Overeating is a problem which many people have to deal with. One of the major factors which lead people to overeat is their inability to recognize when one is actually hungry. Several other factors which make people tend to overeat are- emotional eating as a coping mechanism, stress eating, eating to alleviate boredom and sometimes, there are eating disorders in the mix.
This article will help you train your brain to resume normal eating habits. But keep in mind, this article is not a substitute to a medical advice. And if you feel that your problem is severe. You should consult a medical professional for your afflictions.
1) Rate Your Hunger
One really powerful way to stop overeating is to rate your hunger on a scale of one to five. One being full and five being on the brink of starvation. l. If you rate your hunger, you will realize that barring exceptional circumstances. You are never starving. This will help you make smart decisions regarding your food choices and their portion size.
2) Identify The Signs Of Hunger
The most prominent signs of hunger are- feeling light headed and your stomach making growling sounds. If these identifiers present themselves, it can be a sign of your body signalling to you that its needs are not being fulfilled and you should probably consider eating when those happen. But, if the signs of hunger are not there, you might be overeating.
3) Identify Your Emotional State
Being aware of your emotions and how they dictate your eating choices is a great way to check overeating. The brain sends signals to your body and craves certain ‘comfort foods’ especially when you are feeling a little down. Knowing how your emotions affect your food cravings may help you stop overindulging yourself on the behest of such cravings. One way to identify the emotional state is to have a note written on the refrigerator to stop and check how you are feeling.
4) Notice When You Are Overeating
Food is essential for our survival as a species, but sometimes we fail to realize the fact that we have eaten our fill and are veering into the territory of overeating. Health Education Research, a journal published a study which showed that self-efficacy can help you overcome the problem of overeating. By thinking of those times when you overcame the urge to overeat will eventually make your brain accept this fact that you can control your problems.
5) Notice How Marketing Influences Overeating
Brian Wansink, who wrote Mindless Eating, mentions in the book that the whole world is conspiring to make us mindlessly consume via marketing strategies. Brain also mentions some covert ways to influence our eating patterns and habits, which include packaging of an item, colours of the food item, portion sizes etc. He also mentions that there are two reasons for our overeating. The first one being, we are not only we are influenced in our decision about what to eat, but also about how much to eat. This can be checked if we actually listen to our bodies and not leave this out for the favour of licking the plate clean. If you have a habit of not stopping until the plate is empty, one clever way is to use plates which are smaller in size. This will promote optimum portion sizes and will force us to listen to our bodies. The same principle applies to packaged food like chips. If you cannot stop until you finish off a packet, buy smaller packets to limit eating and prevent overeating.