The human body is programmed to know when it is hungry, but we normally have a harder time knowing when to stop. Here are a few reasons for overeating and how to prevent these pitfalls:
Eating Too Fast
At times, we eat really fast because we are extremely hungry or in a rush to get back to the office. Unfortunately, there is a time gap between when we are full (in our stomach) and when we know we are full (in our brain). It can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to know you are satiated. That leaves a lot of time for overindulging, especially if you are eating fast.
Take the time to slow down when you are eating. Concentrate on each bite and ensure you are chewing it well before swallowing your food. Sip some water during your meal to slow you down. Also, don’t eat while you are working on your laptop or interacting with friends on a smartphone. These habits usually tend to make us eat quicker and our brains don’t fully register that we had a calorie intake. Changing your fast eating habits will reduce one of the reasons for overeating in your life. It may take some time and effort, but with some straightforward strategies, you will be able to slow down how fast you eat.
Forgetting to Savor Your Food
Food is more than just calories and nutrients for our brain. Eating is also about experiencing flavor for our taste buds. People are often in a rush, so they don’t tune in to their foods until they have already consumed a good part of it. However, our taste buds lose their sensitiveness after just the first few bites leaving our minds missing out on that important feel good moment. Before you sit down for your next meal stop everything you were doing and take a couple of seconds to think about what you are about to eat. Most importantly, eat slowly and really savor the first few bites. If your taste buds are satisfied, your mind may not ask for too much food.
Eating Calorie Dense Foods
One of the reasons for overeating is that we pick the wrong type of foods. Some items are calorie-dense, meaning they contain a lot of calories in a small portion size. To fill up the physical space in our stomach, we will end up eating a lot of something, even though we may have gulped down more than enough calories for a meal in just the first portion.
For example, if we are hungry and don’t have access to a proper meal or can’t be bothered to cook right now, we can fill up on some chips. In this case, we may end up eating almost a complete 8 oz. bag of greasy potatoes before we start feeling full. This would represent over 1,200 calories and approximately 60% of the daily calories you need, if you aren’t trying to lose weight. Turn away from eating unhealthy, calorie-dense foods and instead pick nutritious components for your meals and snacks.