According to statistics, more than half of the adult population is more or less familiar with the problem of overeating, and for women, such eating behavior is more characteristic. However, this addiction causes not only the appearance of excess weight but also dozens of various diseases, including digestive disorders and metabolism, vascular and other pathologies caused by increased stress on the body. What is the reason for the abuse of nutritious and high-calorie foods? Why do women have the habit of uncontrolled eating everything that catches their eyes? To cope with chronic overeating, you need to start to figure out what caused it, and only then eliminate the cause of harmful disorder!
Eating psychology: TOP 5 causes of overeating and how to cope with them
Overeating is a rather complex psychological problem that is not always associated with deviations in the work of the digestive tract. In most cases, the causes of such abuse are much deeper. Therefore, before trying to lose weight and forever abandon huge portions, it is worth understanding what the root of the problem lies in.
Psychological overstrain is the main cause of eating disorders, especially among the fair sex. Today, there are dozens of options for relaxation: spa and saunas, beauty salons and sports complexes, entertainment and shopping centers … Modern women, of course, have a choice of how to relieve stress and fully relax! However, the habit of “jamming” problems every year becomes more common. Increased anxiety and tension, the desire to appear strong and independent, urban bustle and everyday problems somehow affect one’s well-being, and in the absence of time and energy, food is one of the most accessible consolations to be pampered after a busy and hard day.
Such a deviation is most common among women who are unsure of themselves, prone to increased anxiety, irritability, and unmotivated sense of guilt. “Sticking” their own problems, they try to find comfort in the new portion, not noticing how the feeling of satiety comes. Such overeating in dietology is called compulsive. In this case, food is not a goal, but rather a means to cope with psychological discomfort. Therefore, to defeat overeating, you need to learn to relieve stress more healthy habits – fitness, jogging, playing musical instruments, reading or listening to musical compositions. As soon as you learn to control your own level of tension, there will no longer be grounds for abuse, which means that the excess weight will gradually melt away on its own.
Another popular cause of overeating is uncontrolled snacking. A small portion seems insignificant and does not affect the feeling of hunger, although in fact during the day such snacks add a significant amount of calories to the body. It’s enough to devote just a few days to carefully controlling the amount of food eaten at main meals and numerous snacks, and you will understand that the latter sometimes make up half or even more of the total energy value of the diet.
To cope with the habit of slicing, you should carefully consider your own diet, including 4-5 full meals. So the feeling of hunger will not be overcome during the day, and the desires to eat something tasty, but extremely harmful, will gradually come to naught. It is difficult to adhere to such a schedule only at first – the body quickly retracts, so the craving for piece-cutting will become less every day.
3. Socio-cultural influence
Quite often, food is not only a means to satisfy hunger, but also the so-called “link” necessary for communication. Going to a restaurant with friends, business lunches and dinners with partners, team building with colleagues – all this implies eating food, regardless of the feeling of hunger. In addition, restaurants often serve a fairly plentiful portion, which means it is much easier to eat without noticing it, at times.
It is impossible to refuse this practice – friends will still call in a cafe, and business partners will be invited to negotiate in fashionable restaurants. Therefore, the only thing that can be done in such a case is to plan in advance the ration, taking into account the catering trip, and also try to control the number and volume of dishes ordered. Thus, you can avoid overeating without reducing your own social activity.
4. Violation of the mode and quality of nutrition
Unfortunately, selectivity in relation to food products today faded into the background, giving way to accessibility, appetizing appearance, and flavor. To succumb to temptation and eat a burger, eat a slice of pizza or a hot dog on the run, order fries and chicken nuggets for dinner – options for a quick and nutritious menu that is available at any time of the day, a great many. And although nutritionists stubbornly reiterate the destructive effect of fast food, its popularity is not becoming less. However, these products contain a huge amount of “useless” calories, which are deposited on the waist and hips overweight!
Another extreme when overeating is the use of at least useful, but rather high-calorie foods. Nuts, cereal bars, dried fruits do not immediately cause a feeling of saturation, but they have a high energy potential, so it is quite easy to overeat this snack without even noticing it. Of course, no one calls for the complete abandonment of such useful products, but their quantity in the daily diet should be clearly measured.
Overeating can be caused not only by the wrong food choices but also by insufficient fluid intake. It is proved that thirst can be associated with a person with a desire to eat, although in fact his stomach is full, and there is still enough time before the next meal. That is why nutritionists advise before giving in to the temptation and making an unplanned snack, drinking a glass of water – as a rule, after this, the feeling of hunger recedes.
However, not only the composition of the menu but also the speed of its use can cause pathological overeating. As a rule, the feeling of fullness comes only 15-20 minutes after the beginning of the meal, and if you sweep everything off the plate at lightning speed, you can easily eat many times more than you need. Therefore, it is worth paying more attention to the process of chewing, enjoying every piece eaten.
5. Too strict diet
Doctors and specialists in proper nutrition chorus say: everything is good in moderation! Of course, you should not overeat regularly, but you should not deny yourself everything, calculating the allowable minimum of calories. If you constantly limit yourself to food, the body will sooner or later begin to experience acute nutritional deficiencies, as a result of which a breakdown may occur, and overeating will follow a strict diet. In this case, even the slightest indulgence can cause a negative response, not to mention a total violation of existing prohibitions. Therefore, when composing a dietary ration, one should not go too far – it’s better to slowly, but systematically, go towards the goal, than regularly struggle with weight jumps.
How to learn to control portion size?
Knowing the cause of overeating, to control it is quite simple – it is enough to eliminate the provoking factor, and the problem will gradually lose its relevance. Nevertheless, there are several universal recommendations that will help prevent eating disorders and keep your appetite “in check”:
- Take time to eat. Make a clear timetable for food and try to strictly adhere to it. And set aside for each meal a sufficient amount of time so that there is no need to eat in a hurry or on the go. So your body develops the habit of getting a certain amount of calories in the strictly allotted time, and the craving for overeating will disappear.
- Give up snacking. This rule follows from the previous one: having a clear schedule of nutrition, you will not be able to constantly cut pieces, which means that you will cease to constantly overeat without even noticing it.
- Do not turn food into a “consolation prize.” Learn to cope with stress, frustration and other negative emotions without an extra piece of cake or a portion of ice cream – they will not help solve the problem, but only create new ones. For this, there are more useful and pleasant ways!
- Eat while sitting. So you can forever refuse meals in a hurry or on the go, during which you usually eat 20-30% more than your body needs.
- Replace plates with smaller ones. In bulk dishes, even an impressive portion will seem insufficient. If you start to put food in compact plates, visually they will seem full, and it will be psychologically easier to tune in to full saturation.
- Do not experiment with hunger strikes. Of course, fasting days are very useful, but their number should be reasonable. The same rule applies to diet: even if you very urgently need to lose weight, you cannot drastically reduce the number of servings – everything should be harmonious and measured. Eating regularly and fully, it is much easier to avoid overeating and lose weight than alternating hunger strikes with bouts of gluttony.
Control your appetite is not difficult, especially knowing the causes of overeating. And nevertheless, do not try to cope with the problem “swoop”: reduce the number and size of servings gradually, and then the changes will pass without serious consequences, without causing special stress in the body. And do not forget to replenish the diet with vitamins: the lack of healthy food components can negate all your efforts, so fortified menu and healthy supplements are required. Make up your diet correctly, and then the feeling of hunger will not bother you unnecessarily often, and overeating, as well as those extra pounds, will remain in the distant past!