Our relationship with food is complex, we eat not only when we are hungry. We eat when we are sad, happy, anger, disappointed, anxious, scared or stressed. Oftentimes this habit, of overeating, forms so sneakily that it can take us by surprise.
And if you are struggling to control that urge to reach for that bag of chips (put them in a bowl, if you must munch!) or bar of chocolate (grab a fruit, instead) then sit back and read on.
Here you will find practical tips, underlying reasons of overeating/bingeing as well as suggestions of healthy foods to replace the high sugar, high salt ones you crave.
Drink a glass of water before and after every meal. Eat fiber-rich foods. Use smaller plates and spoons. Sit properly, eat slowly and chew your food well. Avoid distractions like TV and music while eating. Cut down on sugar – it blocks the satiety signal. Get your calories from solid foods instead of beverages. When you order in, use a plate instead of eating directly from the bag.
Do not mindlessly consume whatever you crave for. Eat only foods that make you feel good, nothing that does not define your body goals and nothing that makes you feel guilty later. Mindful eating is the trick. So, stick to relishing each and every bite you put into your mouth.
Most of us have hardwired our brains to look forward to foods filled with fat, salt, and sugar. These types of foods release ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain’s reward center and over time, we associate the subtle, yet pleasurable, change in mood with eating certain foods and we also become addicted to these foods. Here are a few quick tips to help break this cycle.
Make time for a meal, don’t rush. Be comfortable, isolate yourself from distractions and use small utensils. Take small bites, chew well and slowly. Deep breathe between bites and take a sip of water whenever needed. Practice mindful eating and focus on all your senses. Avoid foods that you are likely to gulp, serve yourself small portions and refill when needed.
Overeating or excess snacking simply means excess fat. Consume foods high in fiber and that will keep you full for longer to avoid your snacking and overeating urges. Some of these foods are raspberries, pears, apples, hummus, brussels sprouts, oatmeal, barley, chia seeds, carrots, almonds, kale, lentils, and avocado.
To overcome emotional overeating, you will need to work on your emotional healing and learn to love yourself. Start by removing processed foods, and sugars. Many experts also feel it is important to remove gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and eggs as well. Strive to eat only whole organic foods. To help you get started, here are ten power packed foods (organic preferred) designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!
It’s time you stop bingeing! Sit upright at the dining table, serve yourself in a bowl, and chew properly. Avoid keeping aside cheat days. Eat healthy, low-calorie, filling foods. Do not store ‘binge foods’ at home. Deal with stress by talking to others or practicing yoga. Maintain a journal to identify and avoid binge triggers. Believe in yourself. Seek professional help if all fails.
Pectin in apples increase satiation and has a high fiber content. Protein in eggs helps burn body fat and boosts metabolism. Barley and oats contain beta-glucan that keeps you feeling full longer and boosts immunity. Figs are a great source of fiber, natural sugar and low in calories. Protein and calcium in Greek yogurt keep you feeling full and promotes fat burn.
Clutter in physical surroundings such as messy kitchens induces a sense of chaos and can cause stressful feelings to get out of control, prompting overeating, especially sweets. Studies show that subjects in a messy kitchen consumed twice the calories as compared to those who were in a neat and tidy kitchen. De-cluttering brings a state of calm and overall well-being.