Even when you’ve just eaten a full plate of food and finding yourself getting an extra serving, or reaching for another slice of chocolate cake, then yes, you are overeating. Sometimes, we may realize that we’re already overeating. Unfortunately, there are other times that we may not be conscious of it at all.
So, why do we overeat? Is there a way to finally stop this habit once and for all? Let’s find out.
Overeating: a rising problem in first world countries
If you find yourself eating more than you’re supposed to, chances are, you are not alone. Like developed countries such as the United States, obesity is becoming a massive problem for the population. The root cause of this problem is overeating.
About one-third of the American population is suffering from obesity. Because of obesity, various major health problems like stroke, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers arise as a result of the problem. Another country with obesity on the rise is some parts of Europe.
The main reason why we’re overeating is the prevalence of processed foods promoted in the market has conditioned our mind that it is good. While this is one reason, there are several other causes why most of us find ourselves stuffing our faces more than we should.
What are the causes of overeating?
The reasons for obesity and overeating are many and varied. Again, one common reason is that the market is prominently promoting processed food is good. Many of our food is loaded with preservatives and sugar that is equivalent to drug addiction, making us reach out for more food than usual.
However, there are also other why we overeat. These reasons include:
Yes, we all have those days – crazy boss at work, unruly kids at home, major exams to prepare at school, disorganized schedules. These are just some of the issues in life that we encounter that can stress us out. When this happens, we tend to reach for unhealthy, processed junk we call ‘comfort food’ and munching mindlessly even if we are already full.
- Unpredictable hunger cravings
Food commercials we see on TV, or billboards we pass on the street that displays irresistible fast food meals and snacks. The next thing we find ourselves buying food from the stores so that we can satisfy the cravings we’ve had for days. Often, we may even stock up our kitchen with a lot of these processed food in the process.
- Getting used to the habit
Sometimes, we would usually have an evening routine of watching TV while eating chips or chocolate. Unfortunately, even if we are not following the usual routine, we still find ourselves scouring the pantry for chips or chocolates even after a meal.
- Eating foods that still make you hungry
If you didn’t know this by now, some foods make us hungry again instead of feeling sated. The usual culprits include foods that have a lot of sugar and sodium or salt. These foods like refined carbohydrates including rice, pasta, and white bread unknowingly make us feel hungry again even if we have eaten enough.
- Following crazy diet schemes
Most people have the wrong idea that starving oneself can help lose weight faster. Unfortunately, this is not true. When we deprive ourselves of food instead of eating the right way, we end up putting in more and as a result gaining weight or more instead.
So how do we break away from this overeating dilemma?
If you have already acknowledged the triggers that cause you to overeat, that could be an excellent start to getting rid of the habit. It’s better to identify the problem early before succumbing yourself to health issues by following these natural methods. Here are five effective natural ways to stop overeating:
- Eat a nutritious and proper diet
We all know that foods that have a lot of sodium and sugars like refined carbohydrates and junk foods have less or no nutritional value at all. Eating more can cause your body to store more fat instead of breaking them down by digestive enzymes.
Instead of that, opt for nutritious, whole foods to chow on like fiber-rich foods, green and leafy vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fats and protein. These foods have the sufficient amount of nutrition and antioxidants needed by the body and can make you feel more sated.
- Try and lower your levels of stress
Another common factor contributing to eating too much, stress can also lead to a lot of health complications. Lower your stress levels by practicing breathing exercises, yoga and meditation to keep yourself calm and centered. When we lower our cortisol levels, it reduces stress and would result in suppressed appetite and weight loss.
- More healthy fats, not less
We may not realize that our bodies also need fats to lose weight. However, the kind of fats we need are the healthy kinds. We should consume more foods that are rich in healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, dairy products, seeds, and nuts.
- Monitor what you stock up in your kitchen and pantry
Measures like eating before going grocery shopping can help lessen the chance of buying more unnecessary food at home. Not only that, we would not be munching along as well. Moreover, make a list of whole, fresh foods to buy instead of mindlessly grabbing things from the aisles.
Aside from that, you can also make a journal of the foods that you are eating daily. Doing this helps you identify the triggers of making you eat more and avoiding those kinds of foods.
- Consider following healthy diets, or intermittent fasting
We all know that overeating leads to weight gain and exercise is only one minor solution to your weight concerns. The answer to your weight woes is eating the right food and eating habits. When you try expert-recommended diets like Ketogenic and Paleo, these promote the idea of loading up on healthy foods instead of processed ones to lose weight faster. If you’re considering intermittent fasting, you’re staying away from food for an extended amount of time but not virtually starving yourself. Once it is time to eat, load up on foods that have healthy proteins and fats as well as complex carbohydrates.
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