One of the fundamental pillars of the life of all human beings is food. Many of us enjoy it, especially when it comes to a meal that tastes great! But unfortunately, we don’t always have the best idea of when to stop, so much so that today, there is not just access to tasty food, but also in huge quantities.
Overeating is a type of disorder characterized by the fact that a person often eats a lot of food and is unwilling to stop and feels great discomfort while eating or as soon as they eat. The truth is that overeating can range from a simple, little stomach ache in the short term to the health risks associated with chronic obesity, particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This is often not seen as extreme as eating to the point of bursting your pants, but simply eating more than you currently need, or eating until you are full rather than eating until you have had enough of the nutrients you need.
In evolutionary terms, the natural limitations that kept our ancestors from eating too much are no longer there. By evolutionary standards, as a consequence, most human beings could not overeat, given that large-scale agricultural and industrial food processing were generally not available until recently in human history. Today, most humans and certainly Americans have access to more food than ever before.
According to the results of the National Institute of Mental Health, 20% of young women have reported experiencing overeating problems. Compared to anorexia and bulimia, compulsive overeating also occurs frequently in men, making up about 40% of all cases of this type of disorder.
What Causes Overeating?
Dealing with the cause of overeating does not seem like an easy task. In most cases, if this is triggered by an emotional problem, most experts recommend seeking professional help. Some of these disorders are rooted in psychological factors ranging from low self-esteem to poor body image. What, then, is the reason for us to eat more than we need?
Regardless of how many resources are available, we are still fully capable of eating what we need. An emotional connection to food is one of the keys that most people have. It has been shown in research that many people tend to eat more or overeat when feeling sad, depressed, or struggling with a problem.
For each person, a different situation exists, so there may be many factors that can contribute to a particular person’s eating disorder. Most causes of overeating, however, tend to be more psychological rather than other causes.
In an Adolescent Health study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers investigated the eating habits of adolescents who developed eating disorders such as binge eating. These findings indicate that depressive symptoms are important to consider when overeating. Among the main signs that you may be eating too much is monitoring the reason you eat. Is the reason you’re eating because you’re hungry, or is it an emotional problem you’re dealing with?
A further factor is the symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. In an article from the Warsaw Medical University, it was noted that hypoglycemic symptoms can induce people into eating more food in response to the urge to increase insulin, so moderation when it comes to eating sugary foods should always be kept in mind, as they can lead to eating far more than you really need.
In the end, nothing is better than your own body’s warning system. It is your body’s excessive constipation, blockage, bloating, vomiting or stomach aches giving you the feedback that you’ve had enough.
In most cases, whether you feel a constant need for laxatives or antacids, the odds are that you are being told by your body that you have eaten much more food than you need. In addition, your body’s energy level and mental acuity are signs of overeating.
As we all enjoy either a thoroughly cooked meal or mouth-watering snacks, the food is simply fuel for our bodies to consume and convert into energy in the process. When you mire your system with bad quality junk food or extra fuel, you will lose your energy, feel slower and less alert, and instead of increasing your energy, you will feel as if you have diminished it as you overload your digestive system.
How to Stop Overeating
There are many ways to stop eating too much food if you know how to eat the right kinds in the right proportions. Quite often, there are too many refined foods. Meals that have a high glycemic index (GI) are likely to cause sugar levels to build up in the bloodstream.
It is for this reason that after eating a large piece of cake or pizza, many people get a feeling of well-being and optimism. But, this sugar is easily absorbed, and as soon as this happens, you start feeling hunger again.
The following are a series of recommendations that can help you deal with this disorder and even get rid of it permanently.
1 Reduce Calories
Overeating leads to weight gain, which can be easily noticed when your weight is carefully monitored. Your daily calorie intake depends on your age and lifestyle fitness. In other words, a 30-year-old woman with a sedentary lifestyle should eat between 1,800 and 2,000 calories a day. Excessive calorie intake to the extreme of exceeding this range is what causes weight gain in the body.
The additional calories are absorbed by the body through a process that converts them into fat. Every time you consume 3,500 calories in excess, you’ll gain one pound of fat. If you bunk over and over again, you’re likely to start expanding your belly.
2 Weight Maintenance
An unhealthy diet often contradicts an acceptable proportion of nutrients and calories, leading to weight gain (which can lead to obesity) and even malnutrition. This is compounded by the risk of other related disorders that, if not treated promptly, can progress to serious conditions over time. Weight maintenance is an important factor in preventing chronic eating disorders and diseases and is a way to stop overeating.
3 Eat More Fiber
A fiber-rich meal, such as fruits and vegetables, makes us feel satisfied much longer. Peppers, aubergines, and celery contain few calories, between 10 and 30 kcal per 100 g. However, its high water content and dietary fiber promotes satiety for longer and promotes a healthy digestive system.
It is recommended that you eat a variety of foods rich in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs and fibers deliver sugar slowly into the bloodstream keeping you full for an extended period of time.
4 Deal With Stress
Try to cope with stress. Learning methods to eliminate stress and positive stress management encourage the person to stop overeating by decreasing binge eating triggers.
5 Stay Active
Stay as busy as you can. There is usually a tendency to overeat when the person is sitting in front of the television, so it is preferable to stay active.
6 Drink Plenty of Water Daily
Drinking at least one glass of water before eating has been shown to help prevent overeating. According to a study on obesity, drinking water before meals leads to lower calorie intake and a greater sense of fullness compared to those who do not drink water right before meal times.
7 Switch To Plain Coffee
If you like coffee try to drink it plain with nothing added: Don’t be fooled by the many flavors and additives that can be found today when you order coffee. Don’t complicate it and try not to add too many extra ingredients to make it more tasty or exuberant. This will do nothing but increase your total calorie intake.
8 Be Sociable
Take time to explore and interact with positive people who will help you make the decision to stop overeating. Having a social life is a good way to learn fun new things to do. Instead of your condition being a secret, let your family and friends know about it, no doubt they will help you cope and understand the challenges you are going through. The burden is relieved by talking. Optimism is always favorable to well-being.
9 Use Mindful Eating Techniques
Mindful eating refers to how you become aware of the act of eating and how you eat. Mindful eating shows you how to understand the options and choices involved in the process of eating and nutrition. Through the use of all your senses, your awareness empowers you to make choices about eating foods that appeal to and nourish your body. This is the moment when you recognize how you respond to food (likes, dislikes or neutrality) without being judgmental.
It is not surprising that research has shown that the practice of mindful eating skills is likely to provide patients with greater self-control of diseases especially those which call for more individualized dietary plans, including eating disorders, diabetes or digestive problems.
There is a 2013 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics showing substantial benefits for patients with diabetes, such as a better glycaemic control and moderate weight loss following the practice of mindfulness-based training.
By eating mindfully, you can better watch out for these triggers that cause you to overeat or eat when you’re not really hungry.
Finally, when it comes down to it, your body loves food as much as the power that helps it work, but when you have too much of it, then it is your body and your brain that tells you so. Through the emotions, your brain tells you that very often you have more food than what you really need for emotional reasons like depression or stress.
In order to avoid these traps, it takes knowing what is going on. Aside from that, it is through your own energy levels and digestive system that your body tells you when you had enough. These are the signs behind it and the way your body and brain tell you, you should pay attention.