How often you overeat? Do you find yourself continuing to eat even when you are not hungry? Then looking down and noticing that you have eaten way more than you needed to and leaving you feeling so full up that you feel sick, tired and guilty.
Why do you over eat?
Looking at the reasons as to why you over eat will help you recognise your behaviour and stop the pattern that you have found yourself in.
The first reason that you would probably think of is that you simply enjoy eating. Food tastes good, so why would you want to waste it? So you then finish your plate and go up for seconds, thirds and even fourths. You feel that you need to eat until you are either too full up to eat anymore or there is no food left.
I think to further understand why you do this, you need to gather an understanding of human evolution. Our ancestors would eat everything they had, as they wouldn’t know how long it would be until they would have their next meal. So they would eat until they could eat no more and use their fat stores up until they found their next meal.
The human brain is still wired this way. Food tastes good, so you eat it all in case you will need to go a while without food again. However, now we have supermarkets and fridges so there is an abundance of food whenever you want it. There is no danger of not having a meal in a few hours let alone a few days, yet but your brain still thinks there is.
The next reason you find yourself overeating could be your parents. How often were you told to finish the food on your plate, or that people are starving in Africa, so make sure you eat all of your meal. You have always been rewarded for eating all of your food.
Think also about special occasions growing up, birthdays or doing well at school. For doing such a good job you get a treat, your favorite food usually ,or sweets or chocolate.
If you think about the way you related to food then, as you have started to grow up whenever you feel upset, tired, or bored you go straight to the fridge to get that emotional buzz and reward that has been linked to food from your childhood. Looking to food to make you feel happier.
Overeating can also give you a felt sense of control. You have the power to eat what you want when you want. When you have had a bad day at work, you can go to the fridge and get a desert or go out for some food to make yourself feel better. Eat as much as you want until you feel full and satisfied, helping to take your mind off your rubbish day.
Overeating gives you a way to regulate your emotions. It makes sense then that you would want to keep on eating even when you are full.
It offers you space away from life and allows you to feel safe, gain praise and perceived control.
Add to that being evolutionarily programmed to eat as much as possible and it is no surprise that most overeat on a daily basis.
By knowing why you overeat you can start to understand yourself and learn to acknowledge when you feel full up.
At this point ask yourself what does overeating give you and why do you feel the need to do it?
Which one of these points best sums up why you overeat?
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