How to Stop Overeating: 5 Practical Tips to Help You

It’s so frustrating when you feel as though you’re trying your hardest to lose weight but you keep doing the very one thing which stops you from being successful at it. Overeating.

You’ve developed this annoying pattern of overfilling yourself with food regularly and now you can’t seem to break the habit.

Why do you overeat and how to stop overeating for good?

Emotional Overeating

Ok so here’s the deal. Until you understand the reasons behind why you overeat, you’re going to struggle to stop overeating.

There is something that is impacting the relationship you have with food and it is that ‘something’ (usually an emotional factor), which holds the key to your overeating.

The very first thing you need to do in order to cut out overeating is to grab a pen and some paper or a journal and take a seat.

As you’re about to tuck into that extra slice of pie quickly ask yourself this question: ‘Am I really hungry or am I about to eat this for some other reason? Jot down how you feel before, during, and after you’ve taken a bite. Learn to become more aware of how your body is feeling when it calls out for food.

Do this for every piece of food which passes your lips, no matter how large or small the meal may be. Soon enough you will be able to see a pattern to your eating and you will be able to identify the triggers which lead you to eat in the first place.

What we’re trying to do here is find the root of the problem and attack it head-on. You need to be very honest with yourself if you want to win the battle against overeating.

It’s tough and some of the triggers you will encounter are likely to bring up painful thoughts or memories for you.

Whatever issues this exercise raises for you, record them and do so honestly. I know it can be a real challenge to face up to emotions that you perhaps want to keep locked up, but if you truly want to curb your eating, you must take back total control of your mind and bodily responses.

Common triggers for emotional overeating are:

AnxietyFeeling upset
Misery or sadnessFrustration
Excitement or happinessSorrow
Common triggers for emotional overeating

Perhaps you experience a combination of those triggers which lead you to overeat or maybe the thing which is triggering you isn’t even on the list.

Ok, so now you know why you overeat, but How to Stop Overeating?

How to Stop Overeating?

1) Deal with the root causes of why you overeat and create new healthy habits in their place

Let’s say you’ve identified that you overeat out of boredom. You’re sitting on the couch bored out of your mind and you glance over at that tempting bag of potato chips. You’re not even remotely hungry. Now you have a choice to make. You can reach over for the snacks. Or, knowing full well that it is the boredom that is wanting to be fed and not your body, you could choose to do something else instead. That might be going for a jog or doing some other form of exercise, reading a book, or calling a friend. Find whatever works for you.

Similarly, if you eat because you are feeling sad, learn to think twice about turning to food for comfort and do other things which make you feel happy.

It is actually quite normal and OK to feel sad from time to time. Even just sitting with the sadness and acknowledging it for what it is may be all you need to do at that moment.

Whatever your reason for overeating is, you ultimately have internal power and control over it. By being aware of your food triggers you can counteract them and create healthy, positive habits in their place.

Remember it takes a month to create a new habit. That’s just 30 days. So stay focussed and you will succeed.

2) Admit you need help and go out and get it

If you’ve struggled with overeating for most of your life, you will know that it’s going to take an awful lot of help to get you to the point of stopping. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. From friends, work colleagues, support groups, or specialist online programs such as Dr. Gould’s successful Shrink Yourself Program.

The more people you share your concerns about overeating with, the more accountable for your own actions you will become.

Yes that does sound scary, doesn’t it? Letting other people in on a whole heap of stuff you’ve been carrying alone for a very long time. But, if you seriously can’t stop overeating and you want to, now is the time to start letting go of some of those barriers.

3) Learn to cut down on your food portions and eat slowly

I call it the ‘eyes bigger than the belly syndrome. It’s totally unnecessary to eat more than you need but we are all guilty of doing this every so often.

In my case, I find that the bigger my plate, the more food I tend to eat. All that does is leave me feeling overfull, bloated, and tired. Not good. Take Christmas as an example. How much unnecessary food did you consume and how did it make you feel afterward?

Managing how much food is on your plate in the first instance is one way of cutting out the risk of overeating. Trust me; you don’t need to eat as much food as you think you do. The sooner you start re-training your brain and body to only eat what you need, the sooner you will stop overeating.

It will take some time to get used to eating smaller portions, but you will feel a lot better when you get there.

You can even buy these handy little Portion Control Plates which provide a guide for how much food you should be eating.

An additional thing you can do is to slow down your eating. Medical studies have shown that if you chew your food leisurely it sends messages to the brain that you are full faster than if you chew quickly. Research conducted by Mark Gold, MD at the University of Florida, Gainesville proved that food satisfaction signals in thin people were achieved after 12 minutes or more of eating, whilst in obese people, this figure was 20 minutes or more.

That’s a good reason not to eat at your desk at work or whilst you are standing or even driving, as what invariably happens is you end up rushing your meal. Take a seat at a table and take your time to eat.

4) Eat foods that will keep you fuller for longer

Certain foods are just more satisfying than others. And if you feel sufficiently satisfied after a meal you’re not going to want to continue eating.

Pack your diet with protein, plenty of fiber, and foods with high water content. Adding extra fruit or vegetables to your meals will serve this purpose. They are so low in calories and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Also, try snacking on a handful of nuts whenever you feel peckish. Not only are they deliciously nutritious, but they also have a neat way of making you feel full. Unprocessed nuts are the best so think of things like shelled peanuts, walnuts, or raw almonds.

5) Never skip meals

The number one meal people tend to skip is breakfast but in doing so they aren’t really doing themselves any favors. If you start the day off with a hearty breakfast, this will keep you feeling full for longer. If you feel full, then you will have no need to snack on things you know you shouldn’t be snacking on.

So now you know how to stop overeating. All you need to do is implement everything you have read here and take action. You can do it.

Leave a Reply