The causes of overeating are varied and many. Stress, boredom and hormonal imbalances can all play their part. While overeating can be attributed to a multitude of reasons, it is generally triggered by psychological rather than physical factors. Some people overeat out of boredom; some do it when they’re happy or excited.
If you find yourself prone to overeating or binging on occasions, don’t despair. The good news is that there are proven methods that can curb the habit and get your life back on track. Once you’ve conquered the binging, not only will you look better, but you’ll have more confidence, more energy and more money in your pocket. Follow these steps to take control of your cravings and regain a balanced approach to eating.
Identify your triggers
The first step is to figure out what makes you binge on food. Is it because you feel lonely or stressed? Are you overworked and pressed for time? Many people overeat simply because they get distracted while watching TV or browsing online. Suddenly feeling ravenous, they’ll head to the kitchen for a quick sugar fix. Others overeat out of habit or to comfort themselves when they feel down.
Be honest with yourself and identify your triggers. Rest assured, you’re not the only one who uses food as a means of coping with intense emotions and the pressures of life. Try monitoring your eating habits for a week, noting down how you feel before and after eating. When you look back over your notes, see if you can identify recurring factors that are adversely affecting your dietary choices. The key is to try and avoid people and situations that will increase stress and trigger negative emotions.
Plan your meals
When you come home hungry after a hard day’s work, cooking is the last thing on your mind It’s all too easy to reach for the phone and order a pizza or grab an instant meal from the freezer. Planning your meals in advance will not only save time – it’ll also save you from giving in to temptation.
Set a day when you can cook for the week ahead, or at least for the next two or three days. Boil or grill your chicken, prepare a huge bowl of veggies and cook some rice. Pack your lunch for work and portion your food according to your needs. Place everything in special containers and store them in the fridge. Meal planning is one of the best ways to prevent overeating. As an added bonus, it’ll also save you a small fortune on takeaway bills and overpriced supermarket sandwiches.
If you find yourself eating just to kill time, the solution is obvious: keep busy. Find activities that you enjoy doing such as reading, blogging or art. Sign up for a course, take dance lessons or do the garden. Better still, take up a sport or try a home workout – Adrian James High Intensity Interval Training will burn off those excess calories and improve body tone. Set daily goals to challenge yourself and prevent the sort of idle lazing that can lead to idle grazing.
Choose filling foods
If you’re eating regularly but are always hungry, it’s time to take a closer look at the food on your plate. White bread, sugary snacks and refined carbs will only leave you craving more. Swap them for spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, kale and courgettes, as well as complex carbs such as whole grain rice and oatmeal. These provide a sustained energy release that will fuel your body for longer.
Finally, quell hunger cravings by getting more protein into your diet. Take a shaker filled with a scoop of Healthy Whey to work; when hunger sets in mid-morning, just add water and you’ve got yourself a healthy and nutritious snack. Identify your triggers, plan your meals, keep active, choose filling foods and that’s it: four simple steps to prevent overeating.