill your void or calm you down.

2. Learn the signs of hunger

If you can learn to eat only when you’re hungry, and stop eating a few bites before you truly feel full, you’ll be able to really make a difference in your overeating.

3. Get tempting foods out of the house

If there are foods you simply can’t resist overeating; don’t have them around. You can’t eat what’s not there. If you have to go out to the store and buy it, chances are you’ll do without.

4. Plan social events that don’t involve food

Meet your friends for a night at the theatre or a game of tennis rather than for dinner or happy hour.

5. Learn portion sizes

If you know what a portion of each food looks like, you can better control how much you eat, and learn to be satisfied on less food.

Overeating is not always easy to conquer. But, with some attention to the triggers that cause it and some strategies for reducing the amount you eat, you can reduce your portions without feeling deprived.

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