How to stop overeating is a question that many of us may be asking ourselves as we spend more and more time at home. Whether we're eating out of boredom or comfort, overeating is one of those habits that might seem difficult to break.
As a Nutrition & Mindful Eating Coach and Diet Culture Escapee, I can assure you it's not impossible to break.
I also know all too well that there are three primary reasons that many of us struggle with overeating:
- We don't make time to properly nourish ourselves throughout the day: What ends up happening is that when we do sit down to eat, we end overcompensating for not eating enough by eating more than we actually need.
- We don't have proper coping mechanisms to deal with stress: What we often do is get into habits, such as stress eating, which can lead us to overeat by utilizing food for comfort rather than actually addressing the issue at hand.
- We don't build eating habits that we are able to maintain long-term: We often make the mistake of following trends that promote undereating, which ends us leading us to overeat when we can no longer maintain that lifestyle.
Are any of these things ringing a bell? Maybe this is something that you too are struggling with right now?
If so, in this post I want to share with you a simple, yet effective solution that can help you nourish your body, deal with stress, and build healthier eating habits that will help you stop overeating and start eating more mindfully!
3 Simple Steps to Help You Stop Overeating
1. Plan Your Meals Ahead
Meal planning is one of the best ways that you can ensure that you're properly nourishing yourself throughout the day. When you plan out your meals you know not only what you're eating, but you have healthy options to grab when hunger unexpectedly strikes.
Both of those things are key for people who struggle with overeating, especially if you find that you're not feeling full or satisfied after eating. Having a healthy meal or snack that you can grab, even when you're on the go will help you eat more mindfully.
That's why meal planning is so key because it can help you:
- Limit foods that trigger you to eat more than you need.
- Make room to enjoy healthy indulgences from time to time.
- Focus on eating more nutritious meals and snacks.
By prioritizing meal planning you're not only reducing the chance that you will overeat, but you're also building a habit that has immense benefits for your overall health and wellness.
2. Make Time for Movement
Engaging in movement is one of the most powerful things that you can do to cope with stress. Let me be clear that the movement that you're engaging in doesn't need to be exercise, but it certainly should be something that takes you out of the environment you're currently in.
That can mean going or a walk to literally take you're out of the environment you are in or taking time to meditate to figuratively move you into a different space. Either way, movement is a great way to boost your endorphins (i.e. feel-good hormones) and manage your stress.
Regardless of what form of movement you choose, engaging in any movement activity has immense health benefits because it:
- Limits the opportunity to use food for comfort.
- Creates space to deal with your emotions in a healthy way.
- Reconnects you to your body and your inner wisdom.
3. Prioritize Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is one of the first steps that people can take to build lifelong healthier eating habits. What makes mindful eating so effective is that it's not about following any particular rules, but become more aware of what your body needs so that you don't overeat.
For some people, like myself with two autoimmune diseases the majority of the time my body needs a real, minimally processed, whole foods diet. Other times my body needs a Grande Chai Tea Latte with Coconut Milk and a chocolate croissant!
I'm half-kidding, but the great thing about mindful eating is that there is no need for guilt or shame around your food choices.
Instead, mindful eating helps you get back into the driver seat by helping you:
- Limit the distractions that keep you from being present while you are eating.
- Make the time to eat slowly so that you can really appreciate your food.
- Focus on the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations you experience when you're eating.
Essentially, meal planning, movement, and mindful eating are foundational steps in your health and wellness journey that can help you move from self-indulgence to self-control when it comes to food.
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