6 types of overeating and how to overcome them
We are all guilty of overeating a little here and there.
But when does it become a problem? If it’s ingrained in your daily life?
In simple terms, overeating is “eating more than we want” or “more than our bodies need,” says Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey.
It’s not just about eating seconds when you’re already full and lying down uncomfortably.
Overeating includes treats throughout the day or habitual snacking associated with an activity, such as eating. B. TV.
Jane, who has written books on the psychology of eating behavior, says these habits can all lead to guilt about eating and weight gain.
She told The Sun: “Food has been piling up in all sorts of parts of our lives where it doesn’t need to be.”
The reasons for overeating fall into a number of categories, including environmental triggers or a way of dealing with certain emotions.
We’ll walk Jane through some of the most common…
1. For comfort
Comfort eating is something that a large proportion of Britons are familiar with.
Jane says it goes back to our childhood, revealing, “We learn as children that food is a source of comfort, a reward, or a way to manage stress.
Most Read in Diet & Fitness
“So as adults, when we feel these emotions, we can turn to food to make us feel better.”
“Comfort Eating” can help you cope with symptoms of mental illness or body confidence issues; it can balance boredom, excitement, or frustration.
Jane says: “People are often very self-critical and have negative scripts in their heads.
“Food can be a source of comfort to lift their spirits and give them a sense of well-being.
“But that can often be short-lived and lead to self-criticism and then further overeating.”
Sometimes it’s just small everyday stressors that cause people to stumble.
“We don’t necessarily eat because we’re depressed or anxious,” says Jane.
“We eat because we need a snack or a pick-me-up because we’re feeling a little stressed.
“Like reaching for a cup of tea and a biscuit after a difficult phone call.”
How to fix it: “The solution is to first find out what emotions are your triggers by paying attention to when you eat and looking for connections to your feelings,” recommends Jane.
“Then you have to start finding other ways to manage those triggers.
“It can mean talking to friends, going for a walk, doing yoga, listening to music, or watching a movie.”
Removing food from around the house can also help limit temptation.
2. Out of habit
Imagine the following scene: you’ve just sat down to watch your favorite series and you’re craving your usual snack.
You go and get a giant bag of chips, a packet of cookies, or a bar of chocolate even though you were satisfied with dinner.
This is habitual overeating and “may be related to a certain time of day, a certain table, the sofa or chair, certain people, driving, watching TV or going to the movies,” says Jane.
“Throughout our lives, we constantly make associations between people, places, and behaviors.
“These are habits and we don’t eat because we’re hungry, but because the person or the place just made us think we were hungry.”
How to fix it: Jane says the best way to break a habit is to wait for a natural shift in your life.
For example, when you come back from vacation, change your seat at work or rearrange furniture in a room.
“This is the time to hug and start over because everything got messed up anyway,” she says.
She encourages returning to a simple “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” way of eating “so food doesn’t spill with every activity — like with every cup of tea.”
3. Because of your environment
Your environment can trigger your cravings. After all, it’s hard to refuse food when it’s being swung in your face.
“We often eat because it’s there, as the sight or smell of food is a powerful trigger,” explains Jane.
“It could be because our partner gives us food even when we’re not hungry.
“This often leads to mindless eating when we eat without really processing what we’re doing.”
Jane says you might live or work with a “feeder” — someone who constantly offers you food and often doesn’t take no for an answer.
“People eat for all sorts of reasons. It can come from love or be a sign of affection, but it can also serve to stop it[selves] from the food,” she says.
Environmental triggers can also be biscuits at the supermarket checkout or snack bars on the street.
“We tend to overeat because the world we live in and the food industry tells us to eat,” says Jane.
How to fix it: Jane tells her to confront Feeder and ask them, “Do you know you do this? I try to be healthier and eat well.
Tell them to throw food in the bin if they don’t want it, or ask them at a restaurant if they really need that extra side dish because they didn’t eat it last time.
4. If you suffer from an eating disorder
More serious cases of overeating can be underpinned by an eating disorder (ED).
This is usually part of a binge eating disorder — when someone feels compelled to eat a large amount in a short period of time until they are uncomfortably full or sick.
Jane says, “They oscillate between undernutrition — periods when they severely restrict their food intake — resulting in rebound effects and overeating.
“Their weight may fluctuate or stay the same overall, but their eating habits are still unhealthy.
“Binge eating as part of ED can occur for many reasons such as: B. Difficult childhood, perfectionism, need for control, abuse or at some point amplified because one is thin leading to malnutrition and compensatory overeating.
“Overeating can be a source of comfort and sometimes the vomiting afterwards can be a source of relief.
“But again, these benefits are short-lived and may be followed by self-loathing.”
How to fix it: Jane says food has a much bigger meaning in the lives of people with conditions like anorexia or binge eating disorder — it can become their self-esteem.
People with eating disorders should always get help, for example by calling the Beat Eating Disorders Helpline on 0808 801 0677.
5. You are on a diet
Similar to binge eating disorder, but to a lesser extent, you may end up overeating at night simply because you’re not consuming enough calories during the day.
Jane says, “Dieting during the day can lead to malnutrition and a sense of denial. This can then trigger overeating in the evening to compensate.”
How to fix it: Overly restrictive eating habits can lead to binge eating later on, when you’re both physically drained and emotionally weak when you eat.
Don’t skip meals – try to always have a balanced plate at every meal.
And don’t deny yourself a treat to “save” it for another time. This ignores natural hunger or emotion signals, which can lead to a cycle of restriction and binge eating.
6. It’s family life
Food isn’t just “fuel” — it’s part of how we entertain ourselves.
Perhaps your culture and family time revolves around food (and a lot of it).
This can make it harder to separate the two as you may enjoy a feast at every family gathering.
“Food plays a big part in interacting with our children or with our partners or in a social setting or for celebration,” says Jane.
“Culture also influences how we eat, and food is tied to festivals, religion, rituals and seasons.”
How to fix it: Jane says she’s working on ways to tackle overeating at social events by “learning how to party without food — maybe by hanging out with friends or playing music.”
“Or we just accept that at special times we overeat, enjoy it, not get upset about it and get on with life,” she adds.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8762533/types-of-overeating-how-to-overcome/ 6 types of overeating and how to overcome them