Food is the stimulant for tired brains, and for stress. When you are under stress, a bar of chocolate, or a serving of sweet can do wonders to remove that stress. But, guess what, the craving for food is one of the biggest detractors for weight loss. Quite often, people eat food, mindless of what they are eating, and whether they are actually hungry or not. And, this phenomenon is called overeating, and leads to unnecessary accumulation of fat and weight. So, how to stop overeating? Is there a way to control what you eat and when you eat? And, is there a way to tell your brain that you have had enough for the day? Well, there are some ways of signalling to your mind that you are done for the day, which can also keep the tummy full, so that there is no hunger pangs at all.
Why Do Diets Fail?
You see so many people following all kinds of diet, but why do they still not lose weight? Sometimes, people follow strict diets, but still end up overeating. Do you wonder why? Well, it is because we put so many restrictions on the diet. When the caloric count is reduced, the body perceives danger, and protects one from the starvation, while slowing down the metabolism. And, this leads to overeating. And, what happens is when you stop the diet, the weight that you lost during the process, bounces back with full force, leading to more weight gain, than what you actually started off with.
How To Stop Overeating?
Given below are some useful strategies, which will keep you in control:
1. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Some people try to skip breakfast, in the process of trying to fool the tummy. They want to make the tummy think that if one meal is skipped, the calorie count will automatically become less. But, guess what, when you skip the most important meal of the day, you feel lethargic, and end up eating more food when evening arrives. The body doesn’t like being starved, with insufficient calories. Binge eating takes precedence, and then there is no stopping you from eating whatever is there in the kitchen. So, one should definitely not stop eating the first meal of the day.
2. Need More Self-Control
One requires a great deal of self-control while exercising any kind of diet. They should try and curtail sugary drinks, and processed food. Processed food, sugary food, fatty food, and salty food are more addictive than any other types of healthy food. When you think of it, it is easier to eat more of ice cream than eat more of veggies. This is due to the neurochemical reward centres in brain, which override normal willpower. These signals overshadow the normal biological signals, which are meant to control the hunger.
3. Eat Real And Whole Food
This is a very important criterion, when it comes to stopping hunger. Eating real and whole food, such as fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts and oil, and other animal products such as eggs, lamb, beef, poultry, pork, and fishes such as salmon can help you with having control on your eating.
4. Think Before You Eat
Before you jump onto your favorite food, give some time to your mind for some kind of processing. People tend to eat more under stress, which also slows down the metabolism. They eat quickly, and also overeat, without realizing that the brain takes about 20 minutes after one starts to eat, to signal that they feel full.
5. Maintain A Journal Of What You Eat
Another useful strategy for stopping overeating is to write down whatever you have eaten. Also, one should make a note about how they feel after they have eaten. This will greatly reduce all the unnecessary food items that one mindlessly eats. When you jot down whatever you eat, you will feel guilty about what all you have eaten, and what you have done, and that can lead to weight loss. This way, you can metabolize your calories in a better way.
6. Sleep Well
8 hours of sleep is recommended for everyone. A quality and uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep every night, will help in reducing the cravings, and will normalize the fat regulating hormones. When you sleep less, you feel sleep deprived, which can cause insulin resistance, and can lead to obesity.
7. Control Your Stress
It is but natural to feel stressed out, due to demanding careers, kids, and relationships. And, the stress level has increased manifolds in this generation. Under stress, a person tends to overeat. So, one should try to relax, and use de-stressing techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and other breathing techniques, for gaining control over the body, so that eating is controlled.
8. Exercise Your Body
Exercising is the best way to lose weight, and it helps in maintaining weight loss. When you exercise, you realize how difficult it is to lose those extra calories, which you gained in just one bingeing session. And, that will make you extra careful about what you eat. Try to walk for a minimum of 30 minutes every day, and take up some sports activities, or hit the gym. Biking, running, dancing, swimming, or playing tennis, is fun, and is also a physical sport that will help you in losing the calories.
9. Should Know When To Stop
There are times when our favourite food is in front of us, and we start eating as if there is no tomorrow. We gorge on food as if it is going to be our last meal. If we can exercise some restraint at this point, and try to control our mind to stop when we are full, we will do a great service to our body.
10. Fill Your Kitchen With Healthy Food
When you have unhealthy food stored in your refrigerator and kitchen, you would naturally have the temptation to eat them. So, it would be a good idea to load your refrigerator with veggies, and fruits, and other healthy options, so that you don’t feel like eating anything at all. The problem with processed food is that it doesn’t fill your stomach, but adds too many calories in your diet.
Overeating is a disorder, and not a disease. With proper strategies, one should be able to get back on track, and should be able to break away from their food addiction.
When you feel that you haven’t eaten anything, and have starved your system, you feel like treating yourself with some high calorie food. This is quite natural, but this is what causes major issues with weight management. If you wish to lose weight, you need to tune in to the signals given by the body, about eating. The body gives signals about hunger, when it requires energy. So, one should try to listen to these signals carefully, and eat only when hungry.
How To Control Hunger?
So, the next question on your mind would be how to stop hunger. Well, we give below some tips, which will help you in eating less, and in spotting hunger. This will help you to eat so that you are satisfied, without overloading yourself with excess calories. This way, you would be able to lose weight without dieting.
1. Use Hunger Scale
There are different levels of hunger that one experiences. These vary from person to person and time to time. This scale helps in signalling a true requirement for nourishment. The hunger can be broadly classified into starving, hungry, moderately hungry, satisfied, full and stuffed. When you are starving, you get an empty feeling, and feel light headed. The blood sugar becomes low, and the person tends to overeat.
Hunger is the stage when you start thinking about food, and this can convert into starving, if you do not eat something within an hour. Moderately hungry is the stage when the stomach might be growling, and you are thinking about how you can stop that feeling. This is the most optimal eating time. The other stages of satisfied, full and stuffed should keep one away from food. At this stage, one should definitely move away from the food, before they end up harming themselves, by overeating.
2. Eat Every 4 Hours
When you try to eat every 4 hours, you are eating only when you are moderately hungry. You are neither starved nor full. When you wait for a longer period of time for your next meal, you will start overeating. And, your body will not make wise choices regarding healthy food. Regular eating can keep the blood sugar and the energy stable.
If you feel hungry between the meals, you could snack on a 150-calorie snack, which can help in holding you. Some of these snacks could be fruits, or unsalted nuts. These contain more water and fiber, and can fill you up, without adding too many calories. Also, these are loaded with nutrients, which can keep the diseases at bay.
3.Eat Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast should be eaten like a king. And, if you eat healthy in the morning, it will keep you fresh and active throughout the day. Try to eat fruits, yogurt, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, fat-free milk, soy milk, etc. Try to eat before 10 am, so that you are able to stay in control during the day.
4.Make Your Meals High In Volume
When you consume solid foods, you get a high content of fluids, which can suppress the hunger. So, it is good to eat more of things that contain a high level of water content, such as veggies and fruits, instead of food that have lower water content, such as pretzels and crackers. When you eat more such food, you eat fewer calories, and remain healthy. So, you should start your dinner with salad, and try to incorporate that into the meal. Include proteins like beans or lean meat into it, as well. Also, choose fresh fruits instead of dried fruits. Also, boost your volume of low-calorie frozen dinner, with an increase in veggies. You could add steamed broccoli, or the freshly cut tomatoes, etc.
5.Include More Of Fiber
Fiber can make you feel full for a longer time, and also in a faster manner. The body takes time to process the meals that are rich in fiber, so it keeps one feel satiated for a longer time. The foods loaded with fiber have higher volume, so they can make you feel full, even when you eat only a few calories. Try to eat at last 25 gms of fiber every day. Some of the fiber-rich food items include carrots and apples, which have a high fiber content. Also, replace the regular grains, rice, bread and pasta with the whole grain products.
As per the researchers, people eating more of protein felt less hungry, and more satisfied. Also, the women were able to preserve a leaner body mass, including calorie-burning muscle. To start with, try to eat a serving of lean protein in the form of light tuna, egg whites, skinless chicken, etc. You can also take a serving of meat, which should mean that the slice of meat should be around the size of the palm. You can also incorporate beans in your meals. Some of the excellent options for beans include chick peas, black beans, whole soy beans, etc. These have lower fat content, and higher fiber content. Also, these are loaded with protein.
These were some of the strategies, using which, you can suppress your hunger, and overeating tendencies. Whenever you crave for food, and wonder how to stop eating, try to distract yourself. Getting into some interesting distractions will keep your thoughts away from food. And, that will, in the long run, keep you fit and healthy. So, say no to binge eating, and you would be leading a healthy life.