Lubna Khan Faraz l
Have you ever reached for another slice of pizza even though you feel full or ordered that warm brownie with vanilla ice cream even after a large satisfying dinner? If yes – then BINGO! You are overeating!
There are many reasons our population is overweight, but one major reason, which is ignored is – overeating.
If you are overeating, chances are that you are responding your daily habits. For example, if you are someone who settles down around 9 pm to watch your favorite TV show and eat some popcorn while at it.
So what causes us to overeat? There are many reasons that cause our body to do this consciously or subconsciously. That’s right – our bodies are designed to eat food when we spot it. This is why when we see snacks; our automatic response is to eat them. Back in the day, food used to be scarce, humans would hunt for food and eat it when spotted, and if one were to eat more – calories and energy would be stored for times when food wouldn’t be so readily available. However, now that is not our environment, yet the habit remains.
Read more: Heart Disease Risk Eased by Healthy Habits
Causes of over-eating
This leads me to our first cause – habits. If you are overeating, chances are that you are responding your daily habits. For example, if you are someone who settles down around 9 pm to watch your favorite TV show and eat some popcorn while at it. You might still find yourself reaching for some buttery popcorn on a night when you had a late dinner and are not even hungry. This is just because you have created a habit of associating your TV time with popcorn. Another reason you may be overeating is
This is just because you have created a habit of associating your TV time with popcorn. Another reason you may be overeating is that what you are eating – makes you even hungrier! In this era of canned food, artificial sweeteners, salty and refined/processed produce – we are mostly eating food with no nutritional value.
Stress and emotions play a big role too. We are all emotional beings and when we deal with difficult sentiments, we often reach for food to help us feel better.
These foods tend to shoot up our blood sugar levels or cause something we commonly know as a “sugar crash”, eventually leading us to feel hungry sooner than we should. If you are one of those people who eat and then find themselves hungry soon again – it might be because of your intake of such food or certain medicines or even air conditioning. It’s important to figure out what triggers your hunger to help tackle it.
b. Irregular meals
Irregular meals-If you have a demanding career ever tried a calorie-restricted diet or are a mom, you might be able to relate to this. When you starve your body or “forget” to eat – you are more likely to binge on whatever comes your way later when you finally do get to eat.
c. Stress and emotions
Stress and emotions play a big role too. We are all emotional beings and when we deal with difficult sentiments, we often reach for food to help us feel better. When you are stressed – you tend to crave fatty foods. Lastly, in these digital times, we do not pay attention to our food. If you are scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, working at the same time or watching TV while eating, you are possibly overeating.
opt for foods rich in protein, fiber, good fats, and vegetables. When we opt for food that’s rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, our bodies don’t only feel good after eating them but also feel full and satisfied.
It’s easy to not mindfully eat and have larger than usual portions when you are distracted. We also live in a world where at times, portions are already increased for us. Many restaurants encourage offers to upsize our drinks or sides. When we opt for these upsizing or larger portions, our intake of food is automatically increased.
Remedies for over-eating
Now that you know some of the causes of overeating and maybe can relate to a few– how do you stop yourself? Here are some remedies that can help.
a. Eat healthy food
Consider nutritional value. As I mentioned earlier processed/refined foods, artificial sweeteners do not add any nutritional value to our meals, instead, they make us feel hungrier. Instead of them, opt for foods rich in protein, fiber, good fats, and vegetables. When we opt for food that’s rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, our bodies don’t only feel good after eating them but also feel full and satisfied. Example of these foods can be berries, green and leafy vegetables, salmon, and nuts.
b. Reduce stress levels
Secondly, reduce your stress levels. Take part in activities, exercise or meditate, this has proven to help manage stress. One large factor is lack of sleep! An average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep, depending on your body make sure you get enough rest. Another way to stop yourself from overeating is to use food itself to help suppress your appetite.
If you’re feeling sleepy after lunch and have that urge to grab a red bull or coffee between lunch and dinner, chances are your lunch meal lacked nutritional value to keep you energized.
That’s right there are certain foods that act as natural appetite suppressants and help curb cravings. The best part about them is that they are all-natural and burn fat as you eat them! Chia seeds, beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are all great options to add to your meals! And here’s good news for spicy food lovers – cayenne and turmeric also help burn body fat!
c. Eat only when you are hungry
Lastly, let your intuition guide you – eat only when you feel hungry and pay close attention to what you feel hungry for. Give yourself some time to eat, slow down when you observe you are full. Free yourself from distractions and focus on what you are eating and engage your senses into how it makes you feel.
Also most importantly, keep track of what you’re eating. For starters, start jotting down what and when you eat – more importantly, note how you feel before and after you consume that food. If you’re feeling sleepy after lunch and have that urge to grab a red bull or coffee between lunch and dinner, chances are your lunch meal lacked nutritional value to keep you energized.
Many of us experience overeating, maybe at different point of our lives and due to different reasons. With our population that is becoming highly overweight and obese, the issue of overeating needs to be addressed more. It’s key that we recognize what works for our body and understand that, fortunately, there are natural ways to treating our body.
Lubna is a certified fitness leadership trainer from Canada and is looking to become a motivational speaker. She advises people on how to eat healthy by making substitutions in their diets, offer meal plans and add small habits in their routine. She also offer consulting on beauty and skincare routines, workouts and trainings as well as fashion styling.