What does it mean to overeat? It means to take in more energy than our bodies need. If we are consistently taking in more food than our bodies are using, the extra weight gets stored as fat. This takes us back to our energy equation:
energy in (food) > energy out (exercise) = weight gain
Like I said, being aware of this equation doesn’t stop us from overeating. So why do we do it? There are many reasons and for each person its different. If you become aware of the reasons you consistently overeat, you might be in a better position to change those habits. Remember, over-eating every now and again won’t make you gain weight. Doing so over a long period of time will. The converse is also true: not overeating over a long period of time will help you to lose weight.
Like we explored earlier, emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. This could be eating because you’re sad, anxious or angry. As we said previously, eating emotionally every once in a while is not necessarily bad, but doing so often causes weight gain. If this is your main reason for overeating, you might want to try some exercises to help you with this. [link]
Overeating at Social Events:
When we are eating with other people or at social events or gatherings, we might be more inclined to eat more than we should. This might be because we are not paying attention to our hungry and full signals, because we feel obligated to eat the food that’s been put in front of us, or maybe the people we are with are putting pressure on us to eat more. It might also be that the food at social gathering just tastes so good that we can’t stop ourselves from eating too much. The best way to handle these situations is to perhaps not eat too much for the rest of the day in anticipation of the event or to compensate for it afterwards by eating a little less. This way your daily consumption might still be the same, just more concentrated at this event.
The “I’ve blown it” Mentality:
Dieters will know what this is – when you’ve been following a diet, restricting certain foods or calories, and then you have a ‘forbidden’ food. This makes you feel like a failure so you continue to eat this ‘forbidden’ food plus any other restricted food you can find, saying to yourself: “Well, I’ve blown my diet anyway, I might as well just keep eating.”
When you are eating mindfully, there are no longer any forbidden foods because we are not judging. We are also no longer being so harshly judgemental on ourselves, seeing ourselves as bad because we’ve eaten the wrong food or too much of it. Letting go of these judgements helps us to stop overeating in these situations. No foods are forbidden, so you are free to eat anything… and, yes, you can still lose weight eating the foods you love…
Lose Weight Eating the Food you Love
If you’ve been dieting for many years, you have probably come to believe that the only way you can lose weight is to cut out most of the foods that you love eating. The very thought of this might make you feel defeated before you even start the diet. If you get as far as starting the diet, you might start getting overwhelming cravings for your favourite foods that eventually cause you to binge on all your restricted foods. [Read More…]