Eating food prevents feelings of fatigue and hunger, but it also provides us pleasure and helps pass the time. For example, eating popcorn and drinking soda can add to the experience of enjoying a movie. Chowing down on pretzels while watching a football game may help us overcome the anxiety of those big moments, but it can have long-term health consequences.
Symptoms of overeating include eating quickly, grazing slowly on food throughout the day, or eating after feeling full or satisfied. Once the movie ends and the moments pass, it may be then that you realize you have overeaten. After you stop, symptoms of overeating can include heartburn, nausea, bloating, and weight gain, in addition to feelings of guilt or shame.
It is possible to avoid the feelings of discomfort that come with overeating. Here are six reliable tips to help you stop overeating.
Hydration plays a pivotal role in overall health and can significantly impact your hunger and eating habits. Often, feelings of hunger can be a signal of dehydration. The body sometimes confuses thirst with hunger because food and water are vital energy sources, and food often contains water. This confusion can lead to unnecessary snacking or overeating when, in reality, your body is craving hydration.
Drinking a glass of water about 30 minutes before meals effectively promotes satiety and prevents overeating. This practice can help you better gauge your actual hunger levels, ensuring that you eat enough to satisfy your nutritional needs without excess. It’s a simple yet powerful tool in managing portion sizes and maintaining a healthy weight.
Beyond controlling hunger, staying well-hydrated has numerous other health benefits. Adequate water intake is essential for digestion, nutrient absorption, and maintaining the balance of bodily fluids. It aids in the elimination of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. Good hydration also supports healthy skin, regulates body temperature, and is essential for maintaining proper muscle function and joint lubrication.
The water needed can vary depending on age, weight, climate, physical activity levels, and overall health. While the common recommendation is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (often referred to as the “8×8” rule), individual needs may differ. Listening to your body and drinking when thirsty is generally a good practice. Also, incorporating foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can contribute to your overall hydration.
Incorporating other hydrating beverages like herbal teas or infused water can add variety to your fluid intake. However, it’s important to be mindful of certain beverages’ sugar and calorie content, as these can counteract the benefits of staying hydrated.
We often tie food with other activities like watching television or scanning our phones. Separating the two activities can help be more intentional about what you are eating. It will also help us not rush through meals and digest what we eat properly.
Many healthy food options can provide the same stimulation as junk food you might enjoy. Consider if the food you want is crunchy and salty or smooth and sweet, then substitute it—for example, substitute chips and dip for carrots and hummus. Instead of ice cream, you may consider yogurt with fruit or a smoothie.
Address Stress Before Eating
Eating is a mindless way to de-stress after a long day. However, healthy alternatives exist to help us cope with stress. Consider going for a brisk walk, practicing yoga, or using a mindfulness app between a stressful situation and mealtime.
Find a Support System
Overeating is often done to fill a void. Before sitting down with your comfort snack, call a friend or family member to chat or play with your pets. This can offer fulfilling stimulation other than eating.
Don’t Let Yourself Crash
Skipping meals can result in overeating later in the day or overindulging in junk food if your blood sugar drops too low. Be aware of your body’s needs. Eating at regular intervals may also help you control cravings and regulate your mood.
We Can Help
Bama Health Foods is committed to your health and wellness. We want to support you in living a natural and holistic lifestyle that is authentic to you. We pride ourselves on being a community center for those looking for reliable nutritional options and lifestyle support.