Overcoming Overeating the Right Way
There are healthy ways to overcome an overeating habit and there are rigid diet plans that will get you nowhere. If you have an overeating habit, there is more to the problem than cravings. Your emotional state and the state of your life are vital to understanding why you overeat and to eventually overcoming the problem.
The first step in overcoming an overeating problem the right way is to see your doctor for a complete checkup. There may be physical reasons why you overeat, and your doctor can help to correct it so that you can then address the psychological reasons, if any. Seeing a therapist on a regular basis can help you figure out behavior patterns, triggers that cause you to overeat and gradually put the puzzle pieces of your life together so you can understand yourself and what makes you binge or overeat.
Food has always been connected with our instinct for survival – the number one force of nature. But somehow, food has evolved into an emotional band aid to mask what’s happening in our minds. We no longer merely eat for survival – we eat for comfort. When our lives become whirlwinds in which stress, depression and hard knocks prevail, we naturally turn to food as a friend, providing solace and comfort and asking no questions.
Diets won’t stop your overeating habits. They will only make you feel more guilt and stress when you fall off the wagon. Many of us are caught up in the Yo-Yo Dieting cycle and never move beyond it – only eating more and more until the weight packs on and our health and self-esteem suffer enormously from it.
The first step in overcoming an overeating habit is to become comfortable around food. Rather than panic when you come in contact with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies, know that you can have one or two and then, stop. Preparing your mind ahead of time for food encounters will go a long way to help you avoid the bingeing that often comes with the first taste of a favorite or trigger-inducing food.
Preparing ahead of time will also reduce the guilt and stress associated with eating so-called “prohibitive” foods such as chocolate chip cookies. If you know that you’re not going to be deprived of something you really want, you’ll become more relaxed around food and be able to make healthy choices.
Foods can generally be divided into three “satisfaction” groups. There are very satisfying foods such as soups, bean burritos and turkey sandwiches, somewhat satisfying foods that include cereal, yogurt or a fruit salad and none-satisfying foods that you may have guessed includes French fries, potato chips or a Twinkie.
When you’re going out to eat, prepare ahead by looking at a menu and choosing beforehand what you’re going to order. Many restaurant menus can be found in the phone book. Most of all, if you want something, have it – only in small portions. Share a dessert with a friend or split an entrée to be guilt-free no matter what you’re eating.