Do you feel like you’ve been overeating for too long and it’s time to put a stop to it? How do you stop overeating and get your dietary habits under control?
I’m going to look at a few ways you can reign in your hunger, control your urges, and start eating better. If you’ve been struggling with controlling what you eat and how much you eat, you might have been going about it the wrong way. I want to share with you how to stop overeating once and for all, using proven methods that have worked for many other people who struggled with the same thing.
Control Your Stress
A lot of overeating is caused by stress and anxiety. If you’re trying to control how much you eat, but you have a constant battle with stress, you’re probably not going to be very successful. For many people, their stress is the root cause of their overeating. They do what’s called binge eating or stress eating when they’re not feeling very well.
A lot of times, stress can manifest after the activities of the day, such as right before bed or after you get off work, during what would normally be your quiet, restful time. That means that a lot of what you’re eating probably will turn into fat because it’s not being used as energy. That’s the worst time to indulge, so getting your stress under control can help you to control your cravings and your overeating.
If stress is really your problem, you should specifically research how to deal with your stress. Identifying what causes stress for you can be helpful, as can doing some relaxation exercises. Performing breathing exercises, relaxing yourself, meditating, and other comforting activities can all lower your stress levels. Stress can be caused by what you eat as well. If you eat a lot of sugar, consume caffeine, or eat a lot of salt or processed foods, all of that can cause stress on top of other triggers.
Set Eating Cutoff Times
Overeating can sometimes be controlled by limiting what times you eat. If you tend to eat outside of your regular mealtimes, such as having late night snacks, then setting a cutoff time each day for when you’re allowed to have your last bit of food can really help. Determine what’s a reasonable time for you to stop eating for the day.
People who are really struggling with their weight and overeating may cut themselves off at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. This means that they either have to have a late lunch or early dinner, and it can help when they limit themselves to two meals for the day and prevent themselves from eating snacks late into the night.
If you’re only mildly struggling with overeating, you may want to give yourself a more reasonable cutoff time, like 7:00 PM or 9:00 PM. A cutoff time like this helps to eliminate late night snacking and binge eating that can cause weight gain during the part of the day when your activity is at its lowest.
Control Portion Sizes
Getting your overeating under control ultimately comes down to having better self-control. If you can limit yourself in key ways, you can improve your overall self-control. Limiting how much you eat for each meal will help you have better control over binge eating, late night snacking, and the unhealthy foods you might gravitate towards.
For a lot of people, successful dieting and control of overeating begins by cutting down their portion sizes during regular meals. Here are a few ideas for how you can cut back on your portion sizes:
- not going back for seconds
- cutting out desserts
- eliminating sauces
- having just one piece of meat
- eating only 1/2 or 2/3 of what you normally eat
- filling up only half of your plate
- limiting yourself to only one scoop of each food
You may need to choose specific portion control methods based on what you eat and how severe your overeating is. You may even want to choose several of them at once to help get things under control quickly. You want to be careful about pushing yourself too hard and too fast. You can overexert yourself with the dieting program and end up hungry all the time, irritated, and frustrated. You may give up on your dieting and overeating control quickly rather than sticking with it.
I think this is one of the biggest issues people run into when they’re trying to stop overeating once and for all. They simply push themselves too hard at first and end up falling on their face and giving up on their diet and their goals. Take it slow and easy at first, easing yourself into a new dieting program and working on one key area of overeating at a time.
Don’t Wait until You’re Hungry to Eat
Did you know that you eat more when you’re hungry than when you’re not? It makes sense, of course, but you might never have considered eating a little early and eating before you’re hungry to help control overeating. What this does is help you to eat less, and then you won’t be hungry later on.
If you wait to eat until you’re hungry, you may end up eating more than you actually need and feeling overly full. By eating a little early, ahead of your hunger pangs, you can help stop overeating in its tracks.
Eat More Slowly
If you tend to scarf down your food, what you’ll probably end up doing is eating a lot more food than you actually need. You should realize that your stomach takes time to digest food and to tell your brain that you’re full. So, if you’re eating very quickly, you’ll eat way more food than you need and go far past the point to where your body feels full.
So, if you’re looking to get control over your overeating habits, then you want to give yourself plenty of time to eat. Try not to squeeze in a full meal in a short period of time. If you take 15 minutes to eat or less, that can contribute to overeating. Instead, give yourself half an hour or an hour to eat your food. This way, you can eat more slowly, spreading your meal out over more time, and realizing right when you’re full rather than pushing past that mark.
Control Your Snacking
There are certain foods we eat that cause us to eat more than if we were eating something else. These are foods that we might consider to be addictive because of what they contain, and I’m specifically talking about sugary, salty, and fried foods. Those unhealthy ingredients can trigger feelings of addiction and cravings in our brain. You may feel like you always need to have something sweet or something salty to go with your meal. If you actively work to cut these kinds of foods out of your diet and limit them, you won’t feel the need to eat as much food.
Something I found that really helps is to mostly eat my meals at home and then to limit what I buy at the grocery and keep in my cupboards. This means I’m less likely to reach for something sweet or unhealthy because it’s simply not available at home. If you go out to eat often, you’ll have a lot of unhealthy choices that can dash your diet pieces and destroy your overeating goals.
By eating at home instead and limiting what is brought into your house, you’ll have better control over what you eat and how much you eat. By cutting out fried foods, sugary foods, and salty foods, you’ll be less likely to have cravings. That means you aren’t as likely to go for a snack right after a meal or eat a lot of snacks in between meals.
It helps to keep healthy snacks on hand- foods that you enjoy eating that are not going to be fattening or addictive and that you can feel good about eating. It can be very tough to control your snacking tendencies and to stop eating between meals, and one of the best ways to tackle this compulsion is to make sure you always have something healthy to snack on or simply drink a lot more water that can reduce your cravings and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
These are just a few ways you can get control of your overeating and stop eating too much. Trying a few of these things or putting them all into action can make a huge difference in how much you’re eating and help you achieve your fitness and dieting goals.