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Simple Ways to Avoid Overeating

Overeating is something many people know only too well. An occasional indulgence in a favorite dessert or snack won’t cause much harm

However regular overeating can lead to serious health consequences. These can include cardiovascular problems, type II diabetes and various metabolic conditions. People overeat for many reasons - too much stress or, in some cases, lack of meal planning. Whether you want to stop binge-eating or just looking for more balance in your diet, here are helpful ways to prevent overeating:

"Choosing foods
rich in healthy fats
can actually help
you eat less."

Limit distractions

All of us know this – though very few really get it. I, for one, am guilty of eating while working or listening to some podcast. What about you? While we may “save time by multitasking,” being distracted by some other activity during a meal actually leads to more calorie intake later in the day, as borne out by many studies. Focusing on the food we put in our mouth is practicing mindfulness. Allowing every sense to engage in the activity creates profound satiety. This means it will be a longer while before we seek out food again.

Know your trigger foods

Certain foods might be especially tempting to you, which you have no defense against. You’ll chow it down even if you’re not hungry. For me, it is Nutella or any other chocolate spreads. Something switches on in the brain and I can’t help myself. If ice cream is likely to trigger an episode of bingeing for you – then it’s best not to have any at home.

I did just that – I simply stop bringing chocolate spreads home until it became less triggering. If you can’t access a food – you can’t overeat. Keeping “triggers” out of reach decreases temptation.

Control your portions

Portion control is an essential part in bingeing avoidance. According to various studies, people presented with large portions tend to eat more than they need. To trick the brain, use smaller plates, bowls and containers. This removes the temptation to continue eating after you are full. 

Eat healthy fats

Choosing foods rich in healthy fats can actually help you eat less. Several studies have shown that adults who consume high fat, low carb meals are less hungry 3–4 hours afterward and lose more weight over time.  Try to avoid simple carbs and substitute them with nutrient-rich fats, which, in turn, prevent sugar rushes. Eating healthy fats provides a longer period of satiety and reduces the risk of overeating.

Shift your focus from restriction to health benefits

Rather than restricting and eliminating unhealthy food-like substances, start adding highly-nutritious food will make a world of a difference. Your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally. Knowing how certain foods effect your skin/hair/nail and overall well-being will add an extra boost of motivation to stay on the path. Rather than continuing a vicious circle, start a virtuous circle instead. For your next meal, why not add more of the good stuff: a portion of green salad and a healthy source of protein.  Moreover, once the body is nourished with those much-needed micronutrient, the cravings will decrease and ultimately stop.

Limit Stress

According to numerous scientific reviews, stress appears to contribute to overeating and obesity. Chronic stress raises cortisol hormone levels that, in turn, promote hunger to compensate for energy loss. As a result, it leads to constant hunger and overeating. It is crucial to reduce daily stress by tackling the root of the problem. Consider regular exercises, meditation, walks in nature, cooking or pursuing your favorite hobbies. 

Keep in mind you’re not the only one - lots of people struggle with overeating. It is important to give yourself the freedom and flexibility to enjoy a treat guilt-free once in a while. While regular overeating may be a hard habit to break, it is absolutely within reach. Think of these tips as a starting point and be very patient with yourself.

"Rather than
restricting and
eliminating unhealthy
food-like substances,
start adding
highly-nutritious food
will make a world of a difference."