I used to be a big binge eater and over eater myself and there was a time in my life that I felt like this behaviour ruled me. In fact sometimes it used to feel as though I’d been possessed by something and I had no control over the beast. At that point it wasn’t a happy place to be and if you’re currently struggling with an overeating habit, perhaps you can relate.
There are various factors that can drive us to overeating habits, some of the main ones are stress, boredom and emotions. But one of the most important factors that drives overeating behaviour is our hormones. Did you know that?
When I had an overeating problem I had no idea of this. I just thought it was my lack of willpower again!
Now that I’ve studied more about nutrition and hormones I understand that hormones like insulin, leptin, cortisol, and ghrelin all play a key role in determining our hunger, appetite, and therefore our behaviours too. You can read more about those hormones here.
So I thought I’d share a few tips on how to control overeating because you might find them just as helpful as I have.
How To Control Overeating
1. Cut out the crap
Sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, fruit juices, junk foods, these all tip the scale and promote over eating. The best thing you can do to curb the habit is choose fresh all natural ingredients.
2. Eat enough food early in the day
Skipping breakfast or not getting enough food early in the day leads to binge eating or overeating later in the day. You might not feel like eating breakfast but it’s good to force yourself into the habit of eating a good meal because this helps to level out hormones and sustain energy so you’re not falling apart later on and reaching for the bad stuff. Also eat a mid morning snack and a good sized lunch because more often than not bingeing or overeating tend to happen in the afternoon or at night.
3. Establish a routine
Having a similar routine for eating everyday definitely helps to regulate your body. Work on eating your meals at roughly the same time everyday.
4. Work on the balance of macronutrients
Protein, fats and carbohydrates are our 3 macronutrients. Most of the time people eat way too many carbohydrates and the wrong types too. Here’s a whole guide to healthy carbohydrates. I try to aim for a balance with every meal. A little protein, loads of vegetables (my carbohydrates), some healthy fat, and a little gluten free grain here and there. It’s all about helping to regulate those hormones and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to fuel it’s functions, that’s what helps control the overeating.
5. Eat more vegetables
One of the easiest things to do, yet often the one where most people fall short. Eating more vegetables provides the body with valuable micronutrients – all the vitamins and minerals that we need every day to keep on going. The fibre helps to fill us up, fibre helps to delay the digestion of foods so we stay fuller longer, fibre also helps promote healthier gut function. Vegetables provide many other valuable components as well. The other important process in all this is the chewing factor. Chewing helps the brain register our full feeling, so because vegetables make us chew more it helps this natural process to occur.
As a strategy to reduce overeating it really does work, so be sure to fill your shopping trolley with loads of different colours and variety. And if you get the urge to splurge, grab a carrot, or some kind of vegetable and munch on that instead. It may seem strange at first, especially when you might be craving something else but all that chewing really does satisfy you.
To overcome overeating in the long term combine all these strategies together daily. That’s exactly what I do and thankfully I no longer suffer with an overeating habit, which is a great relief because I felt that it ruled me for many, many years.
I hope these simple tips work for you too
P.S. I’d love to share more tips with you so please subscribe to my weekly newsletter 🙂