Why do we overeat?

What does it mean to overeat? It means to take in more energy than our bodies need. If we are consistently taking in more food than our bodies are using, the extra weight gets stored as fat. This takes us back to our energy equation:

energy in (food) > energy out (exercise) = weight gain

Like I said, being aware of this equation doesn’t stop us from overeating. So why do we do it? There are many reasons and for each person its different. If you become aware of the reasons you consistently overeat, you might be in a better position to change those habits. Remember, over-eating every now and again won’t make you gain weight. Doing so over a long period of time will. The converse is also true: not overeating over a long period of time will help you to lose weight.

Emotional Eating

Like we explored earlier, emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. This could be eating because you’re sad, anxious or angry. As we said previously, eating emotionally every once in a while is not necessarily bad, but doing so often causes weight gain. If this is your main reason for overeating, you might want to try some exercises to help you with this.

Overeating at Social Events

When we are eating with other people or at social events or gatherings, we might be more inclined to eat more than we should. This might be because we are not paying attention to our hungry and full signals, because we feel obligated to eat the food that’s been put in front of us, or maybe the people we are with are putting pressure on us to eat more. It might also be that the food at a social gathering just tastes so good that we can’t stop ourselves from eating too much. The best way to handle these situations is to perhaps not eat too much for the rest of the day in anticipation of the event or to compensate for it afterwards by eating a little less. This way your daily consumption might still be the same, just more concentrated at this event.

The “I’ve blown it” Mentality

Dieters will know what this is – when you’ve been following a diet, restricting certain foods or calories, and then you have a ‘forbidden’ food. This makes you feel like a failure so you continue to eat this ‘forbidden’ food plus any other restricted food you can find, saying to yourself: “Well, I’ve blown my diet anyway, I might as well just keep eating.”

When you are eating mindfully, there are no longer any forbidden foods because we are not judging. We are also no longer being so harshly judgemental on ourselves, seeing ourselves as bad because we’ve eaten the wrong food or too much of it. Letting go of these judgements helps us to stop overeating in these situations. No foods are forbidden, so you are free to eat anything… and, yes, you can still lose weight eating the foods you love

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The Whole of the Moon

I was listening to "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys the other day. I've heard the song many times over the years, but this time I was really present and listened. This was the message: "I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands..." We go around thinking...

Why is dieting so bad?

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Why is dieting so bad? As I’ve mentioned previously, most of us are born with the innate ability to know what our bodies need and when. We slowly lose this ability through social conditioning or for other reasons. Some of these reasons being: eating because we are...

Overcome Emotional Eating

Overcome Emotional Eating

What is emotional eating? I’m sure we’ve all experienced this more than once. When you reach for a sweet when you’re anxious about a deadline you’re supposed to be working on, when you eat a large bag of crisps after dinner because you’re lonely or when you eat a...

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