Overeating brings feelings of guilt and regret. Plus, it makes it almost impossible to lose weight and keep it off.
Relying on willpower and determination won’t help you stop overeating. You have to know the habits which make you overeat and then quit them.
Here are 10 common habits that make people overeat.
1. Underestimating calories
You may not be as good at eyeballing portions as you may think. Research shows that most people (even experts) underestimate the number of calories they eat.
You can avoid this mistake without counting calories. Take a pen and piece of paper then go to calorie king. Write down the calorie content of all the foods you cook regularly. Use that paper to estimate the calories in your meals every time you cook. Soon you’ll be able to calculate calories just by referring to your cheat sheet.
2. Restrictive dieting
Restrictive dieting leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. It makes you feel guilty or sad every time you eat junk. And these sad feelings may make you overeat. In fact, research shows that restrictions increase cravings for forbidden foods.
Don’t restrict yourself from eating any foods unless you’re addicted to them. Feel free to eat the not-so-healthy foods every now and then.
3. Eating while watching TV
Eating while watching TV or using the phone is called mindless eating. Research shows that this habit makes people overeat.
Don’t engage in other activities while eating. Focus on your meal and eat slowly.
4. Eating too fast
How long does it take you to empty your plate? If it’s less than 10 minutes, I have bad news for you. Researchers say that it takes 20 to 30 minutes for hormones to signal the brain that you’re full.
Chewing your food thoroughly and using your non-dominant hand can help you eat slower.
5. Confusing thirst for hunger
Most people confuse thirst for hunger. That’s why it’s always advisable to drink water whenever you’re hungry.
Eating foods with high water content can help you stay hydrated and prevent overeating.
6. Not getting enough sleep
This study found that participants ate 20 percent more calories when they were sleep deprived. This means someone on a 2000-calorie diet will consume an extra 400 calories a day.
Another study found that participants experienced increased hunger and appetite when they slept for less than 6 hours.
7. You’re used to overeating
If you overeat everyday it will eventually become a habit. It’s normal for people who are used to overeating to consume more food than they need.
First you need to accept that overeating is a habit—then start serving less food in every meal.
8. Skipping meals
Intermittent fasting (1-2 meals a day) may work for some, but research shows that most people who skip meals end up overeating.
It’s worth noting that some conflicting studies show that skipping breakfast may reduce total daily energy intake in some adults.
9. You reward yourself after every workout
Some people use exercise as an excuse to overindulge in unhealthy snacks. This habit won’t do you any good. It’ll only add calories to your total daily intake.
If you have to eat after workout, eat healthy post-workout snacks like bananas or greek yogurt.
10. You use large plates
Using a large plate can make you overeat. Research shows that switching from 9.6 inch plates to 11.8 inches can increase total daily intake by 50 calories. And this will result to a weight increase of 5 pounds a year.
Serve your food in smaller plates to avoid overeating.
Which habit makes you overeat?