How To Stop Overeating (Part 2 of 3)
Hope you are having an awesome day!
Today, I'm going into part 2 of my 'How To Stop Overeating' series, with three fresh tips to help you stop binge eating.
Note, I am not a psychologist or an eating disorder specialist... I just have had issues with overeating myself and am sharing what helped me overcome those tendencies.
If you are struggling with overeating and can't get it under control on your own, please don't feel like you have to keep struggling with it or that you have anything to feel guilty or ashamed about. There are professionals out there that can help and support you.
If you haven't checked it out already, please make sure you check out my first three tips by CLICKING HERE.
4. Don't Keep It In The House
If you know certain foods are a trigger for you, or you just can't help yourself.
Don't keep them in the house.
You need to treat yourself like you are an addict to those foods.
No one would expect a drug addict to live with heroin in the house and stay clean. Food can be just as addictive as drugs, especially high sugar/high fat foods.
That might mean you have to buy different treats for your partner and kids, ones that you don't like, so that you aren't tempted.
That might mean that you don't buy any treats at all, and people in your household just have to deal with it for awhile until you are able to get your urges under control.
If you are struggling with something, it's okay to put your foot down and say I can't do this anymore or to let everyone in your house know that something needs to change.
I am sure if they can see your pain, and how much you are affected by this, they would be willing to jump on board and help you through it.
You don't have to try and be a martyr and then constantly beat yourself up everytime you give in to temptation.
You need to make getting your trigger foods hard. Like out of your way, more painful to go and get than to just eat something healthy hard.
Like you go to the fridge and open it up and there is nothing in there, so you go to the cupboard and there is nothing there, so you go back to the fridge and are like...
Fine... I'll just have that apple.
You need to keep nothing around that is going to tempt you for awhile until your taste buds change, until your habits change and until your gut microbiome changes.
That can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
That's not to mean that in that time you can't still have a free meal or something nice.
But just make it hard for yourself... make getting that free meal a social occasion...
- a dinner out with your partner
- a brunch with friends
Your less likely to overdo it if you are eating with people and you will enjoy the moment more, and not just be eating and eating in secret.
5. Eat With Purpose & Be Mindful When You Eat
I used to sit in front of the TV and just gorge on snacks.
For me that was my kind of heaven on a Sunday afternoon.
But ask me what I ate or how much and I really couldn't tell you. But you'd be able to look at all the empty packets and work it out.
When you are eating mindlessly or without purpose or intent it's so easy to overconsume.
Your mind is elsewhere so dipping into the packet with your hand just happens on autopilot.
One mouthful quickly becomes ten.
And your hand goes back into the packet just as quickly as it came out.
Now, I'm not saying don't enjoy some popcorn while watching a movie forever. But if you are having problems with your quantity of food it might be time to downsize your snacks and stop at one.
- One fun size bag of popcorn; or
- One small vego bar; or
- A smoothie bowl or banana nice cream instead of a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
One snack and one small size.
Not all the snacks, all supersized.
But again, try not to make a habit of it.
Yes, the first few times you watch TV or a movie... you will be looking for those snacks. It will feel a bit different and you will feel like something is missing.
Keep a glass of water on hand so you can sip from it whenever you feel the urge to put something in your mouth.
Each time you do it, it will get easier.
And if you aren't keeping any of your binge foods in the house you will be less likely to fall into that bad habit again.
Even though I enjoyed it, I also stopped watching TV and movies for a bit.
I replaced that habit with a healthier habit until I could get my urges under control. I would go out for a walk, or meet a friend or go to the gym.
I missed my chill out time, but I knew I needed to get my eating under control for my health and happiness first.
So don't be afraid to change things up.
You have to think how can I set myself up for success here, not failure.
6. Try Intermittent Fasting (IF)
I am a huge advocate for IF!
Not only did it help me with my weight loss goals and maintain my weight for so long...
It has helped me create healthy boundaries with food.
Not in my eating window, I'm not eating it.
I used to love a little something sweet after dinner.
But by introducing IF, I closed my eating window right after dinner and that meant that was no time for sweets today! Or any day.
And I'm not the only one that has said that IF has helped them with the late night munchies.
Yes you still have to have a bit of self discipline for it to work, and it's probably a tool I'd introduce after you had got a few of these other ideas in play.
But it's still a very noteworthy tip, as it has such a dramatic impact all round in terms of my boundaries with food, my weight loss, my health, my ease of weight maintenance and overall feelings of wellbeing.
If you are interested in learning more about Intermittent Fasting I have written this in depth blog on how to get started with IF, you can access it by CLICKING HERE.
I also tighten my IF up when I am travelling as I know I am prone to indulge a bit more. When I was living in the UK last year I went to 20:4 (from 16:8) cause I was eating out more and was having more treats.
It's a lot harder to over eat in 4 hours as compared to 8 hours, so this compromise worked well.
I came home still in shape, despite a reduced workout routine and a lot more free meals than the 1 or 2 I usually do!
One thing to watch out for though is some people feel the time crunch with IF and feel like they have to stuff in as much food as possible in their eating window.
If you try IF and notice this happening, you either need to create your own meal plan (I have a whole blog on this you can access by CLICKING HERE) so that you know what you are eating and when... so you aren't just feeling like you have to eat and eat in your window.
Or, you might be one of the people that IF isn't for at this point in time. If it is exacerbating your urges and a plan won't help. Just call it quits and try another method. Trying it, and it not working for you doesn't make you a failure or that you are doomed.
Just try out some of my other tips and see if they help.
You never know, once you have your overeating a bit more under control you might be able to revisit IF if you really want to.
I hope these next 3 tips have given you some things to think about.
Let me know if you are having any particular issues with overeating in the comments so I can help you out.
You can access my final three tips by CLICKING HERE.
P.S. If you aren't in there already... make sure you join my health & fitness motivation community by CLICKING HERE
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