Overeating is a bad habit that can be very difficult to get rid of especially if we consider that overeating triggers are everywhere. The problem is that you cannot just stop eating because we need food to survive. So, we are constantly surrounded by food and we cannot avoid it.
Probably most of you will know what I mean when I say that food temptation is almost everywhere. Outside our home we are surrounded by restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, fast food restaurants etc; at home, we have the fridge and kitchen cabinets; at the office we have sandwich and chips vending machines etc. So, there’s practically no place where you can isolate yourself to get rid of food temptation and overeating triggers.
What to do in this situation you wonder!?! Well, if we cannot escape food temptation, we should think and analyze what makes us eat more than we need.
For this we compiled a list of top 8 emotional overeating triggers. Try to identify which triggers apply for your situation and then try to overcome them.
1. Feeling tired or drained of energy is one of the main overeating triggers
When your energy level is low, you will resort to food to increase it. Instead of grabbing the first energy drink and chocolate bar that comes to your hand, try eating a fruit (grapes, apples, oranges etc.). Also, think before you act – if you are tired, you might need sleep or a little bit of relaxation (watching a movie, listening to a song, go out for a walk etc.) instead of food.
2. Feeling Bored
People are bored or get bored very easily. Boredom is a very common syndrome for a lot of people and is one of the main overeating triggers. It’s practically one of the key factors that made internet such a powerful tool.
When feeling bored, a lot of people will start eating. This process is accelerated especially when watching a movie or TV show because of food commercials, banners at the cinema etc. Just think of this – when was the last time you went to the cinema and did not buy popcorn? Were you really hungry when you bought it? Or maybe you just saw other people buying or looked at a banner? Or you always feel like buying popcorn when going to the cinema because a movie is no longer fun without it? If so, did you know that a large bucket of popcorn can deliver easily more than 1,000 calories. If you add a drink, well that’s all the calories you need for the entire day.
Your habits and lifestyle in general play a very important role when it comes to eating habits. Beware of the habits you developed that involve eating: you eat more when you’re at home, your always eating when watching TV etc. Try including more physical activities that keep you busy.
We always have been attracted by “forbidden” things. This also applies to food. When you know that you are not allowed to eat a certain food product, you will fell the need exactly for that product. This is also valid for food in general. When you know that you are not allowed or you should not eat as much as you would like, food will be the only thing you think about.
In order to reduce this deprivation felling, just try to find substitutes that are also fun, tasty and healthy (e.g. you are not allowed to eat sweets, just have a fruit salad etc.)
5. “Comfort Zone”
When you are in your comfort zone you will not be motivated to change. You accept who you are and move on without trying to change. This can very easily lead to overeating as most of the time the comfort zone schedule involves eating and not exercising or a dynamic lifestyle in general. If you add lack of appreciation from close people, food will became your best friend.
6. Hate your body
When you hate the way you look is very hard to start and maintain a diet plan. Always remember that is not always about how you look at the outside – your beliefs, personality, skills are extremely important as these elements are the ones who define you as a person. Try speaking to a psychologist or even a good friend in order to overcome your bad feelings.
Overeating is often triggered when you can no longer cope with your daily tasks (both work and home). Having no time or energy, no diet plan will be attractive for you (when I say “diet plan” I’m not referring to those complex lose weight programs, but to the simple plan/program imposed by you in order to control or reduce calories intake). Using baby steps when developing you plan is the way to go in this situation.
8. Lack of willpower
When you truly want to do something you will do it. Set you boundaries and impose a discipline plan that has to be respected without any exceptions. Willpower will help you stay on track and avoid overeating triggers.
If you or someone you love are having chronic problems with their eating, eating disorders treatment may be the best option.