Overeating can lead to weight gain and health challenges. However, once you understand the likely cause, and learn how to prevent it, you can stop overeating and enjoy your new path to wellbeing.

 

Let’s take a look at the main causes of overeating, and tips on preventing these causes:

 

 

1. Cravings: Cravings are one of the leading causes of overeating. It’s difficult to ignore them, so you end up giving in.

 

Common causes:

 

  • Restrictive diet
  • Cutting out treats

 

 

How to prevent these causes:

 

  • Allow a few treats in small portions
  • Eat nutritious foods in a balanced diet

 

 

 

2. Mindless Eating: Mindless eating refers to the consumption of food without realising how much you’re eating.

 

Common causes:

  

  • Often occurs while you’re watching television or movies

 

  

How to prevent these causes:

  

  • Eat dinner at the table before turning on the TV.
  • Trade high-salt, high-fat, high-sugar junk food for healthier options such as fruits and vegetables. You can still snack in front of the TV, but you’re less likely to overeat if the snacks are healthier.

 

 

 

3. Comfort Food: Do you deal with stress by reaching for a high-calorie comfort food, such as ice cream?

 

Common causes:

 

  • Eating to alleviate stress

 

How to prevent these causes:

 

  • Instead of turning to food during stress, turn to a friend. Talking can actually burn calories and help you lose weight.
  • Go for a walk, read a book, or take a warm bath.
  • Write your feelings in a journal.
  • Exercise.
  • Meditate.

 

 

4. Portion Control:

 

Common causes:

 

  • Eating out
  • Buying different brands of the same foods that have different portion sizes
  • Not knowing how much a reasonable portion is

 

 

How to prevent these causes:

 

  • When eating out, share your meal with a friend or eat half and take half home for another meal.
  • Pay attention to portion recommendations on food labels
  • Research portion sizes for your favourite foods and make notes.

 

 

5. Lack of Healthy Options:

 

Common causes:

 

  • When you’re hungry, you want something quick, but all you can find is either processed or high-calorie junk food.

 

 

How to prevent these causes:

  

  • Plan ahead. Shop with healthy options in mind.
  • Cook extra and freeze leftover portions for quick heat-n-eat meals.
  • Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy snacks, like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  • Pre-cut veggies and store in individual portions.

 

 

Do these causes of overeating apply to you? Curb your overeating with the above tips and you’ll find that you’ll have more energy, and enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle.