Most of us find to resist the urge to reach for a scoop of ice cream post dinner but then if we go for two scoops, then three, it’s definitely overeating. People often confuse overeating with binge disorder and use interchangeably; however, both are not the same. With the advent of food-ordering apps, there are endless food options available to us at our fingertips – from pizzas to noodles, to everything in between. You do not even have to venture out of the house to munch on a samosa, hence the chances of overeating are extremely high. Overeating may or may not have underlying medical condition, but then binge eating is considered a condition which needs addressing from a medical practitioner. It’s a fact that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to send a proper signal to the tummy that it’s full. If you continue to eat beyond even after getting the signal, then it’s considered overeating. Also, when you overeat, the stomach expands beyond its normal size to accommodate all that extra food and it starts to push against other internal organs, it’s the point when you feel uncomfortable. It also leads to extra load on liver and other organs to process all that food. Both binge eating and overeating create calorie surplus in the body, when the calorie count in the body exceeds way higher than what you require per day, to run all bodily functions smoothly. Calorie surplus each day, leads to creation of fat deposits, which eventually leads to obesity – a major trigger for all morbid diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke. In this post, we have listed 15 strategies to stop overeating.
Difference Between Binge Eating and Overeating:
Binge eating is actually a disorder and you’re not alone! Millions of people around the world suffer from binge eating. It is an eating disorder in which people eat large amounts of food without any portion control, even when they are not hungry. After the session is completed, the individual might sense a strong feeling of guilt. Regular binge eating sessions can cause obesity, heart0related diseases and diabetes. If you find yourself unable to control the urge to eat platefuls of food (even though they may qualify as healthy) and then later develop a guilt, you may have binge eating disorder. People who have binge eating disorder cannot portion control. Binge eating disorder may have causes such as genetics, stress, anxiety or depression all of which need to be addressed. Also, if binge eating is not tackled, it may increase chances of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other morbid diseases. Overeating happens on less frequent occasions.
Now, coming to why we tend to overeat – When we eat high-sodium, processed, high-sugar foods, they trigger the release of hormones such as dopamine (also called as feel-good hormones) which activate certain parts of your brain which gives you a high. Over a period of time, we tend to associate these happy sensations with such unhealthy food and we often tend to overeat to experience these sensations rather than when we are hungry. This process also leads to the suppression of the hormone “leptin,” which is a hormone that tells you that you are full and can stop eating now. When there is malfunctioning of leptin, the process of overeating goes out of hand.
Risks of Overeating:
- Weight gain/obesity.
- Disruption in hunger regulation.
- Increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Increased risk of heart disease.
- Digestive disorders such as bloating.
- Low energy.
Symptoms of Overeating:
- Eating at a fast pace.
- Urge to eat and snack frequently.
- Tendency to eat even when full.
- Mood swings.
- Stomach pain.
- That stuffy and uncomfortable feeling midway through the meal.
Why you Should Control Overeating?
- To lose weight.
- To get rid of digestive disorders.
- To reduce risk of metabolic disorders.
- When we eat more calories than what the body can make use of as energy, all the extra ones get stored as fat in fat cells. When there is a calorie surplus on a regular basis, it can put you into obese category, increasing your risk for cancer.
- It can disturb your sleep cycle and make you an insomniac.
Strategies to Stop Overeating:
1. No distractions while eating: When you eat on the couch watching your favorite series or while chatting on whatsapp with your friends, you are more likely to miss the signal from the brain that you are full and push away the plate from you. Distractions from phone, TV, and other gadgets can easily pave your way to overeat – eat your food in silence and enjoy that plateful.
2. Portion Control is the Key: Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating result from a loss of portion control. It is often considered as the magic key to weight loss. Here are 10 tips to effectively portion control your food.
3. Do not cut out entire food groups from your diet: A low-carb diet is a good option to lose weight and to keep it off rather than taking great pains to go zero carbs in an attempt to lose weight rapidly. When you deprive your body of an entire food group like “carbohydrate,” you tend to unknowingly overeat to makeup for the missing food group. Instead choose what kind of carbs you should be eating – whole grains should be a part of your daily diet and that’s why Rati Beauty diet programs picks the right kind of carbs for the ir weight loss recipes.
4. Stop going for second serving: When you sit down with a meal, make sure you are putting the fork/knife or spoon down when you are 80% full. As we have mentioned below, our brain is quite slow and 20 minutes behind schedule in sending a signal to the tummy that it’s full. It’s a zen habit that needs practice to perfect, but it’s an effective to reduce calories as well.
5. Don’t feel guilty to have leftover food: Most people feel guilty about not finishing their plateful of food (rightfully they should), but practice portion control, and take just what you need. If you are worried about leftovers, don’t feel guilty because you can refrigerate them and use them as yummy “next day lunch.”
6. Cut down on processed food: Highly processed food such as breakfast cereals, canned and readymade food not only supply a huge amount of calories, they also decrease the levels of appetite-suppressing hormones and increase hunger hormones. Cut down on processed food to prevent overeating. Also processed food taste yummy because of added sugar, transfat, and other taste enhancers which makes one overeat. You can easily go from a bag of potato chips to two bags because they taste just yummy!
7. Detach food with comfort and emotion: Emotional eating is a situation where one eats to feel good and pleasant, to cope up with trauma, to relieve stress, rather than to satisfy hunger. The food that emotional eaters choose are usually high-fat, high sugar, calorie-rich food full of transfat and other toxic ingredients, extremely unhealthy for the human body. Detach food with comfort and you will hardly overeat. Here are some effective ways to get rid of emotional eating.
8. Eat Water-Dense Food: Water-dense food such as cucumber, watermelon, strawberries are not only low in calories, the high water content would make you full, without leading to the harmful effects of overeating. These 19 water-dense fruits can be added to your diet to begin the change.
9. Drink water before and after meals: They call water as the elixir of life for nothing – it can help you lose weight, make your skin glow, and do so much more. Make it a habit to drink a glass of water before a meal and also after the meal to aid digestion.
10. Eat Homecooked Meals: It’s hard to resist the temptation of eating out if you are a foodie particularly we get to try different food and most often we want to finish all the food that we have ordered, also likely ending the meal with an ice cream. Once a week of dining out is okay, but two to three regular days in a week might not be okay because you would be overeating for quite a few days in the week. Cook your own meals and see the change.
11. Make it a habit to eat salad with lunch and dinner: A few slices of cucumber, tomato, some lettuce, and onion during lunch and dinner would not only help in cutting down calories, they will fill you up without taking it to the point of discomfort.
12. Eat Protein-Rich Food: When you consume protein in a good amount daily, it increases the levels of the satiety hormone, helps to curb appetite, reducing the levels of hunger hormone. Consume more protein and less of carbohydrates and fats to prevent overeating. This way, you boost satiety hormones and keep the hunger hormones in check, which in turn means that you will be less likely to binge and eat calories. It is believed that what you eat is what you are. If you notice women who are in good shape, we bet they are on a healthy diet with high protein value in it.
13. Eat Food Rich in Fiber: Fiber helps reduce appetite to a great extent by regulating the production of hunger hormone “ghrelin.” Fiber content also reduces one’s appetite by slowing the movement of food through the gut. Since fiber has low glycemic index, it also does not spike up insulin and thus reduces the chance of extra calories getting stored up as fat in the body. Here’s a list of 32 Fiber Rich Food Items for Weight Loss.
14. Never eat meals in a rush: As we have mentioned previously in the post, it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to send signal to the tummy that it should stop eating, so if you are eating in a rush, you will most likely overeat. Eat in peace and take your own time to finish the plate.
15. Select Healthy Fat: Healthy fat such as almonds, nuts, ghee not only provide ample nutrition to the body, they also keep you full for longer. Here’s a list of healthy fat food that you can include in your diet.