Each individual has a personal reason or group of reasons for overeating. It’s just as individualized as other things affecting health. Because there are so many causes, it’s important to identify your triggers and develop ways to neutralize them. Some people use food journals to help them, listing not only what they eat and when, but also additional information like mood or stress level. Journaling can help reduce the potential for mindless eating, one cause of overeating.
Emotional eating is a big factor.
If you’re jotting down your emotions every time you eat, you’ll not only find the emotional link the comfort food you use to smother the feelings. Some foods release endorphins, like sweet foods. Others provide a satisfying crunch, especially satisfying to angry people. Identifying the mood and food won’t help you solve the emotional issue, but will help you look for a healthier alternative to a high-calorie food. For instance, instead of crunching on chips, consider the crunch of celery as an alternative.
Your favorite food may trigger overeating.
Are you a binger who can’t resist pastries or chips? Everyone has a weakness for certain foods. Some people have several. Avoiding those foods can help prevent overeating, but it’s hard. For most people, it takes planning to do that. If you can’t just eat just one, that food is a trigger. Don’t buy it. If it’s not in the house, it’s not available for binging. Instead, plan and have healthier alternatives that are also filling. If you don’t have a satisfying replacement, you’ll keep eating until you find one, which also leads to overeating.
Social situations, the time of day, and highly processed food can cause overeating.
Some people are spartan about food during the day but turn to an eating machine at night. It’s a way to keep busy. Avoid that by keeping a wealth of healthy, low-calorie snacks. Other people find themselves socially awkward or associate food with being social. Highly processed food contains ingredients that encourage overeating, and avoiding them can prevent the problem.
- Some medications and some health issues, like PMS, can trigger overeating. If overeating is a problem, discuss it with your healthcare professional.
- You might think skipping meals can help you lose weight faster, but sometimes it leads to overeating. If you’re ravenous when you eat, you’ll probably eat more.
- Eating too fast doesn’t give the stomach time to signal to the brain that you’re full, so you continue to eat. Savoring food provides more satisfaction, prevents overeating, and aids digestion.
- If you only eat alone, eat faster than normal, and to the point of discomfort, you may have an eating disorder known as bingeing. It is different from overindulgence. It causes people to eat when not hungry and feel guilty or depressed when it happens.
For more information, contact us today at Targeted Nutrition Technologies