Weight Loss Diet: How To Stop Yourself from Overeating
When you eat more food than you need you are overeating. You have probably noticed people, including yourself, overeating and then not wanting to do anything for a while. It happens a lot at holiday meals. Overeating can make you feel sick and tired. People often tell me I overeat but I don't have a lot of fat and I don't weigh very much. I also don't feel sick and tired after I eat.
If I was overeating at almost every meal then I would be overweight. People need different amounts of food. I stop eating when I feel full so I am not overeating even if I eat more than other people. Eating a lot of food does not count as overeating if your body needs a lot of food. Eating more food than you think you should eat based on some idea you have does not count as overeating either. Overeating can be a big problem but so can not eating enough. When you are done eating you should feel satisfied and ready to do something.
Planning Your Meals
When there is a wide variety of food and lots of dessert it is easy to overeat. I don't overeat during Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthday dinners because I plan ahead. If I am going to eat dessert I save a little room for it. I save enough room for a small helping. That way I am full after I eat the dessert. For the main course I plan on having seconds. I take some food and then I take a little more. That way I don't accidentally put more food on my plate than I want to eat.
Keep healthy food around for meals, desserts and snacks while limiting the junk food and unhealthy desserts. If you have junk food and dessert in your house you will eat it. If you don't have it then you are not going to eat it. I am not saying that you should not have any. Just limit the amount of unhealthy food you have.
If you eat a nice well balanced meal then your body gets things it needs and feels satisfied. If you eat junk food or fast food it is not as satisfying. So you eat more. Your body is getting things it does not need and not getting things it needs. As a result you crave more food. When I have fast food I often don't feel full because the meal is missing something. So I figure out what the meal is missing and eat some. It is the same with homemade meals. If I eat broccoli soup for supper I don't feel satisfied until I have some meat. If I have a burger I don't feel satisfied until I have vegetables or fruit. Satisfying your hunger by eating well balanced meals and healthy snacks can stop you from overeating.
People that eat fast can accidentally overeat. They don't realize they already ate enough because they ate too quickly. Food does not satisfy your hunger immediately after you eat it. One of the best ways to avoid overeating is to eat slowly. You don't need to eat as much to enjoy the taste of the food and you can tell when you have eaten enough. If you are on a weight loss diet you should still feel satisfied when you are done eating.
When you exercise you can use up a lot of energy. So exercise can make you hungry. After I started exercising more I started eating more food. That is when people started telling me I eat too much. Before that the same people were telling me I did not eat enough. It is not only the extra exercise but the extra muscle that will make you want to eat more. If you exercise a lot then you should be eating a lot.
Exercising can help you get rid of fat and lose weight. It works best with a healthy diet. A lot of people try to eat less when they should really be exercising more. One way to stop yourself from overeating is to exercise more so your body needs more food. You might not need to change your eating habits. I have noticed that people, especially women, often feel guilty, sad or mad at themselves because they think they are eating too much now that they are exercising more. Those negative thoughts don't help.
Starving to Stuffing
Diets often lead to overeating and the food people choose to try to satisfy their cravings is usually junk food. A good way to avoid overeating is not to go on a strict diet. Starving yourself or restricting the food you eat is a bad idea. To lose weight and avoid overeating focus on doing things that are good for you. Maintain a good healthy diet and exercise. You don't need to go hungry to lose fat or bodyweight. Eating healthier and being more active works.
Some people consider snacks to be bad but giving yourself permission to snack can stop you from overeating. If you don't snack between meals then you are more likely to overeat so you don't get hungry before the next meal or overeat at the next meal. People that are hungry for a while tend to overeat when they eat again. Since I allow myself to snack when I am hungry I don't eat extra food during meals. Just make sure you are snacking because you are hungry and try to have healthy snacks.
Boredom and Emotional Overeating
Negative thoughts and emotions can cause you to eat when you are not really hungry. So can boredom. If you are stressed or sad you may eat comfort food in an attempt to make yourself feel better or to distract yourself. Some people feel guilty after they overeat. Guilt is a negative emotion. If you want to make up for overeating then exercise more and eat healthier. There is no reason to feel guilty because you ate too much. Put it behind you and move on. I rarely overeat but when I do I never feel guilty or mad at myself.
If you are bored you may want food just for something to do. One of the worst place to be bored is at the kitchen table. Fast eaters often eat out of boredom while waiting for other people to finish. Eating slowly helps. If you find yourself about to get out some snack food because you are bored try thinking of something fun to do. If you are craving comfort food then find a way to make yourself feel better that does not involve food.
I workout, go for walks, ride my bike, play video games and do other things to keep myself busy while reducing stress. When I watch TV I usually exercise for a while instead of just sitting on the couch. If you want more control over your emotions I recommend meditation, yoga, tai chi or qigong. Going for a walk in the woods everyday works pretty well too.
Overcoming Food Cravings
If you have food cravings then you can try to cope with them by motivating yourself and using willpower but that does not fix the problem. People give in to their cravings and overeat. It is unrealistic to expect that you can continue to overcome the cravings using willpower. Another option is to deal with the cravings. You have food cravings for different reasons. Figure out what is causing the food cravings and get rid of it.
I don't continue to resists the food cravings. I get rid of the cravings. It is easier and you are not torturing yourself. Eat healthy satisfying meals, eat slowly, snack, exercise, relax and be happy. Sometimes I eat more food to lose weight. So if you are trying to eat less for weight loss or to get rid of fat then you have other options.
© 2013 Michael H