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Published on October 16, 2020

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

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

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!

But if you find yourself overeating a little too often, your health may begin to suffer – both mentally and physically.

Overeating is defined as 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. But 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 cramp. Ultimately, too much food will lead to weight gain.

What Causes Overeating?

Knowing how to stop overeating begins with figuring out WHY you overeat. There are endless reasons for this, but here are some of the most common ones.

  • 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.
  • Boredom – Eating is sometimes our way to fill time. It’s also very easy to snack without thinking while watching a movie or TV.
  • 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.
  • Not drinking enough water – Being thirsty can often be mistaken for being hungry.

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.

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Unfortunately, these distractions not only reduces 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 mentally.

But there’s a way around this. When you engage your mind 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? Are you actually hungry? Are you 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.

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 is sometimes 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.

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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 canteen 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 packet 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.

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]

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 to take a gentle walk. The movement will help to promote peristalsis, the wave-like motions of your digestive system that move food through your intestines.

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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. 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, while another appeared to increase the firing of brain neurons that diminish appetite.[3]

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. Here’s the result:[4]

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.

Consider these 7 Best Probiotic Supplements  to regulate your appetite.

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Gymnema Sylvestre

Gymnema is a herb that has been found to help block your ability to taste sweetness. The gymnemic acid blocks the sugar receptors on your tongue, preventing you from enjoying anything sweet. This can make sweet foods less desirable![5]

Gymnema is also found 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.[6]

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.

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.[7] This suggests that EGC can help prevent overeating by making you feel full and more satisfied for longer.

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 in this article, you will gradually stop overeating and be healthy again!

More on Healthy Diets

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 November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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