Tips to STOP Overeating

When we are toddler’s parents try to force food down us.  As we get older food becomes a bigger part of our lives.  Every celebration means food.  It’s literally around every single corner, and the food we like most is empty calories.  Somewhere down the line some of us develop emotional eating, and for some it’s bad enough to be considered binge eating disorder.  No one understands it unless they’ve been there.  With other addictions we just stop altogether, but with food we cannot stop eating. 

Where did we go wrong?  There was a point in our lives where we didn’t use food to comfort ourselves.  In historic times when humans became stressed hunger went away.  Have you ever been worried about something, and then realized that you haven’t been hungry?  We are actually designed to NOT eat when we are stressed.  I believe the answer lies in our food.  Cookies, cakes, and candy taste good.  pexels-photo-105589They taste too good!  Processed food has caused so many problems for us.  Our bodies just weren’t designed to eat them.  Somehow there are people who can stop at just one, but they are the minority.  A few of us remain normal weight despite eating these unhealthy things, but deep down our bodies are struggling.  When it comes to size I believe that part of the answer is genetics, calories, and how many vegetables we eat.  Eating a large variety of vegetables counteracts unhealthy foods in our diet.

Even in our world where treats lie everywhere we can choose to eat vegetables.  They don’t taste as good, but after you eat a few cups of vegetables there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to what you love.

Habits

When habits start we don’t even realize what is happening.  Pretty soon we realize that we have a bad habit.  By this time we’ve been doing it so long that it becomes difficult to stop.  I can give you all the tips in the world, but if you decide that you don’t want to try them in that moment then it’s useless.  Many people want to stop overeating, but in that moment when our brain decides that it’s a need we want nothing more than to eat.  It’s hard for us to override this part of our brain.  Some people are better at it than others, and some people feel more rewarded by food than others.

Have you driven the same route to work every single day?  Are there ever days when you arrive at work, and you wonder how you got there?  Did you stop at the traffic light?  Your habit has become autopilot because you’ve driven to the same place so many times.  For some people this happens with eating.  We don’t even realize whats happening until the entire pack of cookies is gone and we feel miserable.

Diets

Diets are the biggest cause of overeating!  For most of us a harmless diet ends in overeating.  salad-791891_1280Some of us are persistent.  We keep trying it over, and over again.  The most persistent of us are the ones most likely to develop binge eating!  I believe this is because we feel like we are flawed.  We think that we should have enough willpower to cut calories, but in reality doing so is going against the way we are designed.

How can we initiate change?

  1. Raise awareness, if we realize that we overeat we will have more tools to stop it.
  2. Accept that we will be uncomfortable.
  3. Make sure to have stress relief techniques.  This is important.
  4. Develop a support system. Even an online forum is going to help you.  I recommend a positive community.  If everyone is negative it could possibly make things worse for you.
  5. Figure out your triggers.
  6. Make time for YOU, and don’t feel guilty about it.
  7. Accept it WON’T be easy, but nothing worth having is easy.

There are many programs out there that help people quit emotional eating, but for some people when the program is over the behavior starts all over again.  There is also the fact that the same program isn’t going to work for everyone.  Food is comforting.  We CANNOT comfort ourselves with a carrot stick.  The truth is the answer relies in you.  It may sound silly, but YOU know yourself better than anyone else does.

Conflicted Health

4 Comments

  • bgddyjim September 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    See, here’s where I have a problem. Too often the foodie crowd rails against processed food… I love your take, that the body wasn’t designed to eat them. Depending on how literal you are with the word “processed” (some people think this actually means “cooked” which is nuts), well that pretty much just leaves a rabbit’s diet, and my body isn’t designed to be a rabbit either.

    Anyway, I digress… Too often I hear the old canard repeated, “With other addictions we just stop altogether, but with food we cannot stop eating.” I had to stop drinking alcohol, but I still have to drink… water, Gatorade, the occasional Coke… I can’t stop drinking altogether or I would die, yes? Of course. Some people can’t eat crap food because they don’t do it right. For the rest of us, bon appetit.

    Reply
    • Katie September 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      I can’t imagine how hard it would be to eat all raw food in our world. I see your point on not being able to stop drinking all beverages. I never have looked at it this way, but yes if we consider sugar a drug then it would be different in the same way that alcohol is. If that’s the case then you are right, and now that you mention it, it makes complete sense.

      Reply
  • purpleslobinrecovery September 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Ouch!! You stepped on my toes quite firmly there, Katie!
    I’ve been on a 3 week binge on ice cream bars. And people telling me I lack self-control does NOT help!!
    And I auto eat too. I get 2 at a time, I look down, and they’re both gone! But I only ate one! Totally unconscious of that first one, apparently. sigh
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Katie September 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      You don’t lack self control! It’s not about self control. In my opinion at some points your brain actually perceives those ice-cream bars as a need! To not eat them would make you incredibly uncomfortable 🙁 I don’t think that anyone lacks self control… I’m sure you have went to desperate measures trying to stop! FYI I recently learned that addictive behavior can be caused by low dopamine. These are just some ideas and tips. Although at times they are hard to follow for anyone. Keep fighting the good fight!

      Reply

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