Wouldn’t it be great if food wasn’t that tasty? That way, we wouldn’t have to fight away cravings and we would make no difference between eating broccoli and a slice of tasty pizza with cheese. Just like when we are ill and we don’t want to eat just because we can’t taste it. Well, unfortunately this would be in a perfect world. In our world however, food actually tastes, and it tastes good.
We all know that feeling when just one slice of pie turns out to be half a pie, and then that guilty feeling comes. Many times when we have nothing to do, we usually just sit and watch TV or sit in front of our computers and most of the time we are surrounded by food. Just think about the last time you actually felt hungry when you reached for a snack. You can’t remember how being hungry feels, right?
Emotions can play an important role when it comes to overeating. Many times we let our emotions rule, and we use food to help us. We all find comfort in food when we’re stressed out, or sad, or even bored or lonely. In fact, emotions are the first to blame when it comes to overeating. Another cause for overeating might be hormonal imbalance, or some side effects of medications you are taking. Make sure to first check what causes your overeating.
I bet you have promised yourself at least once that you won’t eat that much, and I bet that you have broken that promise in no time. Food has taken control over our lives, whether we see that or not. The desire of pleasure is the core of all living creatures.
Some of us have the strength to resist that desire, but others are drawn towards it. Some even have an addiction to food similar to the one a gambler has when entering a casino. We all know that gambling is considered to be a serious addiction, so should we allow to be addicted to food? Should our lives be all about food?
Many people are aware of the influence that food has on them and they try to improve something, but often in the wrong way. This may be even worse. Doing so, you only think about how much you should or shouldn’t eat, or should you eat this or that… This means that you actually think about food 24/7. You become obsessed with food, and this may cause even bigger cravings, because we all know that one always wants the thing he can’t have the most. Why not try a different approach instead?
1- Eat only when you’re hungry!
This is the basic, and perhaps the most important rule if you wish to stop overeating. Ask yourself, “Am I Hungry?”. You have to learn how to make a difference between food cravings and the feeling of hunger. Wait until your stomach feels empty.
2- Stop eating when you’re full!
Don’t just push food in your mouth if you’re already full. It’s better if you save it for when you’re hungry again. Think about the bloated feeling you’ll get if you overeat again.
3- Take it slowly!
Eat slowly. Don’t be in a hurry when you’re eating. Take your time. The signals that you’re full need some time to get to your brain. So when you eat slowly, you give your brain time to process and tell you that you’re full. In this way, you avoid overeating.
4- Chew more!
Chewing your food more has lots of benefits for your health. By chewing more, you help with the digestion of the food. Chewing properly also gives you the maximum nutrients from the food and it makes you eat more slowly.
5- Stay away from processed food, junk food and sweets!
You probably can’t get addicted to vegetables or fruit. Addictive overeating is most often an addiction to junk food, processed food or sweets. These types of food are highly addictive and they can be harder to give up.
6- Avoid fast diets!
Diets that forbid many foods, can actually cause the opposite effect. When you stop dieting, you will try to compensate for it, and start eating the things you weren’t allowed before in larger quantities. That way, not only you’ll gain back the weight you lost, but you might even gain more and start overeating.
7- Be aware of your cravings!
Remember what you crave for, and then try to avoid buying that food. Surround yourself with healthier options. Avoid situations that cause temptations.
8- Smaller portions!
Serve yourself 5 nuts and one slice of dark chocolate. If you take the whole pack of nuts, you’ll probably eat them all. And if you still need to eat chips, don’t buy the XXL size, go with the small bag.
9- Enjoy your meal!
Eating should not be something you do just to feel full, and then regret it. Instead of eating a big, greasy burger and then feeling guilty, try going to a nice restaurant and order a small portion of something you really like. Or maybe you can cook something at home and serve it so that it looks nice. This way, you will enjoy every little bite you eat, and you probably won’t feel sick afterwards.
10- Stop for a second!
When you feel your cravings kicking in, try doing something else instead of eating the whole bag of chips. Call a friend, or go pet your dog, or go take a shower. Cravings usually don’t last long, so once you set your mind on something else, you will probably forget about those chips.
11- Trick your cravings with water!
When you start feeling cravings, drink a glass of water. Sometimes we think that we’re hungry, when actually we’re thirsty and dehydrated. We tend to mix up those two signals very often, so instead of an extra 400 calories, have a glass of water.
12- Eat without distractions!
This means that you should probably stop eating while watching TV, or while reading a newspaper. I know that your favorite thing to do is watching a movie while eating. However, many researches show that if you actually see what you eat, you consume about 30% less.
13- More fiber!
Foods that are high in fiber can help you stay full for a longer time. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are some of the best things you can eat. These foods will make you feel full, and with that you reduce the chances of reaching for a snack later. Another advantage is that foods which are high in fiber will help you a lot in maintaining your ideal weight.
14- Be more active!
If you have nothing to do, and you stay at home all day, you will probably eat more. Don’t be bored, go out, do something that is good for you, do sports or go dancing. Boredom is another thing to blame for overeating.
15- If it’s too delicious, it is not good for you!
Here I am not saying that healthy foods are not delicious, it’s just that most of us find junk food for example, to be more delicious than vegetables. And brownies are probably more delicious than bananas. So learn to love the taste of healthy food!
16- Determine fixed hours for eating!
Determine half an hour for each meal every day. For example, from 9.30 to 10.00 AM – breakfast, then from 14.30 to 15.00 – lunch, and from 18.30 to 19.00 you eat dinner. This way, you will try to wait for that exact time to eat, and you will avoid eating all the time.
17- Stop feeling guilty!
You couldn’t resist and you ate a whole burger on your way home. Now you’re miserable and you feel guilty, right? Wrong! Stop feeling guilt. Everyone makes mistakes. Instead, you can promise yourself to compensate by not eating dinner.
Overeating is definitely a problem you should be concerned about. Many people struggle their whole lives with it. It is a hard thing to stop overeating, but it can be done. Just think of all the ways you hurt your body when you’re overeating, physically and mentally.
Physically, you become overweight and you increase the chances of serious diseases. You are bloated and full all the time and you don’t have the energy or willingness to do things other than eating.
At least it helps you emotionally…Wrong again! Comfort food only makes you feel better for a short time, and after that you start feeling even more miserable and guilty than before, and you wish to turn back time. You know this is right.
Your relationship with food doesn’t have to be black and white. Meaning you most probably are overeating one period, and then not eating at all the next. So you force yourself to either love food too much, or hate it too much.
Try these few tips and change your relationship with food once and for all. Learn how to maintain that perfect balance between healthy and delicious and between eating what you want and feeling that you’re in control.