Knowing the reasons you overeat can help you make changes that help you lose weight. If we are all being honest with ourselves, we could definitely come up with a handful of occasions when we have truly crossed the line into overeating. Sometimes it’s around Christmas, sometimes a big birthday bash, normally around some sort of festive occasion where normal eating habits are thrown out of the window.
However, for some people, the problem of overeating isn’t one that plagues them on just special occasions, but instead is an everyday battle to try to control food cravings and a conscious effort to make healthy decisions over unhealthy ones. If you categorise yourself as somebody who has to think about overeating a lot more than the average person, have you ever taken a second to actually assess and wonder why you are eating too much on a regular basis? These things always have a starting point or even multiple explaining factors. Here are some reasons you overeat.
Plate size is one of the top reasons you overeat. It’s human nature to fill a plate and then clear it, it’s even what our parents told us was the proper thing to do! However, you need to be careful about the size of the plates you use. A big plate compared to a medium-sized plate can sometimes be double the calories, so stick to using smaller plates to trick your mind into thinking that you are eating just as much as before, when in fact it is significantly less!
The nature of snacks means that you can never be quite sure how much you are eating because they enter your body bit by bit. If you did an experiment and put all the snacks you eat during the day on a plate, you might be shocked by how quickly it stacks up to something significant.
If you watch a lot of TV, then you watch a lot of ads, and the majority of ads these days are all about delicious junk foods of various kinds! You might not realize it, but these ads are having an effect on your food choices. To avoid subliminal messaging and craving, skip the ads altogether by fast forwarding through them.
You need to practise something called mindful eating, in which you dedicate meal times to being just that - a time to eat rather than to watch TV. When your focus is on an addictive soap opera, you will end up grabbing more snacks than you need, and this is a classic way to get into the habit of overeating.
Just because you have spent an hour at the gym doesn’t mean that you can have a burger and chips on the way home with no consequences. You need to be realistic about your energy and calorie expenditure and eat only accordingly to how much you think you have burned off during the workout. Junk food after exercise is a nonsensical idea!