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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide)
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Most of us could say we’ve been guilty of overeating on occasion. Special holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or just a birthday party are a perfect excuse for indulging a little too much, even when we tell ourselves “I need to stop overeating.” However, if you find yourself overeating on a daily or weekly basis, it can cause both your mental and physical health to suffer. In that case, it may be time to learn how to stop overeating the healthy way.

Overeating can be defined as consuming more food than your body can cope with comfortably in one sitting, or consuming more calories than the body needs to function optimally on a daily basis. However, it can also mean snacking too often between meals, or eating a large dinner when you’ve already had too much for lunch.

In general, overeating means you’ll be left feeling bloated and likely suffering digestive symptoms, such as gas or cramping. Ultimately, too much food will lead to weight gain and other negative side effects. Keep reading to learn how to avoid overeating and feel better.

What Causes Overeating?

Knowing how to stop overeating begins with figuring out why you overeat before you try to change your eating habits. There are endless reasons for this, but here are some of the most common.

Being Tired

We often see food as a “pick me up,” so we’re more inclined to reach for something sweet or carb-rich when we’re feeling fatigued. This tends to happen in the afternoon, when we feel a “slump” in our energy and reach for a snack that we have tucked into our desk.

Boredom

Eating is sometimes our way to fill time. It’s also very easy to snack without thinking while watching a movie or TV. Boredom can also lead us to reach for comfort foods, which wreak havoc on our daily calorie consumption.

Drinking Alcohol

A few drinks can increase your appetite and also hinder your sense of feeling full. Salty, fatty snacks are often paired with alcoholic beverages, which, in turn, make you drink more alcohol to quench your thirst.

Dehydration

If you’re not drinking enough water, it can lead to feelings of “hunger,” but what your body really wants is a glass of water.

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How to Stop Overeating

Try these 3 simple things if you want to stop overeating and be healthy again:

1. Be More Mindful

Mindless eating is a common problem in Western society. We’re often so busy rushing around after family and work commitments that we eat on the run, or we make mindless food choices.

That means reaching for quick snacks that give us an energy boost on the run, or grabbing whatever is closest while we’re finishing another task. Sometimes, mindless eating is simply eating while watching TV.

Unfortunately, these distractions not only reduce our enjoyment of the food we’re putting into our mouths, but they can quickly lead to eating too much. Our brain fails to pick up on the signs of physical fullness, or to even notice what we’ve eaten.

But there’s a way around this. When you engage with your food, you can stop eating mindlessly and start eating mindfully. Mindful eating means tuning in to what your body really wants and needs.

You can begin eating more mindfully by checking in with yourself each time you reach for a snack or treat.

Ask yourself why you’re choosing this particular food. Are you bored, actually hungry, upset, or stressed?

When you stop and notice your thoughts and emotions, you’ll be more focused on what’s really going on in your head. Even if you do go ahead and eat the snack, you’ll be more aware of the fact that you’re eating it, rather than carrying out an automatic action. This can help you to break a chain of unconscious eating behavior.

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Learn more about mindful eating in this article: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now

2. Plan Your Meals

Making bad food choices often happens because we’re hungry on the run. Planning and preparing your meals in advance can help prevent you from falling victim to fast food and other treats and help you learn how to stop overeating by paying attention to your portion sizes.

If you’re going out for dinner, check the menu before you go to the restaurant so that you know what to expect.

Pack your lunch to take to work so that you don’t have to run off to the cafeteria or pizza place. This way, you can prepare healthy meals for yourself using quality ingredients. If you know that you have a freshly-made turkey sandwich in your bag, you’ll be less likely to stop by the vending machine for a pack of potato chips.

Try these 10 Meal Planning Apps To Get Healthier Easily.

3. Eat More Protein and Fiber

Protein is a valuable nutrient that supplies your body with the amino acids it needs to restore muscle tissue, along with many other roles. Protein takes a lot longer for your digestive system to break down, so you’ll feel fuller for longer. This can help you as you learn how to stop overeating.

Studies show that eating a breakfast high in protein increases satiety (feeling satisfied after eating) and reduces hunger throughout the day.[1]

Researchers also used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that eating a protein-rich breakfast can reduce the signals your brain makes to control food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior.[2]

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Fiber can also help prevent overeating. Fiber fills you up but contains very few calories. It also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels so you’re less likely to crave sweet things (like carbs and treats) later in the day. Fiber cannot be broken down in the digestive system, so it adds bulk to your waste and helps keep you regular.

What Helps Your Stomach After Overeating?

If you’ve overindulged, one of the best things you can do is take a gentle walk. The movement will help to promote peristalsis[3], the wave-like motions of your digestive system that move food through your intestines.

Don’t force yourself to move too quickly or strenuously, as this will shunt blood flow to your muscles rather than your stomach and slow down your digestion.

Peppermint tea will also help to soothe a bloated stomach if you haven’t quite mastered how to stop overeating. Peppermint is very effective for relieving digestive symptoms such as gas and indigestion. It also helps to prevent spasms in the gut caused by smooth muscle contracting.

Top 3 Supplements to Regulate Your Appetite

Probiotics

Your gut is home to billions of microbes that have important roles in your overall health. Some of these microbes have been shown to have ways of letting the brain know when they’ve received enough nutrients to replicate.

These signals play a key role in the physiology of appetite; that is, they can turn your hunger on and off.

Certain strains of probiotic bacteria have been shown to reduce food intake in animals, even when they are hungry. One compound was able to stimulate the release of a hormone associated with satiety signals, while another appeared to increase the firing of brain neurons that diminish appetite.[4]

Human studies have also shown positive results. In a study involving a group of 125 overweight men and women, half of the subjects were given a daily probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus, while the other half took a placebo.[5]

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All of the subjects underwent a weight loss program for 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week maintenance program. The women taking the probiotic supplement showed an average weight loss of 4.4kg, while the women receiving the placebo lost only 2.6kg.

The Infuel Probiotic can help regulate your appetite.

Gymnema Sylvestre

Gymnema is a herb that has been found to help block your ability to taste sweetness, which can help as you learn how to stop overeating. The gymnemic acid blocks the sugar receptors on your tongue, preventing you from enjoying anything sweet. This can make sweet foods less desirable![6]

Gymnema is also known to stimulate insulin production in your pancreas, which promotes the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. Better insulin production means that your blood sugar levels stay steady, reducing the incidence of sugar cravings that can lead to overeating.[7]

Green Tea Extract

One of the primary polyphenols in green tea extract is epigallocatechin gallate (ECG). ECG has been shown to not only boost fat oxidation and increase energy expenditure, but may also help control appetite, which is key as you learn how to stop overeating.

When given to overweight patients, EGCG was shown to delay gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to leave the stomach). The patients who took EGCG also reported greater satiation in the 90 minutes after eating.[8] This suggests that EGC can help prevent overeating by helping you feel full and stay satisfied longer.

The Bottom Line

Be committed to your goal to stop overeating, but also be patient with yourself. Everything takes time, and so does breaking your overeating habit.

By following the 3 steps I suggest above, you will gradually stop overeating and learn to enjoy your food with a sense of mindfulness and an eye toward your long-term health.

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More on How to Stop Overeating

Featured photo credit: Phillip Goldsberry via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Lisa Richards

Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

    84 write random letter

      85 use a rubberband

        86 dorm smell bad

          87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

            89 how to waterproof your shoes

              90 take a picture of the name card

                91 iron inside out

                  92 old newspaper

                    93 tumble try shoes

                      keep a card like this

                        SONY DSC

                          94 soap bar

                            95 make a hole

                              96 drop the battery

                                97 use a coozie

                                  98 when taking a picture

                                    use a clean dust pan

                                      try a pants hanger

                                        use your cellphone light

                                          use a spring from an old pen

                                            quick and easy iphone speaker

                                              user binder clips

                                                wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                  put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                    clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                      use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                        doritos are great for kindling

                                                          use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                            use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                              freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                  almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                    sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                      unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                        cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                          remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                            turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                              for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                  tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                    place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                      ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                        use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                          take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                            how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                              put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                  user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                    good sandwich guide

                                                                                                      turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                        50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                          the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                            add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                              38

                                                                                                                hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                  stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                    the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                      how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                        the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                          use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                            to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                              user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                  rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                    use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                      50

                                                                                                                                        51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                          52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                            rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                              kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                  58

                                                                                                                                                    59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                      60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                        hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                          Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                            hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                              use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                  keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                    If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                      drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                        use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                          use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                            do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                              when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                  put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                    75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                      use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                        pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                          78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                            79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                              80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                    99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                      100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                        88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

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