Take a mental approach to overeating

Take a mental approach to overeating

by Pamela Ng 10 May 2018

We all like to eat and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that; problems only start to arise when you overeat. This can happen under various circumstances: at a buffet, a friend’s wedding dinner or even just by walking through a food street stocked to the rafters with luscious treats.


Like most things that are bad for us, overeating gives us a moment of pleasure at the expense of long-term consequences, namely obesity. Heartburn and nausea are also some of the more immediate outcomes. If overeating becomes a habit, one may develop other weight-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, while making it even harder to turn things around. So how can you stop yourself from overeating? Here are some tips that play to your advantage mentally so that you can prevent yourself from overeating:


1. Change your utensils

What we use during our mealtimes can have an effect on how much we eat. By using smaller plates and exchanging spoons for forks, our brains will register satiety faster due to the longer amount of time it takes for us to finish our meal. This prevents us from eating more than we need to. Utilising a smaller plate can also effectively trick your brain into thinking that the plate contains more food than it actually does, setting the stage for a fuller stomach.


2. Finding fun and joy in other areas

Eating results in the release of dopamine, a hormone that raises your happiness. Finding excitement and doing other fun stuff wherever you are at can likewise induce that same physiological response. Whether is it networking with people or getting down on the dance floor, as long as you are enjoying yourself, food should fall to second place. If you’ve already had your meal, get yourself busy with something that you enjoy so that your brain doesn’t have the time to indulge in the thought that it might be hungry.


3. Snack and drink water

In the face of temptation from marvellous displays of food, it is difficult to resist going for it. The effort used to overcome this will induce a good amount of mental fatigue that will leave you feeling dull and grumpy. By snacking on something healthy and drinking lots of water, your brain will think that it is full, thereby reducing your appetite and stop you from overeating. On the low-calorie side of things, we have celery and lemon-infused water. If you require something heartier, there are always raw nuts and beef jerky to turn to. Keep your snack intake to one serving in between meals and you shouldn’t have to worry about going overboard with them either!


Overeating can cause many health issues, and this applies to people who are naturally skinny as well. There are often reasons to our actions, and why we do the things we do. In this case, overeating could be due to underlying issues in the mind, such as chronic stress or a lack of sleep. Like any bad habit, breaking the hold overeating has over you will take both time and decisive action. Luckily, there are several little nifty tricks you can pull to make passing this ordeal a lot smoother!