Hungry, Thirsty or Just Tired? Here are 5 Reasons Why We Overeat!
if you think you don’t overeat, consider this scenario: You already have chips in your mouth and a chocolate cookie in your hand. Your brain is shouting, “NO! PUT IT DOWN!”
You know you shouldn’t indulge in these untimely cravings. Your brain begs you, “STOP!”
Your hand moves the cookie closer to your mouth, you take a bite and keep at it until the cookie is finished. Then you tell your brain to shush it as you search the fridge for some milk!
This world is suffering from an overeating epidemic. We’ve practically given up listening to our brains as they tell us to stop eating. Instead, food has become a mechanism for handling unwanted feelings. As we eat, we drown out our stress, depression, loneliness, emotional emptiness, and fear.
But that’s not all, here are 5 reasons why we aren’t stopping when our stomachs are full, and keep eating without even realizing it:
1. We Ignore the Hunger Until It’s Too Late!
Letting yourself go hungry for extended periods of time leaves you famished. So, when you actually come face to face with food, you attack it with a vengeance! When we are tired and hungry, it becomes pretty difficult to pay any attention to the brain’s signal to stop eating. Fighting off the cravings is not a priority anymore.
The solution? Eating several small meals, a day and getting enough sleep! The goal is to stop emotional eating, even if the emotion is only tiredness.
2. We Don’t Even Know We Are Eating!
Sometimes, we get in this habit of unconscious eating. This is when you are done with the meal, but keep picking at it while watching TV or talking on the phone. Many here are guilty of mindlessly putting peanuts or crackers in our mouths, just because these foods are readily available.
The only way to deal with overeating is ‘mindfulness’. It can be difficult to break the habit and always be present when eating… but it’s the right thing to do!
3. Sometimes We Eat Because We Hate… Ourselves!
It feels counterintuitive, but it’s a fact. Self-hate is the biggest trigger to emotional eating. Shame, disgust, hatred and just general negativity can inspire people to make some really bad choices when it comes to their sense of self.
So, stop and don’t overeat. Identify the cycle of emotional eating and eat only to nourish yourself. If you need help, there are attentive eating applications to assist you in making better eating choices. Focus on your food, and try to have your meals without any distractions around. (Turn that TV off!)
4. Social Occasions Are All About Food!
Weddings, birthdays, work events, seeing old friends, graduations and pretty much all gatherings have one thing in common… FOOD! People bond and celebrate over their favorite dishes. They talk about food and toast to it, they share it and indulge in it. Food has become comfort, happiness, celebration, and entertainment. And that means that none of us are paying attention to how much we are eating because who wants to stop being happy?
So, the next time you are celebrating, don’t spend so much on food. Instead try to build a bonding, loving experience for everyone using healthy snacks and cultivate mindful eating habits.
5. No One Really Remembers to Portion Control!
Let’s face it… food tastes good and our society is geared to encourage eating because it is somehow associated with health. So, we indulge. The idea of portion control goes out the window as we binge until we can’t anymore. The truth is that processed foods are engineered to taste, smell and feel a certain way. They ‘hijack’ the brain and make us crave the foods all the more, which makes us overeat like it’s no big deal.
It might be a good idea to stop indulging in fast food and eat small portions instead of plates full.