Will You Stop Overeating

- | 76 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Health & Wellness

woman trying to stop overeating

Don’t feel bad if I tell you to stop overeating. May be you think that you’ve all the rights to do what you want to, and you know what you’re doing.

Well, I don’t think so. Many of you do not know what you’re doing. You probably do not bother to stop overeating thinking of it as a harmless behavior.

If such is the case, then think again!

Overeating IS harmful. It does more harm than good. Sometimes you do not come to know when eating turns into overeating and you make yourself vulnerable to a host of diseases.

I know not everybody overeats. Or maybe you do it only rarely or occasionally when you’ve a party, celebration, or when you’re on a vacation. Or does it happen more often?

Recent studies show that if you indulge in overeating for as little as a month, its impact can result in long-term weight gain.

But seriously, do you know what tempts you to overeat?

Why Do You Overeat

You overeat because you like the food. You love the taste, the feeling, and can’t stop yourself from having more of it. And then, of course, now everywhere you’re served larger portions!

True, but there’s more to it.

You cannot stop overeating because you ignore the body’s call to take such an action. Your senses get the better of your intellect. You do what your mind, the king of all senses, says.

This is not the only reason. You also go on binge eating or compulsive overeating because you might be under stress, anxiety, or suffer from depression.

You begin to treat overeating as a coping mechanism to face the negative mental states. Even boredom and skipping meals leads to binge eating.

More reasons are lack of self-respect, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, lack of self-control, feelings of guilt, emotional problems, inability to express yourself, trauma, and others.

These all add to the miseries of overeating, emotional eating, and other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Whenever you overindulge, there’s a surge in the blood sugar levels. The pancreas then spills out more insulin, which lowers the blood sugar levels.

The brain gets alarmed by this sudden lowering of the blood sugar, which acts as a false message. Now, in order to increase the glucose levels, the brain creates craving for sugary food.

So, you start eating more even if you’re not hungry. This binge eating cycle continues, unless you make efforts to break it.

Why Should You Stop Overeating

Overeating causes the body to gain extra calories and additional fat deposits around the waist and other parts of the body. This leads to weight gain.

If your weight spins out of control, you risk obesity. With it come many health disorders and diseases that you would not want to even know about.

They are –

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic back pain
  • Heart disease

Aren’t these eye-openers and strong reasons enough to ring the alarm in your mind to stop overeating?

Maybe a better knowledge of the working of your digestive system and how overeating happens might help you stop yourself from overeating.

What Happens When You Overeat

Your stomach has a limited capacity. When you overeat, you stuff your stomach with food. Beyond a certain limit the stomach muscles start stretching and expanding.

When the body senses that your stomach muscle is stretching beyond its limits, hormones get into action and send a signal to the brain to ring an alarm for you.

This is to tell you to stop eating!

But you’re either busy talking to somebody, engrossed in watching TV, or surfing the Web and you ignore or don’t even notice the alarm.

So, what happens is that your stomach balloons up and causes pain and discomfort. However, frequent overeaters and their stomach muscles get used to this phenomenon.

With the excess of food in the stomach, it becomes difficult for the digestive enzymes to act upon the food and digest it.

Since the process takes more time now, the stomach remains full and causes additional misery. The food isn’t pushed into the small intestine unless it is properly liquefied.

Too much of food in the stomach and its bloating makes it push against the diaphragm that lies just below the lungs. This may bring some pain and difficulty in breathing.

If your meal consisted of fatty food, chances are that the valve between the stomach and esophagus, your food pipe, opens up.

It causes the acidic liquid from the stomach to flow back into your mouth and give a sour taste. There’s also a sensation of burning better known as heartburn.

If the stomach bloats extraordinarily, then there are three things that can happen. The person vomits, suffers from diarrhea, or the stomach ruptures.

But in case of compulsive binge eaters, the stomach muscles become too weak to throw up the excess food, so that food remains in the stomach, and part of it converts to fat.

What Happens After You Overeat

You experience a sick feeling after overeating. The stomach gets bloated and you have a food hangover.

Besides having an upset stomach, you may experience passing gas, belching, mood swings, burning eyes, and other discomforts.

How to Stop Overeating

If you feel you’re a compulsive binge eater, the first step is to get medical help. Contact your general practitioner or health care provider and seek help and suggestion.

You might be put under medication or given psychological therapies. The medical professionals will also suggest you take a self-help programme.

If you’re overweight then a weight loss plan and training from an expert will help and do you good. You can also take the following precautions, measures, and make them part of your habit, routine, or lifestyle.

  • Keep a food diary
  • Track what you eat
  • Eat little and often
  • Eat food high in complex carbohydrates
  • Eat slow
  • Practice mindful eating
  • Avoid eating sugary foods
  • Cut out alcohol and caffeine
  • Do not engage in dieting
  • Have healthy and balanced meals
  • Manage your stress
  • Avoid temptation
  • Exercise daily
  • Fight boredom
  • Get enough sleep
  • Listen to your body
  • Do relaxation exercises like breathing and meditation
  • Get control over your mind
  • Be happy
  • Get support

There can be many other tips, suggestions, and ways to force yourself to stop overeating. If you know of any, do share in the comments.

Remember, cutting down on overeating saves you money and time. It definitely betters the quality of your life as you remain away from the dreadful obesity related diseases.

The consequences of overeating are bad. The best way to stay away from them is to stop overeating.

Obesity is spreading fast all around the world. Part of it is due to our overeating behavior, carelessness, and lack of responsibility in taking proactive steps to avoid it.

Over to you –

Do you overeat or have experienced overeating? Do you know of anybody who suffers from overeating disorders? How do you or they try to stop overeating? Share your thoughts and experiences and help others.


Photo Credits: FreeDigitalPhotos

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76 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Sarah

    2013-09-02 at 7:05 am

    Hi Harleena, Thanks for bringing up such an important topic. I was raised in a house where junk food was always around. I admit, I was a huge overeater and had trouble not “grazing” on food all of the time. After my metabolism caught up with me, I started gaining weight fast. It was hard to break these habits, but I have managed to loose over 60lbs. on my own with a lifestyle change. I threw out everything unhealthy in the house, and replaced it with healthy alternatives. This kept me from snacking on junk when I thought I was hungry. You bring up documenting your food intake, which I also did. At the beginning of every meal, I took a picture and made a quick album I could reference easily. Just browsing through it made me realize how much food I was consuming. After a while I got used to eating smaller portions, and actually craved healthy foods.

    Thanks for sharing the great tips! 🙂

  2. Rupak

    2013-06-20 at 2:40 pm

    Well organized post Harleena!

    Overeating is a kind of gluttony. We just can’t help ourselves unless we’re able to control our tendency to eat more. I just wanted to ask whether overeating be the result of depression and laziness? I always feel hungry that eventually makes me to eat frequently. Will it cause me any harm in the future?Best regards!!

  3. Matthew Denos

    2013-04-21 at 12:24 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    You tackled the topic of overeating from many angles. You reminded me of how Tony Robbins explains our behavior on the basis of our Neuroassociations. Many people have associated “eating” with “pleasure”. I personally have linked “eating” to good health, energy, vitality, and pleasure to some extent.

    But, those who see “food” mainly as pleasure, stress relief, emotional comfort, need to work on their neuroassociations. They can weaken the link between food and pleasure by assigning enough pain to it. Human beings are motivated by too huge forces: Pleasure and (avoidance of) Pain. If the pain of overeating (the pain of having poor health) is greater than the pain of not overeating (the pain of not enjoying the amount of food you want), then you will stop overeating.

  4. Thejas Kamath

    2013-04-20 at 10:50 am

    At times I overeat. I knew over heating is bad for health but didn\’t know how.I learned everything from this post. I understood digestive system better now than when I learned during high school. :DI\’m gonna visit aha-now soon!! :)~Thejas

  5. Kumar Suhas

    2013-04-18 at 5:28 pm

    It is important to stop over eating and I believe that this habit is found in many people theses days. It can be due to lifestyle or even stress.Thanks a lot for all this information.

  6. Shubham

    2013-02-01 at 11:16 pm

    Ahh..that was interesting…Always good to read your posts.. 🙂

  7. Unknown Mami

    2013-02-01 at 5:00 am

    I have a tendency to overeat. I do it mindlessly or because I feel like I have to finish everything on my plate. In the past I have found it very helpful to keep a food journal. It has stopped me from overeating because I knew I would have to go write it down and that made me think about my choices more.

  8. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    2013-02-01 at 4:00 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Overeating can be a problem. I’m on a healthy eating attempt :)right now. I don’t like the sweets so much, but can get into the chips and anything salty. Great post on no overeating.

  9. Claire

    2013-01-31 at 11:32 pm

    Excellent article, particularly about what happens when we overeat.

    It is not easy to stop overeating, hence the fact that diets don’t work (in fact, only 5% of all dieters actually succeed in losing weight and keeping it off), but there is hope.

    The Get Thin for Good online food addicts recovery program can help you change the way you think about food, and in so doing, lose weight permanently.

    Thanks again for a great article.

  10. Carol B

    2013-01-31 at 5:39 am

    Hi Harleena,
    Your post couldn’t have been more timely! Yes, I admit it, I do overeat, usually for stress or boredom reasons. And yes, this past year has not been too kind to my waistline! Reading your post has once again reminded me that I need to find other outlets to my stress besides eating. I was on a great “run” last summer into the fall as I literally was running. But then I injured myself, then got sick, then cold weather – I let the excuses pile up for these extra pounds besides what the true cause is: just plain old overeating.

    Now to refocus myself and get back on track! Thanks for the gentle reminder! And on that note, I think I need to go for a run!

  11. Ravi budhwar

    2013-01-30 at 9:06 am

    Overeating is really a bad habit at all but most of the people are struggling with this problem.Thank God I am not between them.

  12. Praveen Rajarao

    2013-01-30 at 2:55 am

    Harleena – Sorry I was not at my “blogging best” these days. I have been busy at work lately and found very little time other than that.

    This article made me think back about a time when we went to an Indian buffet around here, and i ate so much that I just had to skip my next 2 meals 🙂

    Yes, overeating can be really dangerous as you have so clearly mentioned above. I love desserts and I tend to overeat them. However these days, I have put a check on that and stop myself from embarassing myself like that.

    Great read as usual.

  13. Adrienne

    2013-01-30 at 2:40 am

    What a popular topic Harleena and there is a reason for it. I know that here in the US weight has gotten way out of control.

    One of my favorite shows is the Biggest Loser and this year they are also concentrating on childhood obesity. It’s an epidemic and I wish that someone would be able to get this under control. It’s just become way too easy to eat fast food instead of sit down and have a good healthy meal.

    I’m not an over-eater but I’ve been known to overindulge during the holidays. I use to be a tad overweight as a child and then it stayed on me into my mid 20’s. I lost it all then but as I’ve mentioned to you before, I am an emotional eater. I’ve gained a lot of weight twice in my life but the good thing is that once I’ve gotten over that horrible time I have taken the weight back off.

    I really watch what I eat because I don’t want to be overweight. No one in my family is so we’ve never really had that issue. I would just love to see everyone else get this under control.

    Thank you for bringing this up and perhaps this will be the year more people take control of this area.


  14. Hiten

    2013-01-30 at 12:44 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This was an excellent post on overeating and I really enjoyed reading it.

    As I was reading your post, I could relate to a number of the issues you described when I’ve found I’ve overeaten.

    I have quite a sensitive stomach so don’t really overeat much. The memories of discomfort which occurs is usually enough to put me off eating too much.

    Having said this, there are some times when my eating patterns are not so good and that is when I’m under stress.

  15. Sarah Park

    2013-01-29 at 12:06 pm

    Too much of anything is never good and eating is not an exemption to it. We eat not just we need it, but because we love it. And worst, it becomes a hobby. This is where we tend to overeat and it is never healthy.

  16. Corina Ramos

    2013-01-29 at 9:29 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I’m fortunate not to know anyone who has an eating disorder. I don’t think I’m an overeater but if I allowed myself, I could easily have a second helping of my favorite dessert.

    We have to eat right because diabetes runs in the family and we try to support our parents. We have a rule in the house that every Saturday is a our free day and we get to choose a not-so-healthy meal and dessert.

    I have noticed I eat more of my favorite desserts when I’m stressing to meet deadlines and the way I solved that problem is by not buying it in the first place so it won’t be in the house.

    Thank you for sharing this important information on this delicate topic. Hope all is well.

  17. Galen Pearl

    2013-01-29 at 9:11 am

    This post is so informative. So much of our emotional well being is tied to our eating habits.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-01-31 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Galen,

      I’m glad you find the post informative.

      You’re right in that our emotional and mental states have direct impact on our eating habits. Mind, heart, and body are all so interconnected that disturbance in one can create problem behaviors in the other.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thought. 🙂

  18. Debbie

    2013-01-28 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Over eating is a problem for many and you have some great tips to help people. I guess I am not one that has a problem with this. I eat until I am not hungry anymore.

    Actually though I believe my eating habits come from when I was a child. We were what you would call poor and did not have a lot of food in the house. Store bread was a treat for us, like ice cream and even potatoe chips. And we were never made to eat something that we did not like.

    Now on the other hand my hubby was always taught to clean up his plate.
    He does have trouble with his weight. I don’t care how much or how little he puts on his plate he will always clean it.

    As parents when we say to a child ‘you are not leaving this table until you clean that plate,’ is this really a good thing to teach a child?
    I have always listened to my body and that really works.

    Great post Harleena, because over eating is habit like many things can become a bad habit.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-01-31 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      You send across an important message – the right eating habits should be installed when the child is still young. Though we’ve the power to change our habits, but we tend to carry most of our childhood habits as we grow up.

      You did go through your share of rough times, but it did help you develop a good habit – healthy eating. Though I also do not believe in forcing the children things to eat what they don’t like, I do force my kids to eat the veggies, but of course not to the extent of overeating. I feel not doing that would be making a compromise with their health.
      Again an example of how childhood memories and training are so important – I remember my grandmother telling me not to leave food on the plate as food is precious and the poor don’t even get that much. This advice ingrained in me and I tell the same to my kids – though it’s a different matter that they do not follow it always. 😉 But I get your point that if you make cleaning your plate a habit, you’ll probably also eat what is extra on your plate and end up overeating.

      But you know what happens with my kids – if left on their own, they would gladly dump the nourished food and prefer to eat junk food and light snacks, like all other children. So, I do keep an eye on what they eat and how much they eat. I tell them to take small servings and finish rather than take more than what you can eat and then leave it on the plate.

      But I do believe the kids should be trained to listen to their body early on and not made to eat more than what they require.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, thoughts and views on eating habits and for making important contribution to the post. 🙂

      • Debbie

        2013-01-31 at 8:25 pm

        Harleena, I totally agree with you. You can not let children make there own choices when it comes to eating. You have to teach them to eat the right foods. As for vegetables there were some my kids would eat and others they would not. I fixed the green beans over the peas.

        Thanks for replying back and have a wonderful day.

        • Harleena Singh

          2013-01-31 at 8:43 pm

          Debbie, It’s an interesting suggestion you made. I’ll surely try it with my kids. 🙂

          Have a great day yourself! 🙂

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Will You Stop Overeating

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