I have a friend who is addicted to sugar. She won’t stop eating it, even when she’s getting fat. While there are several answers to this, I think the main one is that she can’t stop overeating, which leads to a vicious cycle of self-loathing.
More than 20 million Americans have a weight problem. Overweight and obesity is the most common disease in America. It’s clear that many people have a serious problem with food and weight. There are many ways to deal with these issues, so we will give you the 3 tips to help you get control of your overeating.
You have tried every diet out there, but none has worked. You can’t seem to stop eating. You feel hopeless, and you don’t know what to do. You keep going to the doctor with new excuses so they won’t call you at home.. Read more about how to stop binge eating disorder and let us know what you think.
You know how it goes: one salty crunch turns into a hundred, and you’re licking the cheese dust and thinking, “What am I doing wrong?”
It’s quite natural to feel like you can’t stop yourself from devouring certain foods. Today’s hyperpalatable food is causing a modern-day food crisis, making us ill, out of control, and always hungry for more.
Here’s how it works, as well as three methods to get around it.
It’s happened to all of us.
We’ve reached the bottom of a giant bag of chips after a frenzy of lusty snatching and frantic crushing.
“How did it happen?” we wonder, a little hazily.
“Can you tell me what’s wrong with me?” Why am I unable to stop?”
But, before you go full-on self-loathing mode, think about this.
Processed foods are created with the goal of being tempting and simple to consume in big amounts. The chips are doing their job if you can’t stop.
(It’s likely that someone at Frito-Lay was promoted as a result of that recipe.)
That’s why, in this post, we’ll show you how junk food is intended to make us experience obsessive, frenzied, gotta-have-more snacking episodes.
Even better, we’ll provide you three methods for evaluating your connection with processed foods and regaining control over your eating habits.
Because you’re not insane if you feel out of control around certain meals.
Even healthy eaters may feel out of control when it comes to eating. Even though we respect nutrition and wish to take care of ourselves, some meals have the ability to make us feel possessed.
Do you get what I’m saying?
You go up to a potluck with quinoa salad intentions and wind up devouring a platter of chips, cookies, and some chocolate-peanut-butter-marshmallow thing prepared by some devil, uh buddy.
You reach into the freezer for a scoop of ice cream and find yourself digging through the caramel swirl, nut clusters, brownie bits, and finally… your spoon scrapes the bottom.
You just want a taste of your friend’s french fry, but you end up elbowing her out of the way so you can take all of the fries, as well as the burger.
Even when we have the greatest intentions, the allure of some foods may make us feel helpless.
You are not alone (and you are not broken) if you have experienced this.
Certain foods are designed to cause us to overeat.
It’s not because there’s anything wrong with you or your willpower that you’re overeating.
The reality is that there is an entire business devoted to producing hyperpalatable food—food that is so delicious that it is almost impossible to resist.
Your body and mind are doing precisely what they’re meant to be doing. Stopping eating these items is meant to feel nearly strange!
However, we’re not talking about celery sticks, whole brown rice, or baked salmon filets here.
(How many times have you said to yourself, “I ate such much steamed asparagus!”?) “I couldn’t help myself!” That’s correct. That’s something you’ve never heard yourself say.)
We’re discussing processed foods.
Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state to improve their taste, texture, or shelf life. They’re often tweaked to target as many pleasure regions as possible, ranging from our brains to our lips to our stomachs.
Processed foods are extremely appealing, provide instant gratification, are enjoyable to eat, and are simple to take in excess (and often cheaply).
Processed foods will also have a distinct appearance and feel than whole foods, depending on how processed they are.
Consider the case of corn.
It’s light yellow, fibrous, yet chewy and wonderful when boiled and eaten from the cob.
Maize tortillas are made from slightly processed corn that has been crushed into a meal and molded into a flat disk. A tortilla has a pleasant maize taste and a soft, flexible texture that makes eating and digesting it simple.
But what if that maize is ultra-processed? All of the fiber is removed, the starch is isolated, and the starch is then used to create tiny ring-shaped chips that are fried and sprinkled with sweet and salty barbeque powder. They’re insanely tasty.
That corn on the cob looks delicious. But what about those ring chips made from corn? They’re… They’ve all been eaten, therefore they’re no longer available.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
To make food particularly delicious and simple to eat…. and over-consume, the food business employs a range of processing techniques and ingredient additions.
Listed below are a few examples:
Grains are ground into a slurry and sent through an extrusion machine. Whole, uncooked grains are converted into airy, crispy, easy-to-digest forms like cereals, crackers, and other crunchy meals with consistent shapes using high heat and pressure.
Extrusion eliminates some minerals and enzymes, denatures proteins, and alters the starch content of a grain, in addition to altering texture and digestibility. This reduces the product’s nutrients and raises its glycemic index.
Emulsifiers are used to enhance the “mouth feel” of a product by smoothing out and thickening the texture, giving it a rich, opulent feel. Although natural emulsifiers such as egg yolk exist, artificial emulsifiers such as Polysorbate-80, sodium phosphate, and carboxymethylcellulose are often used in the food business.
Emulsifiers are often present in creamy desserts such as ice cream and processed dairy meals such as flavored yogurts or bright orange cheese spreads.
Enhancers of flavor
Artificial flavoring agents and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are flavor additives that enable food producers to enhance flavor without adding whole-food components like fruits, vegetables, or spices. This is advantageous since artificial flavoring chemicals are inexpensive and do not alter the texture of a product.
Agents of color
Color has a big influence on how attractive a meal is to us. No one likes to eat gray crackers, but if you give them a toasty golden color, they become a lot more attractive. Colorants like Yellow #5 (tartrazine) and Red #40 (allura red) are used only to enhance the appearance of food; they have no nutritional value.
After certain connections surfaced connecting artificial coloring agents to behavioral issues in children, several major food companies have recently switched to natural foods dyes, such as beet powder or turmeric, to color their food items.
Hydrogenation of oil
Natural fats oxidize with time, altering their taste and texture. Hydrogen atoms are added to lipids (typically vegetable oils) to make them more stable and less susceptible to oxidation.
Food producers utilize hydrogenated oils because they allow their goods to last longer on the shelf without losing their taste or texture. However, hydrogenated fats, often known as trans fats, have been related to an increased risk of heart disease.
How processed meals deceive us into consuming more calories than we intended.
Processed foods may cause you to overeat in four ways. We’re often unaware of how much these variables have an impact on us.
As a result, awareness equals power.
1. Marketing leads us to believe that processed meals are “healthy.”
Processed foods are packaged in bright colors, cartoon figures, celebrity endorsements, and strong phrases that elicit a variety of positive connotations.
Take, for example, meals with a “health halo.”
Processed foods using health buzzwords like organic, vegan, and gluten-free on their labels to create a halo of health surrounding them are known as “health halo” foods.
Organic versions of packaged macaroni and cheese, gluten-free versions of glazed pastries, and vegan versions of icing-filled biscuits are all available.
Chips “cooked with avocado oil,” sweet cereal “crafted with flaxseeds,” and creamy chip dip with “genuine spinach” are all on the menu.
Although the nutritional value of such meals isn’t especially high, the inclusion of nutrition buzzwords and fashionable additives leads us to believe they are.
Marketers often use terms that refer to self-care in a broader sense.
Have you ever noticed how many commercials for processed foods sound like this?
“Take a breather.”
“Give yourself some alone time.”
“You’ve earned it.”
Words like “break” and “deserve” take us away from our bodily experiences and into our emotions, a place where we simply want to be understood, encouraged, comforted, and maybe just go away for a while.
Health buzzwords and emotional appeals may persuade us that a meal is “good for me,” and that putting it in our shopping carts, then in our mouths, is a smart and compassionate decision.
We don’t feel as terrible about eating as much as we want if the food is “healthy” or “we deserve it.”
2. Large servings give us the impression that we’re receiving a “good bargain.”
People get their food and value mixed up.
We’re taught not to waste food and to save money.
We’ve been taught that buying more for less is a good thing.
When given the option of a small juice for two dollars or a pop with unlimited refills for the same price, the pop seems to be the better deal.
The “health tax,” as I like to call it, is something we don’t include into this calculation.
The cost of consuming low-nutrient, highly processed meals is known as the “health tax.” If you consume them on a regular basis, your health will ultimately suffer the price.
Companies may sell more numbers without increasing the price when they utilize low-cost, low-quality ingredients.
But what really is the situation?
Sure, you’ll save money in the short term, but you’ll pay the health tax in the long run—through bad health.
3. Variety makes us want to eat more.
We like having a variety of options.
Consider a frozen yogurt toppings station with self-serve options:
“Ooh! Sprinkles! And beer aficionados! They also have the tiny peanut butter cups! Clusters of granola, too! Are they cookies that have been crushed? And pieces of cheesecake? YES! Now it’s time for the drizzles…”
Before you know it, you’re staring at a teetering tower of frozen dessert.
Consider those “party mixes” that include pretzels, corn snacks, cheese puffs, and barbeque rings all in one package! The pleasure never stops since there are so many different tastes and textures to keep you entertained!
We have a lot of hunger when there is a lot of variety.
It’s difficult to consume a lot of one item with one taste, such as apples.
How many apples can you consume before becoming bored?
Reduce the diversity in your diet, and you’ll be less distracted by your body’s natural self-regulating signals. We’re more inclined to slow down, eat thoughtfully, and eat less when we’re not surrounded by so much choice and stimulation.
4. Having several tastes at the same time is tempting.
If there’s a get-together in your mouth, you can count on at least two out of three of the following guests:
These three flavors—sweetness, sugar’s fat’s rich mouthfeel, and salt’s sharp savory—are all favorites among those of us who have lips.
My customers never say things like “I adore eating spoonfuls of sugar or salt” or “I want to drink a bottle of oil.”
When these tastes are combined, however, they become very delectable and difficult to resist. Combining two or more tastes to produce a hyperpalatable meal is known as stimulus stacking.
Consider the following scenario:
- Chips, fries, nachos, cheesy items, and other foods with a pleasing mix of fat and salt.
- Baked goods, fudge, ice cream, cookies, chocolate, and other foods with a soothing mix of fat and sugar.
- A salted chocolate brownie, caramel corn with candied nuts, or fries with ketchup—heaven forbid you come across a mixture of fat, salt, and sugar—a salted chocolate brownie, or caramel corn with candied nuts, or fries with ketchup!
When it comes to enticing individuals to overeat, food producers know that two tastes are better than one.
In fact, when I talked with an industry insider, a food scientist at a major processed food company, she disclosed the food industry’s secret “stimuli stacking” technique for making hyperpalatable food.
It’s known as “The Big 5.”
The following foods satisfy “The Big 5” requirements:
- Calorie-dense, with a high sugar and/or fat content.
- Food that is intensely flavored must provide powerful taste hits.
- Delicious right away, with a love-at-first tasting sensation.
- It’s simple to eat—no chewing required!
- The meal “melts” down readily in your mouth, making it easier to eat fast and overindulge.
When all five of these elements are present in a single meal, the result is a product that is almost impossible to resist.
Foods produced by this business must meet the Big 5 criteria, or they will not be permitted to enter the market.
When it comes to evaluating a potential food product, “irresistibility” (the degree to which a person can’t stop eating it) is even more essential than flavor!
Consider how much easier it is to consume natural foods than manufactured meals:
Whole foods need approximately 25 chews each mouthful, implying that you must take your time. Slowing down allows your satiety signals to keep up with your food and alert you when you’ve eaten enough. That’s probably why you’ve never had too many Brussel sprouts (also because, farting).
Processed food producers, on the other hand, strive to break down their goods in 10 chews or less each mouthful. That means the intense, rich, crazy-delicious experience comes to a close fast, leaving you wanting more—as soon as possible.
Restaurants, too, use similar “ease of eating” strategies.
This sci-fi-like technique is used by a large national chain:
Each chicken breast is injected with a highly flavorful sauce via hundreds of tiny needles to create their trademark chicken dish. This not only results in a flavor-packed chicken breast, but it also tenderizes the meat, requiring less chewing.
To put it another way, there’s a reason why restaurant chicken is frequently simpler to eat and tastes better than the basic grilled chicken breast you can prepare at home. That chicken is difficult to replicate at home unless you have hundreds of tiny sauce-needles (strange).
This is why, when my clients come to me with overeating problems, I seldom mention willpower. You’re fighting an uphill battle if you’re depending on willpower to avoid these meals.
More willpower isn’t the answer. The answer is to educate yourself about these foods, examine your personal connection with eating, and use self-control techniques.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Our fondness for particular tastes dates back to the Stone Age.
So does our urge to eat a lot of food.
There was a period when food was scarce. Food was not only difficult to get by (requiring a lot of scavenging and hunting), but it was also not always safe.
What about that leaf over there? Yes, it’s possible that’s poison.
What about those berries? They may give you the chills or cause your throat to tighten.
As a result, our forefathers developed certain survival instincts along the road.
Sweet foods, for example, are seldom harmful. To keep us secure, we stored a predilection for sugary, starchy foods in our brains.
Babies and children are especially drawn to sweet foods, perhaps because their young immune systems are less likely to recover from toxic plant consumption, and their immature brains are unable to distinguish between deadly bitter greens (such as hemlock) and safe bitter greens (like kale).
As a result, children’s affinity to sweet (read: safe) meals is a built-in safeguard against poisoned death.
Fat is also a desirable food since it is rich in calories and would be a boon to our ancestors who were often threatened by hunger.
While the majority of our forefathers’ diets would have been rich in fiber and low in calories (roots, greens, lean meats), fat would have been a highly valued treat.
Imagine coming upon a macadamia nut tree as a prehistoric hunter-gatherer. That tree’s fruit may supply enough energy to sustain your tribe for many days!
As a consequence, we developed a new preference: fatty, calorie-dense meals = delicious / stock up!
Of course, we don’t have to sprint, dig, or trek for nine hours to obtain our food these days. Instead, we can just drive up to the drive-thru window and order a combination of tastes we know we’ll enjoy—perhaps a milkshake and a cheeseburger—and eat it while still sitting in our vehicle.
The benefits of evolution are now working against us.
So now you see why processed foods are so difficult to avoid.
But, in reality, what can you do about it?
Following that, some practical ways to put you (or your customers) in control.
Three approaches to regaining a healthy relationship with eating.
It’s one thing to understand why some meals are so easy to overeat in principle, but it’s another to see how food manufacturing, component combinations, marketing, and even simple accessibility impact you and your eating choices.
So, let’s get geeky, do some experiments, and learn some techniques to help you better your relationship with food, become healthier, and simply feel more sane.
1. Develop an interest in the meals you consume.
We’ve established that processed foods are made to be convenient to consume.
To be considered “easy to eat,” a meal must have the following criteria:
- easy to break down (less chewing), and
- little volume (takes up little physical space)
More eating Equals less chewing + low volume
It takes time to chew. The longer it takes us to chew something, the longer it takes us to consume, allowing our fullness signals to catch up.
It’s also important to have a sense of “fullness.”
Your stomach grows when you eat. Your body recognizes when you’ve had enough partially via the feeling of pressure. Processed meals pack a lot of calories into a little amount of space, so you may eat a lot before realizing you’ve overdone it.
Experiment #1: Keep an eye on what you’re chewing.
Yes, that’s correct. I’d want you to keep track of your chews.
Note: This should not be done indefinitely. I’m not trying to make you into the oddball at the lunch table that no one wants to sit next to. Simply try it as an experiment to get information on how you eat various meals.
To begin, eat a complete food—a vegetable, fruit, whole grain, lean protein, or anything else—and count how many chews each mouthful you consume. How long does it take you to finish a serving of the food? After that, how satisfied do you feel? Do you want to eat anything else?
Then count how many chews you take each mouthful the next time you consume anything processed. How long does it take you to finish that spaghetti, chips, or cookie serving? After that, how satisfied do you feel? Do you want to eat anything else?
Make a few comparisons to see what the differences are. Compare how long it takes you to consume each of these meals, how satisfied you feel after eating each of them, and how hungry you are.
How will you utilize this knowledge in the future to make dietary decisions?
2. Pay attention to the signals you’re receiving about eating.
Food companies employ deceptive marketing tactics to make manufactured meals seem healthy. Even if you know they aren’t, they will try to persuade you to purchase them nonetheless.
Consider the following scenario:
Have you ever noticed that when you go to the grocery store, the fruit department is the first thing you see?
Grocery retailers have discovered that placing the vegetable department first increases the likelihood of purchasing processed goods. This is likely due to the fact that if you’ve already filled your cart with spinach, broccoli, and apples, you’ll feel better about picking up some ice cream, cookies, and crackers before going to the checkout line.
Allow that to sink in: the supermarkets we all frequent on a monthly basis are intended to help you feel better about purchasing items that may harm your health objectives.
What’s the good news? Simply being aware of the technique may assist you in avoiding it.
Experiment #2: Take a look inside your pantry.
You’ll look at the foods you have in your house and the messages you’ve received about them in this experiment.
It’s important to remember that this is a mindful awareness exercise. You’re not doing this to berate yourself or feel guilty about your eating choices.
Examine your pantry with fresh (and more knowledgeable) eyes.
- Step 1: Look for meals with a “health halo.” Do you happen to have any? If that’s the case, why did you choose them? Was it because of the words used to describe it? Was it because of the packaging? Is there a new “superfood” ingredient on the market? Is it gluten-free, sugar-free, Paleo, or something else entirely?
- Step 2: Go through the nutritional facts. Examine the foods that have a “health halo” once you’ve recognized them. Is there a nutritional difference between your “healthy” organic dark chocolate peanut butter cup and that mass-market peanut butter cup? It’s most likely simply new packaging.
- Step 3: Make a list of how many different types of junk food you have. How many flavors do you have if you like ice cream? Do you have any cookies, popcorn, candy, or chips in your cupboards? Count the total amount of junk food in your house without being judgmental. The more choices you have, the more likely you are to overeat.
What’s the takeaway?
You’ll be more aware of the kinds of marketing to which you’re vulnerable, allowing you to make more educated food decisions.
You’ll also have a better understanding of the treat foods you like, and by limiting the variety in your house, you’ll reduce the chances of overeating.
3. Keep an eye out for trends.
Food is often used for purposes other than physical sustenance.
If we’re unhappy, for example, we may go for a cookie to cheer ourselves up. We feel better for the time being.
The next time we’re unhappy, we’ll recall the little respite the cookie provided. As a result, we repeat the process. If we keep repeating this pattern, we may find ourselves reaching for the cookie jar whenever we’re feeling down. At this stage, we aren’t even thinking about it; it’s simply habit.
Habits have a lot of power, for better or worse. They may either help us or hurt us.
Fortunately, we have some influence over the situation.
It just takes a little time and knowledge of how habits are formed.
All animals acquire habits in the same way:
This brings us to the next step in our investigation…
Experiment #3: Use habit science to your advantage.
You may utilize this trigger, behavior, and reward cycle to your advantage if you wish to stop the habit of overeating. Here’s how to do it.
Step one is to figure out what your triggers are.
A trigger may be any of the following:
- Feeling. When we’re worried, lonely, or bored, we may eat more. The vacuum is filled with food.
- The hour of the day. At 11 a.m., we always have a cookie, and at 3 p.m., we always have a drink. It’s just a part of our daily routine.
- In a social situation. Hey, everyone else is drinking beer and eating chicken wings, so why not join in the fun?
- Place. A gloomy movie theater or our parents’ kitchen may make us hungry for some reason.
- Pattern of thought Thinking to ourselves, “I deserve this” or “Life is too hard to chew greens,” may lead us to the drive-thru.
Increase your awareness of your triggers by asking yourself the following questions when you find yourself eating when you aren’t physically hungry:
What am I experiencing?
What time is it, exactly?
What am I doing here?
What am I doing here?
What am I thinking about?
Keep track of your thoughts in a notebook and search for trends.
Remember, overeating becomes a problem when it becomes chronic—those jeans are becoming tighter after every meal—or when bouts of overeating are especially severe, such as during a binge. So don’t be alarmed if you have a few bouts of binge eating. To tell the difference between overeating and binge eating, remember that binge eating is dissociated, out of control, difficult to stop, and often accompanied by emotions of shame and guilt.
If you find that you are suffering with compulsive bingeing behavior after monitoring your eating habits, seeing a doctor, therapist, or other competent practitioner to help you manage your emotions about food is usually the best course of action.
Step 2: Develop a new reaction to your trigger (s).
Try connecting new behaviors with your triggers after you’ve discovered them. These should help you achieve your health objectives while also making you feel wonderful. If the new actions aren’t gratifying, they aren’t likely to be repeated, and therefore won’t become habits.
It’s important to remember that when we eat, we’re attempting to fulfill a “need” in order to discover the “correct” new habit.
So, when you’re brainstorming new habits, look for anything that satisfies that need—whether it’s time in nature, interpersonal connection, physical release, or just a mental break.
For instance, one of my clients’ triggers was speaking with her ex-husband. When she engaged with him, she became enraged, and some violent chip crushing momentarily made her feel better.
She ultimately gave up crunching in favor of punching a punching bag or stomping up and down the stairs. Both hobbies helped to relieve stress, but unlike the chips, they also helped her achieve her objectives.
Step 3: Put your skills to the test.
Replace eating with a healthy feel-good action every time a trigger forces you to eat.
Rep this cycle until the new behavior has become as automatic as grabbing for the jar of peanut butter.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
In terms of their physiological impact on the stress response, not all “feel-good” behaviors are created equal.
The most effective stress relievers, according to the American Psychological Association, are:
- exercising and participating in sports,
- I like listening to music.
- Attending a religious service or praying
- spending time with family and friends,
- receiving a massage
- while you’re outdoors,
- yoga, as well as
- pursuing a creative pastime
Gambling, shopping, smoking, eating, drinking, playing video games, browsing the internet, and watching TV/movies for more than two hours are the least effective stress relievers.
Although the second list may be used as “stress relievers” since it feels nice in the short term, it does not significantly decrease stress.
This is due to the fact that these behaviors depend on dopamine to provide us with a “hit” of pleasure. Dopamine seems gratifying right away, but it really increases adrenaline and triggers the stress response since it’s an excitatory neurotransmitter.
The first set of behaviors, on the other hand, increases neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, and oxytocin, which reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.
These activities aren’t as “interesting” at first as the second list, but they’re ultimately more gratifying and effective at reducing stress in the long run.
It isn’t just about the food.
As a dietitian, I understand the importance of proper nutrition. As a result, you may be surprised to hear me say:
It isn’t just about the cuisine here.
Build your diet around colorful, nutrient-dense whole foods, but keep in mind that living a healthy lifestyle isn’t about calorie counting or worrying over everything you eat.
Giving time and attention to our whole self is essential to living a healthy existence.
Eating takes place in a certain setting.
Pay close attention to your attitude, relationships, job, and surroundings.
When we are well-nourished in other aspects of our lives, we are less prone to turn to food for comfort when we are suffering.
So, if I had one more piece of dietary advise, it would be this:
Take care of yourself.
Not just at the dinner table, but in every aspect of life.
What should I do next?
1. Be courteous, inquisitive, and truthful.
When we fall short of our goals, we believe that punishing ourselves is the most effective approach to grow. However, this is not the case.
Criticism and crash diets may succeed in the short term, but they may have long-term negative effects on our emotional and physical health.
Because overeating is already a painful experience, please keep the following in mind as you examine how these habits manifest in your life and how you may handle them:
Kindness: Be kind and sympathetic toward oneself; work with yourself rather than against yourself.
Curious: Investigate your habits with curiosity and openness. Consider yourself a data scientist rather than a criminal investigator searching for someone to blame and punish.
Honesty: Take a look at your current situation. How do you act with food on a daily basis? The more accurate your self-perception, the better you’ll be able to assist yourself in changing.
You’ll be more likely to go ahead if you adopt a supportive and nonjudgmental attitude.
2. Make use of a traffic-light system.
offers a fantastic tool for raising food awareness that I use with my clients all of the time. The system is known as the “traffic light” system.
We all have red light meals, yellow light foods, and green light foods, to be sure.
Stop is indicated by the color red.
Red foods must be avoided. They make you feel terrible either because they don’t help you accomplish your objectives, you can’t consume them in acceptable quantities, or they don’t help you achieve your goals.
Processed meals like chips, candy, ice cream, and pastries are often red light foods. Foods that are red in color may also be foods to which you are allergic or intolerant.
Proceed with care if the color is yellow.
Sometimes yellow light meals are OK, and sometimes they aren’t. You may be able to eat a little amount without being sick, or you might be able to eat them at a restaurant with people but not at home alone, or you might be able to have them as a special treat.
Bread, crackers, spaghetti, flavored yogurt, granola bars, and seasoned almonds are examples of yellow light meals. They’re not the worst options, but they’re also not the healthiest.
The color green denotes movement.
Green foods are a safe bet. You like eating them because they are healthy and make you feel good in your body and mind. They can be eaten regularly, gently, and in appropriate quantities.
Whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean animal proteins, beans and legumes, raw nuts and seeds, and whole grains are examples of green foods.
Make your own meal lists using red, yellow, and green lights.
Each person’s list will be unique! You may put ice cream in the freezer for months, but someone else could need a restraining order to keep that rocky road caramel swirl away from them.
Stock your kitchen with as many green light foods as possible after you’ve made your list. Carefully choose the yellow foods you allow in your home. Also, red foods should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether.
Reduce the variety of red light or reward foods, at the very least.
Reduce the strain on your willpower by surrounding yourself with meals that will help you achieve your objectives.
3. Prioritize quality over quantity.
Because the big bag of chips is such a fantastic bargain, it’s tempting to purchase it.
But keep in mind that real value isn’t so much about price or quantity as it is about quality.
Nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods are considered to be of high quality. They’re meals you like and that fit into your schedule and budget.
Quality meals may take a bit longer to prepare and cost a little more up front, but they’re the genuine thing in the long term, with a smaller “health tax” to pay later in life.
4. Emphasize complete foods.
Whole foods will make it simpler to control your eating habits while also improving your nutrition.
When we consume processed meals, we may nearly feel “high.” Whole foods, on the other hand, have a milder taste and take a little longer to chew and digest. Instead of making us feel euphoric, healthy meals make us feel fed and satisfied.
Because whole foods are more perishable than processed meals, more planning and preparation will be required. So set aside some more time in the kitchen—even 10 minutes each day matters!
To help the next day go more smoothly, chop up some vegetables, boil some eggs, prepare some oatmeal, or marinade some chicken breasts in ten minutes.
While this may seem to be more effort, it is very gratifying. When you have a deeper connection with food, you are more likely to appreciate and care for it.
5. Develop feel-good behaviors that will help you achieve your objectives.
Make a list of the activities that you like. You may discover that some hobbies appeal to you more than others depending on your mood, the time of day, or your surroundings.
Choose an activity from your list if you feel compelled to eat when you aren’t physically hungry.
This may include light exercise, fresh air, social contact, playing a game, or a self-care routine such as painting your nails or having a scalp massage.
The point is simply to disrupt the cycle of trigger > eat > reward, and replace eating with an activity that supports your goals.
6. Take it easy.
If nothing else works and the thought of giving up your favorite meals makes you nervous, try this:
Take it easy.
Allow yourself to eat anything you want as long as you do it slowly and deliberately.
Slowing down helps us to enjoy our meals, allowing us to be satiated with less calories. It also allows bodily fullness feelings to catch up, letting us realize when we’ve eaten enough.
Binge eating may seem unpleasant and out of control, so slowing down might help us relax and reclaim some control.
7. If you feel you’re in over your head, get assistance.
We all need assistance at times.
Seek the assistance of a coach, nutritionist, dietician, or counselor who specializes in disordered eating habits if overeating is very frequent or severe, or if you have health issues linked to overeating that you don’t know how to manage.
There’s no shame in asking for help. Coaches and practitioners who are at the top of their game often have their own support group.
Do you want to be the healthiest, fittest, and strongest version of yourself?
Most people are aware that getting enough exercise, eating properly, sleeping well, and managing stress are all essential for looking and feeling better. However, they need assistance in putting that information into practice in the context of their hectic, often stressful lives.
Over the last 15 years, we’ve utilized the Coaching approach to assist over 100,000 customers lose weight, gain strength, and improve their health… over the long haul… no matter what obstacles they face.
It’s also why, via our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs, we educate health, fitness, and wellness professionals how to coach their own clients through similar difficulties.
Interested in becoming a coach? Join the presale list to save up to 54% and get a seat 24 hours before the general public.
On Wednesday, July 14th, 2021, we will be accepting applications for our upcoming Coaching.
If you’re interested in learning more about coaching, I recommend signing up for our presale list below. Being on the list provides you with two distinct benefits.
- You’ll get a better deal than everyone else. We want to reward the individuals that are the most engaged and driven since they always create the greatest customers. If you join the presale list, you’ll save up to 54% off the general public pricing, the lowest we’ve ever given.
- You’ll have a better chance of getting a place. We only offer the program twice a year to ensure that clients get the particular care and attention they need. We sold out in minutes the last time we started registration. By signing up for the presale list, you’ll be able to register 24 hours before the general public, boosting your chances of getting in.
This is your opportunity to transform your body and your life with the assistance of the world’s finest trainers.
[Note: If you currently have your health and fitness under control but want to assist others, look into our Level 1 Certification program.]
To see the information sources mentioned in this article, go here.
N.M. Avena, M.S. Gold (2011). Are variety and hyperpalatability encouraging compulsive overeating? 367-368 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.020164.
Drewnowski, A., Shrager, E., Lipsky, C., Stellar, E., Greenwood, M.R. (1989). Sugar and fat: Sensory and hedonic evaluation of liquid and solid foods. Physiology & Behavior, 45 (1), 177-183. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(89)90182-0.
David A. Kessler. Your food is deceiving you: How sugar, fat, and salt hijack your brain. 2012, Roaring Book Press.
D Mozaffarian, M Katan, A Ascherio, M Stampfer, W Willett (2006). Cardiovascular Disease and Trans Fatty Acids 354 (15): 1601–1613 in New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMra054035.
V. Provencher, J. Polivy, and C.P. Herman (2009). Food’s perceived healthiness. You can eat more if it’s healthy! 340-344 in Appetite, 52(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2008.11.005.
B.J. Rolls, A. Drewnowski, and J.H. Ledikwe (2005). Changing the energy density of the food as a weight-loss approach. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.02.033. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 105(5S), 98-103.
The average person eats 2,000 calories a day, or roughly 1,200 calories more than they actually burn. In other words, when your body burns 2,000 calories it also stores 2,000 calories as fat. If you want to lose weight, you have to expend more energy than you consume in a day. So, what are some ways of doing it?. Read more about i literally can’t stop eating and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop obsessive overeating?
The best way to stop obsessive overeating is by taking a break from food. You should also try to find other activities that you enjoy doing, such as exercising, playing sports, or reading books.
Why is it hard to stop overeating?
This is a difficult question to answer, but I will do my best. It may be hard to stop overeating because you are addicted to food and it gives you a sense of comfort when you eat. It could also be that your brain has been conditioned to think about food as being good and rewarding, so its difficult for you to stop thinking about food in a positive way.
How do I control anxiety and overeating?
There are many ways to help with anxiety and overeating. One way is through meditation, which can be done in a number of different ways. Another way is through exercise, which can be done by going for walks or running.
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