We all do it or have done it before.
We get ahold of our favourite meal or snack and it’s so tasty that you don’t want to stop eating it or maybe you’re just eating cause you’re bored. Before you know it, you’re feeling nauseous and regretting every bite you took past the point of no return. Regretting food is definitely no way to live a fulfilling and nourishing life, but an important step in balancing this unhealthy pattern is bringing awareness to the reasons why we tend to overeat.
Boredom Boredom is one of the biggest culprits of overeating, and it’s usually due to a hormone our body makes called Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is the brain's “feel-good” chemical. It’s the pleasure and reward system and when it comes to food, the most important thing that dopamine does is allow us to feel enjoyment, bliss, and euphoria, which is usually why people overeat when they’re bored. The craving for excitement or pleasure is real and when reaching for that sweet treat, we get a hit of instant gratification and satisfaction.
Stress When we feel stressed we are more inclined to overeat or snack due to the elevated cortisol in the body which increases appetite and the feelings of hunger. Balancing and finding healthy outlets to mitigate stress will not only reduce the likelihood of overeating but your heart will also thank you for it. (I offer stress reducing done-for-you meal programs). Blood Sugar Levels Keeping your blood sugars at an optimal range will prevent cravings and consequently reduce the inclination to overeat. Adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet will help make you feel satiated, not only on a physical level but naturally on a hormonal level as well. Increasing your dietary fibre (flax, chia, leafy greens), protein (legumes, salmon or quinoa), and “good” fats (avocado, hemp, olives) are great starting points, but ueven things like dehydration can be linked to cravings, blood sugar imbalances and overeating.
How to Re-Gain Control Mindful Eating Mindful eating isnt just a catchphrase or a fancy type of diet, in fact, its more of an “un-diet” and, when practiced, can really help slow down your eating. Mindful eating has been linked to many studies (here, and here for example) that attain benefits when it comes to losing extra lbs paired with mindful eating. This could be due to the simple act of eating slowly, paying attention to your morsels, how much you chew and eliminating unnecessary distractions.
• Slow Down - Focusing on eating slowly can help you recognize signs of fullness.
• Chew Your Food - Chewing 30-50 times can help ensure proper digestion and
assimilation of nutrients that will lead to less overeating in a sitting.
• No Distractions - Reducing the use of your phone, or watching tv while you eat
can help you be more present during meals and can help prevent overeating.
Balance with the combination of intuitive eating is a big part of a happy belly and a sound mind. Depriving yourself or extreme dieting can lead to hormonal shifts, cravings and with them, comes the tendency to want to “treat yo’self” or splurge in one swoop. Meal Prep Meal preparation on the weekends or whenever it’s most convenient for your lifestyle is a great way to ensure a well-balanced and nutrient-dense meal is only moments away. Pre-roasting vegetables like sweet potato, broccoli or beets would be a great addition into a salad for example.
Having delicious ingredients on hand that can make a tasty and more importantly quick mix n' match meal, can leave you feeling like a Meal Prep Superhero!
Need more support? Please reach out I'd love to help.