Healthy Tips to Help You Stop Overeating
Overeating is when we consume more calories than are necessary for our bodies to function properly. However, if you are not counting calories, there are other ways to know if you are overeating.
Signs that you may be overeating include digestive discomfort after eating, using food to cope with stress, eating out of boredom, among others.
When overeating becomes a habit, stopping it can be challenging. Fortunately, it is not impossible. Here are our best tips on how to stop overeating:
When we eat, our bodies produce Leptin — the hormone in charge of decreasing appetite. Eventually, this hormone will signal the brain that we are no longer hungry.
The production of Leptin is not immediate. Therefore, when we eat fast, we are prone to overeating since we are not giving enough time for the brain to receive the satiety signal.
As a rule of thumb, finishing a whole meal should take about 20–25 minutes. Here are a few tips to encourage yourself to eat slower:
- Put the utensils down while chewing your food.
- Remind yourself to breathe between bites.
- Set a timer when eating.
Don’t Let the Stress to Takeover Your Eating Habits
In the fast-paced society we live in, stress has become the new normal for most of us. Unfortunately, stress is one of the main reasons why people overeat.
When experiencing stressful situations, your body produces cortisol — the hormone responsible for increasing appetite. With the release of cortisol, you will crave food regardless of whether your body needs food or not. This bodily response also makes you more likely to crave high-fat/sugary foods.
Rather than eating your stress away, we strongly encourage you to practice self-care. For example, aim to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise, and allow yourself to take breaks. If necessary, get help from a therapist.
Don’t Allow Your Hunger to Build Up
When we let hunger build-up, we are likely to order/cook more food than necessary. Unfortunately, some people experience guilt when they are unable to finish a meal. As a result, they force themselves to eat as much as they can, even if they are already full.
Also, when we are hungry, it is easier to favor unhealthy cravings over healthy foods. Furthermore, according to studies, satiety fades quickly due to junk food’s lack of macronutrients, contributing to overeating habits.
To keep hunger under control, we recommend planning your meals in advance and sticking to your meal schedule— in other words, avoid skipping meals and making last-minute food choices. Also, always be prepared and have healthy snacks at your reach.
Be Mindful About Your Food Choices When Eating Out
Between appetizers, the main dish, and dessert, it is harder to control the amount of food that we eat in restaurants. However, with a little mindfulness, you can avoid overeating when going out.
For example, when ordering your food, ask the waiter about the serving sizes and avoid ordering a large meal. Nevertheless, it is okay if you order a large meal as long as you don’t finish it in one sitting. For ordering large meals, we recommend asking the waiter to pack half of your food in a container BEFORE you start eating. This way, you’ll remove the temptation of having a double-sized meal on your plate, waiting for you to eat it.
Find a Support System
According to research, we are prone to have similar eating habits to the people we share our table with. Therefore, having people around with healthy eating habits will encourage you to keep on a healthy eating journey.
At Z.E.N. Foods, we offer meal plans to help you stay on top of your eating habits and deliver nutritionally balanced meals directly to your door daily. Please reach out to us at (310) 205-9368 for more info.