7 Ways to Stop Overeating
By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Unfortunately, we as a society are overeating on a regular basis and that’s contributing to an epidemic of obesity and weight gain associated health issues. We overeat for many reasons and it’s important to work on reducing and avoiding eating too much food unnecessarily. Not only does it create weight burdens but it also overloads our digestive system and places a burden on our liver and other organs.
Do you find yourself overeating? Do you promise yourself that you’re going to eat less each day? Do you want to eat less and eat more of the healthier foods?
Here are our top 7 ways to help stop overeating:
Drink more water, herbal tea or naturally flavored water. Dehydration can easily be confused with hunger and it contributes to tiredness. Keeping well hydrated helps to curb hunger and minimise fatigue. Start your day with a big glass of lemon water and set a reminder to drink more often to get yourself into a healthy habit. If you’re still feeling hungry after a meal or a snack then drink a glass of water and see how you feel.
- Eat S-L-O-W-L-Y & C-H-E-W
Chewing your food and taking the time to savor each mouthful helps to reduce overeating. Eating in a quiet environment without distraction plays an important role in how much you eat. Chewing your food well also improves digestion and assists in the production of your satiety hormones.Studies show that when people eat while watching TV they consume twice as much food without realizing it. Studies also show that overweight people eat approximately 88g of food per minute while slim people eat around 57g per minute. The higher the BMI the faster people tended to eat. People who chew their food more also eat less calories per meal. Women also tended to increase their risk (by 100%) of obesity by eating faster than men (by 84%).
When we eat slowly and focus our attention on our meal, hunger signals are stimulated and they let us know when to stop, when eating while distracted and in a hurry we will miss these signals and over eat.
Skipping meals also can lead to faster eating, higher processed foods requires less chewing so people tend to eat more.
Ways to slow down your eating:
- Chew food 15-20 times
- Place cutlery down between each mouthful
- Eat away from the television, computer and phone
- Eat small mouthfuls
- Consume wholefoods that require more chewing
- Consume raw and slightly undercooked vegetables – more to chew
- Don’t skip meals and find yourself over hungry
- CHANGE THE WAY YOU DEAL WITH EMOTIONS
If your normal go-to for boredom, stress, frustration and sadness is unhealthy food then it almost makes it impossible to maintain a healthy weight unless your life suddenly becomes perfect! By re-learning how to deal with stress away from the fridge and with healthier habits, you will not only support long-term weight maintenance but you will also support long-term happiness and health.
Healthy Stress Go-To’s – exercise, hobbies, yoga, music, meditation, baths, massages, movies, reading, gardening, spending time with loved ones and talking to someone. These are all ways to help deal with stress in your life rather than running to the pantry.
Make a list of all the things that make you feel happy and/or relaxed and remind yourself each time when you are stressed what your alternatives are!
- GET PLENTY OF ZZZZZZZZs
Get your zzzzz’s to help reduce cravings, overeating and excess hunger. Sleep deprivation of less than 7 hours per night increases people’s desires for processed high calorie foods and increases the desire to overeat. Studies have shown that when we sleep for the recommended amount of 7-9 hours a night our weight loss may be more significant. People who are deprived of sleep are more likely to feel hungry and have increased cravings due to feelings of fatigue, tiredness and hormonal disruption. Find out more on If you Snooze you Lose!
- TOSS THE JUNK
Junk food has been carefully designed to make us overeat. The more product we consume the more they sell and profit. Junk food is a big business and millions are spent each year on researching how to get people hooked and eating more. Certain factors such as the crunch, sugar content, artificial flavors, fat and saltiness are all factors that keep us going back for more. The more we eat the more we want so toss the junk for these easy homemade treats that will satisfy.
- GET YOUR NUTRIENTS
Getting loads of micronutrients will satisfy your cravings and curb those hunger signals. When we eat empty calories we tend to crave more food, our bodies are continually looking for nutrition and will then drive us to overeat. Consuming nutrient packed fresh juice and plant foods delivers large amounts of nutrients easily and helps to control our hunger.Fiber, protein and fat are all particularly helpful for filling us up and stimulating those satisfaction hormones. Nuts, seeds and other plant-based foods all contain these helpful macronutrients that support our hunger signals and keep us satisfied thus helping reduce overeating.
- EATING AND DRINKING REGULAR HEALTHY MEALS AND SNACKS
Eating regularly can for some people stop them from overeating at later points in the day. When people go for long periods without eating it can cause some people to then overeat and reach for the wrong foods later on. Keep those blood sugar levels balanced and you more likely to feel satisfied and happy with less food.
With these tips you can practice working on eating healthier portions and enjoying and savouring better choices.