9 Reasons We Overeat and What to Do to Stop
Do you hate dieting? Most people do. Yet, about 45 million Americans attempt dieting every year. Yet, over 98% of dieting attempts fail.
Diets DO NOT WORK!
No matter what you call them – Paleo, Keto, 80/20, juicing, etc. – diets are just that…
As the saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig and call it Monique, but it is still a pig.”
I personally LOATHE dieting. If I have to count a calorie, skip a meal, or track points – IT IS OVER! I am sure you feel the same.
So, today, I am going to give you 9 reasons to succeed and NEVER diet again!
9 Reasons We Overeat and What to Do to Stop!
PROBLEM: Thirst can be mistaken for hunger. It is called “dehydration hunger.” If the liver is not getting enough water, it does not produce glycogens. This means headaches, lack of energy, and feeling cranky. If you do not give your body water, it will make you crave food, since food has some liquid in it that it can extract. So, a low glycogen count means more trips to the fridge, which translates to a higher number on the scale.
Additionally, dehydrated bodies crave sodium. And our brain feels that the only way we can get sodium is through eating.
Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans are chronically dehydrated. It is no wonder that almost as many of us are losing the Battle of the Bulge.
It turns out that dehydration is a significant driver of overweight and obesity.
SOLUTION: Consume 1 liter of water (34 oz.) per every 50 lbs. of your body weight daily. You can include herbal teas and fruit or vegetable flavored water to make it more fun.
Avoid caffeine as much as possible, since it is a diuretic.
If you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, check through the remaining 8 reasons you overeat, and if none of them check off – eat! But…
Choose optimal ingredients for health and weight loss. We will discuss it soon.
PROBLEM: Also known as mindless eating. It happens to the best of us, especially when we remain sedentary. A nibble here, and a niggle there, and before we know it…
We are losing the Battle of the Bulge!
Additionally, when we are bored, we are not thinking about nutrient-rich foods. We crave “make me feel good” foods because we want to be entertained.
SOLUTION: Before eating, ask yourself these two questions (you can even write each on a sticky note and put them on your fridge, as many of my clients do):
“Am I eating because I am hungry or because I am bored?” and
“Can eating an apple satisfy my craving?”
If the answer is NO, then you are not hungry, you are bored! Get up, move around, find something to do that will keep you out of the kitchen for 20-30 minutes. Then…
If you still think you’re hungry, look through the remaining 8 reasons you overeat, and if none of them check off – eat!
PROBLEM: The American Psychological Association’s 2013 Stress in America survey revealed that 38% of adults overeat or eat unhealthy foods because of stress. Cortisol levels increase as we become stressed, and this, in turn, increases our appetite.
Eating sugary, fatty, and salty foods makes us feel better when we are stressed. But the feel-good feeling is only a temporary fix. In the long-term, overeating can lead to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and hormone imbalances.
The emotional toll overeating takes on us is not to be dismissed either. If you are already struggling with weight and self-esteem issues, overeating comfort food will certainly lead to self-loathing, which is stress… And you already know what stress does. So, it becomes a vicious cycle.
SOLUTION: Identify your emotional triggers and find healthy ways to cope with stress.
DO NOT eat when you are upset!
Take 20 minutes to calm down, breathe, journal, go for a walk in nature or talk to a friend.
Before eating, ask yourself: “Am I eating because I am hungry, or because I am upset?” Then proceed based on your answer.
PROBLEM: Didn’t get enough sleep?
The less you sleep, the more you’re up. And the more you’re up, the more likely you are to fit in extra calories in your intake.
The more tired your brain is, the less likely it is to make optimal food choices.
Lack of sleep causes leptin levels to decline, causing hunger and overconsumption.
Additionally, gherlin – the appetite booster hormone which triggers you to eat – increases when you’re tired, which then leads you to eat even more.
SOLUTION: If you lack sleep consistently, create a better bedtime routine. Remove destructions from your bedroom. Unplug from TV and social media. Read a book. Turn off the lights, and build your schedule around your sleep. Most of us need 6.5-8 hours of solid sleep to feel energized.
When you are VERY tired during the day, do what many cultures do around the world – take a siesta!
According to numerous scientific studies, napping improves learning and performance, as well as alleviating daytime drowsiness. It also reduces fatigue, increases alertness, and improves mood.
So, take take a 30-minute nap, or go to bed early to avoid overeating.
5. CALORIC RESTRICTION
PROBLEM: 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. Some skip meals, some drastically reduce calories, some count points. The intermittent fasting trend is at all times high at the moment. And while some claim it works, most will miserably fail at it, because this is just another way to diet.
The outcome is the same – restricting food causes blood sugar levels to plummet, making you more inclined to overindulge when you finally get your hands on food.
The diet culture creates guilt and shame around food. This is how eating disorders develop. Food is the one thing that ALL of the humanity needs for survival, so we need to be mindful to have a nurturing relationship with it.
Deprivation, guilt, and shame do not work and will lead to binge eating.
SOLUTION: Stop dieting! It is not sustainable. It does not work. Instead, think of food as your closest, healthiest relative. (The healthy kind, of course.) It is there to support and nurture you. It’s not its job to take care of your emotions!
Instead, transition to a whole food plant-based diet rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, and eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
6. PROCESSED FOODS
PROBLEM: Processed and junk foods are devoid of nutrition. They are rich in calories but do not satisfy our need for minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. They lack fiber and cause blood sugar spikes. The dip that follows after the spike is going to make you hungry. So, you keep feeling hungry and reaching for more to satisfy this ever-hungry monster.
Your body is like a hound, it keeps searching for the minerals and nutrients it needs in the foods you consume because it needs them for survival, and when it cannot find them, it will push you to eat more.
SOLUTION: Start replacing processed meals with nutrient-dense whole foods and see your sugar levels stabilize while your nibbling habits disappear.
7. PLATE SIZE
PROBLEM: Plate size matters! It’s a psychological thing. We want to fill our plates to feel our stomachs. The bigger the plate, the more food we will pile on.
SOLUTION: Get smaller bowl and plate sizes and without trying, you will reduce your caloric intake. (As long as you do not start going for seconds.)
8. SELF-ESTEEM PROBLEMS
PROBLEM: We are bombarded with photoshopped images of perfect people. It’s happening everywhere – mainstream media, printed media, social media, TV, ads. We are made to feel less than, so…
We feel stressed and depressed because we do not measure up. We become dissatisfied with who and how we are.
Feeling stressed leads us to reach for comfort food. And if we are dieting, this makes us fail. Which, in turn, causes more depression and self-loathing = stress. And stress leads to more eating. It’s a vicious cycle.
SOLUTION: Implement self-love and positive affirmation. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself, do things that make you happy. Get off social media. Celebrate your body as it is! You will not get another one anyway, but you can make this one feel better through self-love, exercise, and nourishing foods.
Write down 3 things that you love about yourself every day, then read them out loud while looking at yourself in a mirror.
Focus on your positive qualities.
When you overeat, don’t punish yourself – forgive yourself and move on. Remember that you are human and imperfections are what make us interesting and unique.
Accept yourself for who you are.
9. FOOD CULTURE
PROBLEM: We are born into food cultures, especially in the developed world where calories abound.
We eat when we’re lonely. We eat when we are happy. We eat when we are sad. We eat when we socialize. We eat when we punish ourselves. We eat when we are mad. We eat to celebrate birthdays, and even to mourn. We eat when we meet someone special, and we eat when we break up.
We give our children treats to make them forget about their boo-boos. We withhold treats to punish them or to motivate them to complete a chore.
We are surrounded by food. Our kitchens are next to our bedrooms and living rooms. Our pantries are only an arm-length away.
We see food on TV, hear ads on the radio, scroll through social media posts of delicious creations. We are faced with our worst temptations at the checkouts, even in places like Home Depot and department stores.
We eat to escape our emotions and responsibilities through eating and become emotionally handicapped!
SOLUTION: We need to start processing emotions for what they are. Dance when we’re happy. Cry when we’re sad. Get in the car and scream when we are afraid or mad. Journal. Box. Meditate. Humm. Workout. Talk it out.
Do not eat when you are overly emotional.
Set expectations with your friends and family about outings. We do not always have to meet over food.
Have a conversation with yourself about standing strong, so you do not fall prey to peer pressure. Get support from a like-minded community.
If you end up going out with family or friends, pick the healthiest option on the menu or bring your own meal. Sounds odd? Not if your health and your future are at stake.
PRACTICE HARA HACHI BU
One of the ways to avoid mindless eating is to practice Hara Hachi Bu. I did a post and a podcast on this topic, so check them out. Hara Hachi Bu will get you the results you want.
BEST DIET TO STOP OVEREATING
Hands down, whole food plant-based diet that’s high in fiber, minerals, nutrients, and vitamins, low in sugar, and low in fat is the way to go. My clients lose excess weight without ever counting a calorie, while also reversing conditions such as Hashimoto’s, Grave’s Disease, Thyroid Eye Disease, endometriosis, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, PCOS, Sjogren’s, infertility, diabetes, and many others.
They eat! They do not count!
Watch this training on. The first Shift of the training will give you the details you need about the best diet to consume.
MEAL FREQUENCY MATTERS
I do not like sugar spikes. I do not like sugar highs or lows. I like consistency in my blood sugar levels, as do my clients. I stay away from fasting, skipping meals, or measuring foods. My clients and I consume 5-7 smaller meals throughout the day. This increases metabolism, improves our ability to detox, evens out our sugar levels, and gives us consistent energy throughout the day.
Isn’t this what you would want for yourself too?
360° LIFE APP
Want more health and weight loss tips and support?
You can now join my 360° Life App.
Inside, I have a nutrition course and a meal planner waiting for you. You will learn about the best diet for hormone, thyroid, autoimmune health, and weight loss.
You will be supported by your peers, who are winning the Battle of the Bulge while also healing. And you will be guided by our coaches to your optimal health goals.
You will also hear from me every single week, with tips and wisdom I share only in the app.
And as a bonus, I will give recipes, meal plans, and even grocery shopping lists.
Getting healthy and trim has never been made this easy.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you toward the health you desire:
1. Work with me privately: If you’d like to work directly with me and my team toward eliminating your hormone imbalance symptoms completely, click this link to your SCHEDULE FREE HEALTH CLARITY CALL, pick the time, and in the appointment form tell me a little about your current situation and what you’d like to work on together, and then we will see you on the call.
2. Join the 360° Life App and connect with others who are working on resolving their hormone imbalance symptoms too. It’s our private premium health community where smart people learn the best ways to start their healing process — CLICK HERE
3. Get the 73-Minute Crash Course: I'm getting a few women together this week to map out a simple plan so they can break through the confusion and information overload about their hormone health and learn how they can start resolving their symptoms naturally. — CLICK HERE for details, and register if it looks useful to you.
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