I’ve decided to write this post because so many people have been asking me for advice on how to stop overating lately. The problem is that there is no easy solution- the problem of binge eating lies within each individual person and we all know how hard it is to deal with our own demons. There are plenty of websites that will provide you with a list of ways to stop overeating, but I think most of these resources are to simplistic and are ignoring the root of the problem. My post will not provide such a list, it will instead try to point you in the right direction. You have to remember that each and everyone one of us binge eats for a different reason, and a method that works on one individual may not work on another.
Having said all this, I’d like to offer my first piece of advice: talk to a therapist. Although it might seem like overeating is simply an overextended appetite, it’s actually a psychological issue. Most people do not overeat because they feel physically hungry, but because they are trying to deal with some internal struggle, to fill a gap they are feeling. Talking to a professional about your anxieties (even though they may seem to be completely unrelated to your eating habits) will probably make a big difference on how you approach food!
Secondly: avoid fake sweeteners. While it may seem like a good idea to replace sugar with things like ‘sweet n low’ or ‘splenda’ because of their lack of calories, this may not only cause even more weight gain, but be detrimental to your health. Recent studies show that when rats are given fake sweetners with aspartame, they actually eat more. By ingesting something that tastes sweet, but does not have any calories, you are tricking your body into believing you will be getting energy from calories. This, in turn, makes you feel hungry when you don’t get the calories your body thinks it will be getting. So if you have trouble with setting limits on how much food you eat…definitely avoid using sweeteners, as they will only make it harder on you to eat less! Furthermore, as I had mentioned above, aspartame is a toxic substance that can cause serious damage to your body. Check out more on this by reading about splenda warnings.
Lastly: focus on what you eat. Try to avoid eating in front of the television, computer, or when you are on the phone. When we take the time to sit down at a table and eat our meal without shifting focus to a tv program or our ipads, we focus more on what we eat, and actually end up eating less. If you already snack while sitting in front of the tv, or even eat your meals in front of it, this may be a hard habit to break. However, once you break it for a few weeks, you’ll notice that you actually enjoy your food more, and need less in order to feel full. An additional bonus is using this time to catch up with loved ones. There’s nothing more healthy for a family or couple than to eat dinner together while discussing their day.
There you have it! I didn’t include any diet tips, or appetite curbing tricks, because I know that usually those things don’t work. The key to how to stop overeating is to be conscious of why you feel the need to do it, avoid replacing sugar with fake sweeteners, and to focus on every meal you’re having. Good luck!