7 reasons you're overeating
When we’re hungry, we turn to food. When we’re celebrating, we turn to food. And when we’re bored? Well, you get the idea.
Food clearly plays a major role in our lives. And while we do need it to survive, there is a nasty side to our strong bond with this form of fuel and it is this: overeating. We’ve all been guilty of it at some stage, but could this seemingly harmless activity actually be the reason behind your getting-wobblier-by-the-minute stomach? Possibly.
So, in an attempt to make you aware of when you may be shovelling too many snacks into your mouth without good reason for doing so, let’s uncover the main motives we’re turning to food in the first place…
7 COMMON REASONS YOU’RE OVEREATING
#1. You’re bored.
Eating entertains us, even when we don’t really need to be entertained. Yep, so many of us are guilty of mindless eating while watching TV or reading a magazine. Before opening that packet of chips next time you’re parked on the couch, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. If you’re not, pour yourself a herbal tea instead.
#2. You’re stressed.
If you’re not a nail biter, chances are you eat when you’re suffering from stress or anxiety. And while scoffing down food may make you feel better emotionally – and may allow you to feel in control – it’s important to spot this scenario before it happens so you can prevent it. Instead of reaching for the pantry door, head outside and exercise. You’ll feel so much better if you do.
#3. You’re at a social event.
From footy matches and Friday night drinks, to Saturday brunches and Sunday barbeques, catching up with friends often involves food – and mindless eating. We tend to mimic the eating habits of others when in groups, so if your bestie is reaching for a fifth slice of pizza, it’s likely you will too. Always concentrate on the amount you’re eating, and make a conscious decision to stop when you’re no longer hungry.
#4. You’re eating too quickly.
I know we live in a fast-paced world, but eating requires you to slow down. It does take 20 minutes for your stomach to work out if it’s full, after all. When tucking into a meal, make sure you put down your knife and fork in-between each bite, chew your food properly, and pay attention to how your stomach is feeling. If hunger pangs are no longer present, stop eating before you over do it.
#5. Your plate is too big.
This may sound rather odd, but the size of your crockery determines how much food your pile on your plate. Yep, the bigger the plate, the bigger the portion. So, swap your usual dinner plate for a smaller one and see if it changes not only the amount of food you consume at each meal, but how you feel afterwards and in a few weeks, too.
#6. You’ve drunk too much.
Oh, we do silly things when we’re a bit boozy, don’t we? Kissing inappropriate boys maybe one such absurd thing, but mindless eating is another. Alcohol tends to mess with our body’s own ability to recognise when its full, which is not ideal considering this is also the time we most often reach for unhealthy food options. Add to that the fact that salty snacks make us thirsty – causing us to quench our thirst with more alcohol – and you know an awful amount of overeating is definitely going to happen.
#7. You haven’t drunk enough.
No, I’m not encouraging you to down another vodka, lemon and lime – I’m suggesting you may need some more of the goodness that is water. We often mistake hunger pangs for dehydration, which is why it’s always wise to ensure we’re drinking at least two litres per day, as well as sipping on a glass of water whenever we’re feeling a little peckish. If your pangs disappear after 15 minutes, you know you were never really hungry to begin with.
Do you find yourself overeating on a regular basis? Are one – or more – of these seven reasons to blame? Will you be paying attention to mindless eating from now on?