21
February
2014

Overeating - What Causes It, and How to Stop Doing It

How to stop overeating

Overeating is a problem many people suffer from, but don’t know how to go about solving the problem. It’s important for one to understand why they feel the need to continue to eat after they are full before they can try and solve it.

The most common reason people overeat is most simply hunger. There are two hormones that control the presence or absence of appetite, ghrelin and leptin respectively. These hormones control that rumbling in the stomach when one is hungry, and the feeling of fullness when you’re not. Appetite, or the desire to eat, is closely tied to hunger. Appetite can be mild and contribute to minimal changes in weight, or can be very severe and contribute to anorexia or obesity on the other side of the spectrum. Mindless eating occurs when one is bored, or is eating to pass the time. Mindless eating may occur when watching TV or talking on the phone. Stress also heavily contributes to overeating. During times of increased stress, many people eat to soothe or relieve their stress.

Overeating is also closely tied to psychiatric disorders. People may overeat due to depression, panic and anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance abuse or dependence. While overeating can be a common symptom of these disorders, it also may be caused by another underlying problem.

Common signs and symptoms of overeating include binge eating even when not physically hungry, eating much more rapidly than normal, eating alone due to embarrassment, feelings of guilt due to overeating, preoccupation with body weight, mood swings, depression, awareness that eating patterns are abnormal, rapid weight gain or onset of obesity, history of weight fluctuations, withdrawal from activities, social isolation, history of many different successful diets, eating little in public, very low self-esteem, and the feeling to eat greater and greater amounts. Each person will display different symptoms, and overeating and symptoms may be well hidden by the person suffering from overeating.

For people suffering from compulsive overeating associated with an additional psychiatric disorder, counseling and therapy is the most helpful treatment. It’s believed overeating is a behavior stemming from other emotional struggles that need to be solved in order to have a health relationship with food. Talk therapy, medical, and nutritional counseling can be very helpful. Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program that is a supportive and accepting group that’s goal is to help reduce overeating.

For those who want to try resolve their overeating on their own first, here are a few helpful steps! Using a hunger scale can help figure out what our true food needs are. It ranges from starving, hungry, moderately hunger, satisfied, full, and stuffed. It’s important to recognize how your body feels in each of these stages, and adjust the amount of food accordingly. Moderate hunger occurs every 4-5 hours since the last meal, so to avoid becoming starving, eat whole fruits and nuts. These contain fiber and will keep you fuller longer. Eating breakfast has also been shown to prevent eating large meals throughout the day, and keeps you feeling satisfied longer. Lastly, incorporate protein into each meal, because that will also keep you satisfied longer. Some examples of lean protein include egg whites, chunk tuna, or skinless chicken. Other protein options include beans, chickpeas, or edamame.

It’s important to understand why you are overeating, in order to seek the most appropriate treatment. Some may be able to manage overeating without therapy, while those suffering from severe overeating should seek out counseling or therapy.

Categories: Food and Health

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Nutrition Facts

21
February
2014

Overeating - What Causes It, and How to Stop Doing It

How to stop overeating

Overeating is a problem many people suffer from, but don’t know how to go about solving the problem. It’s important for one to understand why they feel the need to continue to eat after they are full before they can try and solve it.

The most common reason people overeat is most simply hunger. There are two hormones that control the presence or absence of appetite, ghrelin and leptin respectively. These hormones control that rumbling in the stomach when one is hungry, and the feeling of fullness when you’re not. Appetite, or the desire to eat, is closely tied to hunger. Appetite can be mild and contribute to minimal changes in weight, or can be very severe and contribute to anorexia or obesity on the other side of the spectrum. Mindless eating occurs when one is bored, or is eating to pass the time. Mindless eating may occur when watching TV or talking on the phone. Stress also heavily contributes to overeating. During times of increased stress, many people eat to soothe or relieve their stress.

Overeating is also closely tied to psychiatric disorders. People may overeat due to depression, panic and anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance abuse or dependence. While overeating can be a common symptom of these disorders, it also may be caused by another underlying problem.

Common signs and symptoms of overeating include binge eating even when not physically hungry, eating much more rapidly than normal, eating alone due to embarrassment, feelings of guilt due to overeating, preoccupation with body weight, mood swings, depression, awareness that eating patterns are abnormal, rapid weight gain or onset of obesity, history of weight fluctuations, withdrawal from activities, social isolation, history of many different successful diets, eating little in public, very low self-esteem, and the feeling to eat greater and greater amounts. Each person will display different symptoms, and overeating and symptoms may be well hidden by the person suffering from overeating.

For people suffering from compulsive overeating associated with an additional psychiatric disorder, counseling and therapy is the most helpful treatment. It’s believed overeating is a behavior stemming from other emotional struggles that need to be solved in order to have a health relationship with food. Talk therapy, medical, and nutritional counseling can be very helpful. Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program that is a supportive and accepting group that’s goal is to help reduce overeating.

For those who want to try resolve their overeating on their own first, here are a few helpful steps! Using a hunger scale can help figure out what our true food needs are. It ranges from starving, hungry, moderately hunger, satisfied, full, and stuffed. It’s important to recognize how your body feels in each of these stages, and adjust the amount of food accordingly. Moderate hunger occurs every 4-5 hours since the last meal, so to avoid becoming starving, eat whole fruits and nuts. These contain fiber and will keep you fuller longer. Eating breakfast has also been shown to prevent eating large meals throughout the day, and keeps you feeling satisfied longer. Lastly, incorporate protein into each meal, because that will also keep you satisfied longer. Some examples of lean protein include egg whites, chunk tuna, or skinless chicken. Other protein options include beans, chickpeas, or edamame.

It’s important to understand why you are overeating, in order to seek the most appropriate treatment. Some may be able to manage overeating without therapy, while those suffering from severe overeating should seek out counseling or therapy.

Categories: Food and Health

0.0/5 rating (0 votes)

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