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How to Stop over Eating Stop Eating too much Stop Overeating why am i Eating too much

You’re probably not reading this because you’ve ever found a diet that works – that’s helped you lose weight and keep it off. The reason diets don’t work is that they don’t address our basic relationship with food. Cutting out food groups (carbs/fats/proteins) or severely restricting calories is counterproductive because as soon as you stop dieting you start to gain weight again.

Food is more than what goes in our mouths. To each of us there’s a lot more going on in our heads when we eat or even think about food.

Here, we’re going to examine some of the reasons we over eat and what we can do about them. We each have control over what eat and it’s our own responsibility.

Reason 1. Emotional over eating.

Food is very often bound up with emotion – we eat when we celebrate, when we’re depressed, as a reward for something, as a compensation when something goes wrong, when we’re lonely…

What’s the answer?

Identify emotional hunger by its sudden onset and that eating doesn’t make it go away. Physical hunger tends to be gradual and is satisfied when we eat.

Stop and think about if this could be emotional hunger before you go to the fridge. Find more constructive ways of dealing with it – phoning a friend, writing a journal, going for a walk.

If this is a recurrent problem, try keeping a diary of what you’re feeling and why.

What would your best friend advise you to do if s/he was here with you now?

Think ahead of yourself. Last time you felt this way and ended up over eating, how did you feel? Fat and ashamed? Sick? Remember than negative feeling and ask yourself if you really want to do that again.

Reason 2. Are your really hungry, or could you be thirsty?

Thirst is often mistake for hunger and we end up eating before we drink.

What’s the answer?

Have a large glass of water or a hot drink before you eat, whether that’s to have a meal or if you think you might be thirsty instead of hungry. You will feel fuller and eat less.

If you’re still hungry, how hungry are you? Rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is feeling faint with hunger and 10 is full and nauseated. Aim to eat when your hunger is 3-4 – hungry but not so hungry that you’ll eat too much too quickly.

Reason 3. Are you hungry or bored?

This is really common. Where ever we are the temptation to eat is there. In the kitchen at home, out in the town, even on the road there’s a meal-stop soon! And eating is an easy cure for boredom.

What’s the answer?

Take control and be more disciplined. Go for a walk, groom the dog, write an email or a letter, take up knitting – do something that makes you use your hands if you feel an attack of boredom coming on.

Reason 4. You’re a member of the Clean Plate Club.

No one wants to waste food by clearing your plate even when you’re full isn’t good either. If you’ve been brought up to clear your plate this can be a hard habit to break.

What’s the answer?

Use a smaller plate. This means smaller portions and your brain will think your stomach has eaten just as much but feel fuller sooner.

You don’t have to eat everything on the plate. If you’ve served up too much then put it in a plastic carton in the refrigerator/freezer. And tomorrow you won’t need to cook!

Practise feeling good when you push your plate away when it still has food on it.

Reason 5. Making bad food choices.

You would have had to be living on another planet not to be aware of the health messages and information surrounding food.

What’s the answer?

Become informed and take control of what you choose to eat. You will then be taking charge of your weight.

Follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the time make healthy food choices and 20% be a little more relaxed and have a treat.

Fill up with wholesome homemade soups which will keep hunger at bay.

Look for low GI (glycaemic index) foods which take time to digest and make you feel fuller for longer.

Reason 6. Eating too fast.

When you eat there is a delay between the brain telling you to eat and the brain telling you it’s full. Therefore you eat too much if you eat too fast.

What’s the answer?

Rate your hunger (see above).

Eat slowly, putting your knife and fork down between each mouthfull. Savour each mouthfull and really enjoy it. Stop eating when you feel full. And if you feel hungry later you can have a little more.

Focus on your food as you eat and leave the TV/radio off.

Reason 7. Bad food habits.

What’s the answer?

Identify your food weaknesses and work to get control over them. Don’t banish favourites but have them as treats only.

Alternatively, make your mind turn against the favourite food. Imagine maggots, mould and dirt all over it so that you have an aversion to these foods and don’t want them in the first place.

It’s all about choice and control. And each of us has that.