Dec144 Tips to Combat Overeating

Food is an amazing thing. For one, we need it to survive (duh). Food also provides comfort and stress relief for many people. How many times have you eaten food as a comfort during times of stress? Or have eaten food when bored? Sometimes overeating can be a big problem.

An overeating habit can have a huge effect on your health, but is often tough to combat. Luckily, there are strategies that you can implement to help you fight overeating. Many of these strategies are habit based, and do require daily vigilance and awareness, but are much easier to do than trying to stop cold turkey.

 

#1. Evaluate your pantry/fridge.

This first one is a bit more obvious, one that you may be aware of: evaluate the foods you buy. Go into the kitchen and take a look at the foods you currently have stock of. Are many of them processed? Frozen meals? Easy snacks? Of course we can come to easy conclusions like “this is/isn’t healthy food”, but try to go a little deeper: what is the common theme among the foods in your kitchen?

For example, if you notice that many of the foods you have are easy on-the-go snacks like chips and crackers, perhaps try to research healthier alternatives that are less processed and have better nutrients. If you are always on the go and usually buy frozen, ready-in-minutes meals, try meal prepping yourself or having meals prepped for you using a meal prep service.

#2. Look for habit patterns.

When you overeat, it’s usually due to a certain situation or action. Start being aware of these situations so that you may be better equipped to handle them.

If you find yourself overeating, ask yourself a series of questions:

  • why do I overeat/what are my triggers?
  • how does overeating make me feel better?
  • what things can I replace overeating with that will replicate those feelings?

Finding patterns is an important step in the process, and the next tip is just as important.

#3. Replace the overeating habit with feel-good habits.

Once you’ve used tip #2 to identify your triggers, you can break the vicious cycle. The cycle is trigger > eat > reward, so use your knowledge to disrupt that habit.

Replace the eat portion of that cycle with a feel-good habit. That habit can be anything that still gives that ‘reward’ stimulus, but try to make sure it’s something that supports your goals. Exercise is a great example, and if you replace the overeating portion with a quick 5 minute mobility session or for a walk outside, you can still receive that feel-good stimulus in your brain.

If you want to get better at drawing or another skill, then use those moments of wanting to overeat as a time to practice those skills. Again, just make sure that the good habits support your goals.

#4 Notice your chewing.

The speed of eating can also play a role in overeating. Many of us are guilty of scarfing down foods quickly, which doesn’t allow us to feel full or even really enjoy our food. Next time you catch yourself eating a snack or a meal, try to be aware of each chew; take your time with your bites, and eat in a calm manner. It can help to be void of certain distractions like exciting TV shows or movies, as those can put you in a ‘stress’ state, which can allow you to eat faster.

Try to take an extra 3-5 minutes to eat your meals, which can help you notice feeling of fullness. If you do feel full or satisfied, you can make the decision to put down the food and save it for later.

Tune into Yourself

As we said in the beginning, having daily awareness is key. Knowing and understanding your triggers, habits, and feelings about food will help you combat overeating and can put you closer to reaching your health & fitness goals.


Use these tips in your own personal food & fitness journey, and check out the rest of our blog!