How to stop overeating for weight loss. Figure out why you binge eat and develop the right strategies to stop, so that you can get the body you deserve to have
Weight loss is difficult. How many times have you set out to lose weight, only to binge on your favourite ice cream while watching romantic comedies and feeling sorry for yourself? You keep wondering why you can’t stop overeating. There is nothing you want more than to look amazing in a sexy dress, feel confident about your body, and to feel good about yourself. I have been an overeater since I was a toddler, and I have been trying to stop binge eating for 15 years.
To be honest, I haven’t been able to stop completely, but where I used to overeat or binge eat at least every two days, I now only do it once a week, or once every ten days, and the calorie damage went from overeating by 3000 calories a day, to overeating by only 700 calories. I lost 10kg, and have been able to keep it off for two years, but I am ready to improve even more. There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to not overeating, but first, you have to try and identify why you are overeating.
Why You Overeat or Binge Eat
The Urge to Overeat or Binge Can Be a Primal Instinct
The urge to binge eat can come from the primal part of your brain, which is trying to protect you by making your body store extra fat in case of starvation or colder months. Understand where the urges to binge might be coming from, and know that you do not have to act on them.
Overeating as a Form of Comfort
Perhaps you are somebody who turns to food for comfort in times of stress or discomfort. Your automatic response could be to turn to food and binge eat, but there are many other things you can do instead, such as practicing meditation, yoga, dancing, painting, taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, having sex, etc.
Overeating as Self-Sabotage
Believe it or not, but overeating can stem from not being kind to yourself. When you have an ideal body in mind, your ideal can be intimidating, and when you don’t feel like you are good enough, or think that you will probably never reach the goal, you can self-sabotage by binge eating, so that you can stay where you feel you deserve to be.This is not true for everyone, but it is something I recognised in myself.
Believe that you are capable of getting a healthy body. People use health as an indicator of beauty. If you look healthy, you automatically become more attractive. You cannot change your features, or the look that you were born with, but you can work towards getting a healthy body and glowing skin.
Overeating as Instant Gratification
Patience might not be your best quality, and waiting to see results can be frustrating. What often triggers a desire to overeat or binge is being frustrated about not being able to get something else you want. Food is one of the quickest ways to get instant gratification. We often sacrifice what we want in the future for something that can give us pleasure in the moment.
Nutrient Deficiencies Can Lead to Overeating and Interfere with Weight Loss
Under eating is one of the biggest triggers for overeating for a lot of people, and perhaps it is something you have struggled with. When you eat less than what your body actually needs (the amount you would burn in a day if you stayed in bed and did nothing), and your body does not get all of the essential nutrients it needs, it can trigger the urge to overeat.
Having enough variety in your diet will help you get a balance of nutrients. Meals need to be nutrient-dense to avoid cravings brought on by deficiencies.
You Are Not Satisfied
Of course you will want to overeat if you are living on bland food, avoid the foods that you enjoy, and you feel hungry all the time. Feeling satisfied after a meal is essential for weight loss and not overeating.
How to Stop Overeating for Weight Loss
This is not an easy thing to do, and it can take some time to stop overeating completely. However, it is possible, and weight loss will follow if you keep trying.
Replace the Habit
The only way you will be able to stop overeating is by replacing the habit with something that is also rewarding. Once you have identified your triggers (I suggest writing all of your triggers down, and to add to the list every time you notice a new trigger), you can replace your reaction of overeating with something else.
There are a lot of other things you can do instead of binge eating like going for a walk, playing video games, dancing, doing yoga etc. Whatever makes you feel good. The more things you have that you can do, the less likely you will be to turn to food because you have so many other options. This will help greatly with weight loss, and help you keep the weight off in the future.
Make Meals Satisfying for Weight Loss
Meals need to be satisfying, so that you don’t feel like snacking afterwards. There are a few strategies that will help improve your satiety at meals, and help you reduce the desire to binge eat:
- Eat a combination of protein, fibre, and fat, as it helps keep you full, and will encourage weight loss.
- Bulk up your meals with vegetables. The fibre will help you stay full, but contain less calories, and thereby aids weight loss. It is even better if you choose lower carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
- Find healthy desserts that you don’t have to feel guilty about. A quick Pinterest search will show you thousands of delicious dessert recipes that don’t contain sugar, and that you can eat on your weight loss journey without feeling guilty.
- Find healthy alternatives for your favourite meals. If you love cheesecake, there is a sugar-free recipe for that, if you love macaroni and cheese, there is a healthy recipe for that. You don’t have to cut out your favourite foods entirely, just find healthy versions of them. You can still eat your favourite foods every now and then, but let the healthy alternatives help you in between.
It takes a while for your body to notice that you are full, and if you eat too quickly, you can end up overeating. Eating while distracted can also lead to overeating. Slow down when eating, chew every mouthful around 20 times, turn off the television, sit down to eat a proper meal, and focus on your food. Practicing mindful eating can aid weight loss, and help you maintain a healthy weight throughout your life.
To stop overeating or binge eating is one of the best things you can do for your health and weight loss goals. Not only because it will help you lose weight, but also because it will help you get rid of the negative emotions and stress associated with overeating.
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