Plus 8 Science Backed Tips to Stop Overeating for Good
(And one not from the scientists but that’s really the most important)
You know how it goes: too much of a good thing can be dangerous.
Now, I might argue that too much vacation could never be dangerous – but you can always play devils advocate.
But too much food can definitely be dangerous for our waistlines.
Some people will argue that overeating is a natural biological protector – that we are programmed to over eat so we always have a surplus of energy to use when we need it.
But I disagree. I think when our bodies are operating as the prime specimens they were designed to – with our hormones balanced nicely, getting enough rest, hydration, the works – we shouldn’t have a need to over eat.
Our bodies should tell us when we’re hungry and when we’re full.
But sadly, for most of us – this just isn’t the case.
Overeating is a constant battle.
Sometimes it’s a battle because are our hormones are wonky.
When you’re already overweight, your leptin and ghrelin hormones, the ones that tell your brain when you’re hungry and when you’re full, just don’t work well. Ghrelin sends super strong signals, making you think you’re always hungry.
While leptin sends pretty darn weak ones – making you think you’re never full.
Now the super downside of this situation is this: the most efficient way to get those hormones back in control and signaling normally is by losing fat. Sounds like a rock and hard a place, right?
You have to stop overeating to lose that fat, but you have to lose that fat to stop overeating?
Well luckily, there are a few science back tips and tricks to help you stop over eating.
Even the researchers agree these can work. And since your next meal might be coming up soon, I’m going to give you the need to know basics so you can start using them instantly.
The 8 Science Backed Tips to Stop Overeating:
1. Slow Down: We’ve all heard that it takes our brain a little bit to realize we’re full. So some researchers had men and women eat slower and see if it changed how much they ate. Worked for the men, but not the women. But weirdly – what did work for both genders is this: start your meal at your normal rate, but once you eat half the amount of food, slow down your eating.
2. Make it Skinny: And no, I don’t mean order the “skinny” versions of foods. Order your drinks is tall, skinny glasses. This helps people drink much less than if they had short, fat or just overall giant glasses.
3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: It’s the M&M study. If the candy was in clear bowls or sitting on the counter, aka visible, people at them way more often. If they were in dark bowls or tucked in a drawer, they hardly got touched.
4. Shrink Your Dinnerware: People who ate off smaller dinner plates consumed less food but ended the meal feeling more satisfied. So cash in your dinner plates for lunch sized ones. And crazy enough, this goes for your utensils as well.
5. Write it Down: Most of us have probably created a food tracking system at one point. But it’s true, writing down every bite you eat forces you to become more aware. And the more aware people are, the more satisfied they are off less food.
6. Keep it at the Table: People eating in front of the TV, computer or in the middle of a meeting will eat more food. Being distracted can make it hard to realize how much you’ve eaten. Always eat your meals at a table and focus on your food.
7. Mirror, Mirror on the Fridge: This is a weird study, but it works. People who put a mirror on their fridge had less occasions of overeating. The study folks think that every time they saw their reflection, it reminded them of their goals to lose weight. And that soon-to-be-fridge-grazer had to rethink their decision – were they really hungry or just filling a void?
8. Skip the Diet Packs: Yep, it’s true. People who nosh on diet foods actually eat way more servings, calories, and fat than folks that choose the regular stuff. So skip the diet “serving sizes” because chances are, you’ll eat way more than just one.
Now – those science backed tips might be super helpful. But I’d argue that there’s something that works even better than sticking to those things.
(No pun intended).
Here’s the real solution, answer this and I know you’ll be golden.
Why are you over eating in the first place?
Yes – a lot of people overeat because their hormones are a bit wonky. But even when we know our hormones are crazy, why can’t we just ignore the silly signals from the leptin and ghrelin? Stop when we know we should? Forget the cravings? Walk away from the fridge?
It’s because we’ve made an emotional attachment to food.
We open that fridge looking for that “something” that’s going to fill us.
When you know it’s not real physical hunger, what are you trying to fill. And I wish I could give you the magic way to solve that problem – but that answer is going to be different for each of us.
It takes some self exploration, some deep dives into your frustrations, angers, sadness, depressions or yes, even happiness. All can be tied to your food, your cravings and your constant overeating.
So do a little thinking, find out what you’re trying to fill. And then look for new ways to fill it. Ways that don’t involve food.
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