Overeating is rarely just about food. There are a number of reasons why we eat too much, from emotional issues to social cues. Learning to identify and deal with those triggers is an essential first step in losing weight and getting fit.
If you recognize any of these overeating triggers, you may need to address the underlying issue before starting your next diet.
#1 – We Are Bored
Simple boredom can lead to overeating and weight gain. Many of us eat when we are bored and have nothing to do, but this is one of the easiest problems to fix. The next time you are bored, reach for your walking shoes instead of the potato chips. You can get some much-needed exercise and fight food cravings at the same time.
#2 – We Are Stressed Out
The modern world is full of stress and anxiety, and that can lead to overeating. Eating too much is rarely the result of actual hunger. Emotional triggers play a big role in what – and how much – we put in our mouths. Taking a relaxing bubble bath or going for a walk can relieve your stress and help you trim your waistline.
#3 – We Want to Be Social
Food is a part of almost every social occasion. From weddings to funerals and everything in between, eating is part of the tradition. You can still be social and enjoy your friends. Just be smart about what you put in your mouth. Eating a healthy snack before a party or other special event can prevent overeating later on.
#4 – We Are Tired
When we are tired, our bodies crave energy, and sweet and salty snacks are great at providing it. Lack of sleep can cause us to overeat and gain weight, so getting plenty of rest is one of the best ways to avoid the problem. Aim for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night to improve your health and your overall well-being.
#5 – You Are a Victim of Routine
Many of us fall into a set routine. We enjoy a healthy dinner, then we sit down to watch TV or work on the computer. Indulging in unhealthy snacking is often part of that pattern, and that can lead to serious weight gain. Breaking the pattern is hard, but the long-term benefits are well worth the effort.
#6 – We Crave Comfort
There is a reason we call them comfort foods. High-sugar and high-fat foods soothe our minds as well as our bodies, and reaching for them is as natural as breathing. Adding a few comfort foods to your diet is not the end of the world, but adding too many can lead to weight gain and long-term health problems.
#7 – We Want to Reward Ourselves
When we were growing up, our parents may have used snacks and other favorite foods as a reward, and that can be a hard habit to break. When something in your life goes right, you might reach for a piece of pie or a candy bar as a reward. There is nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but it is important to recognize – and overcome – this ingrained pattern.
#8 – We Feel Sad
Feelings of sadness can lead to overeating and overindulging in comfort foods. Sugar and starch are natural mood elevators, and eating unhealthy foods makes us feel better. Look for other healthier ways to boost your mood – like going for a walk or playing with your kids.
#9 – Our Plates Are Too Big
Something as simple as the size of your plate can have a big impact on how much you eat. Try switching out your extra-large plates with smaller ones and evaluate the effect that this simple change has on your diet.
#10 – We Eat Too Fast
We live in a fast-paced world, and for many of us that means eating on the go and grabbing a bite at the drive-through window. Eating too quickly often means eating too much, so take the time to slow down and savor every bite. You will get more enjoyment from every meal and lose weight too.
Knowing what causes you to overeat is half the battle. Once you know your triggers, you will be better equipped to fight off temptation and keep those extra pounds from creeping on to your waistline. +