Once we understand the reasons that motivate us to overeat, we can set up strategies to stop it. The goal is to change our poor eating habits, listen better to the words of our bodies, and provide answers that are consistent with our nutritional needs. Consider what type of overeating you would classify yourself into and take some good advice on countermeasures..
If we belong to the “stress-taking” type
1. Improve our sleep quality, increase our sleep time
When we live a stressful life, we usually sleep poorly and don’t get enough. However, lack of sleep increases the so-called the production of the hormone ghrelin, which causes hunger. Therefore, it is definitely advisable to sleep 7-8 hours a day. Satisfactory sleep for a sufficient period of time allows us to be in better shape during the day and also ready to engage in physical activity. It is useful to make ourselves aware that sports / exercise produce endorphin (happiness) hormone in our body. This stimulant not only provides better well-being, but also soothes, helps to relieve stress and achieve better sleep.
2. Raise your serotonin levels
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes, among other things, a sense of calm, security, and satisfaction by reducing anxiety and relieving stress (e.g., antidepressants can increase serotonin levels in the brain). To synthesize serotonin, the brain needs a substance called essential tryptophan (an essential amino acid) that we need to provide from an external source. It is full of food such as. meat, fish, eggs, dairy products… Therefore, it is recommended to consume them as much as possible with every meal. It is advisable to supplement these with carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index (GI = a food blood sugar lifting capacity) These include e.g. whole grain products, legumes, fruits and vegetables, which drops blood sugar levels more slowly and does not increase appetite. This can also avoid the compulsive craving for sweet products.
3. We can use EFT (healing “knocking exercises”)
There are several relaxation techniques (meditation, yoga, soprology…) that have been shown to be effective against stress. These include the lesser known EFT -Emotional Freedom Technique, which requires no special knowledge, is simple and easy to apply at any time. It uses human energy to solve our negative emotions and stress and anxiety. The point is to stimulate well-defined meridian (energy line) points (or acupuncture points) on the body without acupuncture by tapping those endpoints with our fingers.
If we eat out of boredom unnecessarily or too much
4. Let’s find the feeling of hunger and satiety again
When we eat just to spend our time or to postpone a task that we are not in the mood for at all, we do not take into account our body’s energy needs and nutritional needs. However, the number one rule of proper nutrition is to eat only when hunger occurs and to stop eating when we feel full. This is not always easy if we have not had a real connection with the messages of our body for many years. Therefore, we have to find them again, e.g. waiting for signs of physical hunger before meals (e.g., our stomach crunches; we feel empty; we are tired because we haven’t eaten, etc.). Let’s also try to hit the moment when the feeling of fullness occurs.
5. Take stock of our pleasant activities
All those who are “boredom eaters” should look for pleasant activities that provide a small “endorphin splash” in the body. These include spending some time in a warm, fragrant bath, reading a good book, going to the movies, talking to a close friend, relative, dancing, listening to music, and more. Each of us may have a different source of joyful activities — it is important to identify ours and summarize these occupations within ourselves. Thus, when we feel the urge to eat out of boredom, we can draw from this list for a more appropriate response.
6. Eat consciously
It is important not to deal with anything else while eating, to pay full attention to our diet. In this case, do not look at e.g. any screen (tv, mobile, computer, etc.) to be able to pay attention to our feeling of hunger and satiety. Meaningful eating simply means using all our senses to focus on enjoying the food and nothing else. What colors are gorgeous on our plate? What is the smell, texture and taste of the given food? Do we eat food “noisy,” crackling? If we pay attention to the latter, it is especially useful that it can stop us from consuming various crunches e.g. sitting in front of the tv. Many people snack, get drunk while watching TV because they don’t really care what they see, but also what they eat.
If “overeating” stems from our poor eating habits
7. Keep a food diary
In curbing overeating, it can be helpful to keep track of your daily diet with a food diary for 1-2 weeks. The principle is to record when, what we consumed. It is also suggested to write down if any emotion (anger, excitement, boredom) was associated with it and it made us eat more. It is also possible to indicate, on a ten-point scale, the degree to which we were hungry before eating, as well as the magnitude of the feeling of fullness after eating, also from 1 to 10.. This can be a good practice to re-focus on our body’s true nutritional needs.
8. Eat a balanced diet
It’s right to pay attention to our feelings of hunger and fullness, but it’s also important to be aware of the basics of a balanced diet. Accordingly, after the soup or appetizer, it is recommended that one third of the main course consists of vegetables, one third of starchy foods (eg whole grains, non-fried potatoes), one third of proteins (meat, fish, eggs, tofu) and fruit and / or dessert. or natural dairy product. If we take this base into account on a daily basis, we can also afford a little “detour” from time to time (cake ice cream, etc.).
9. Review our eating habits
Which does not mean reversing our entire diet, our habits so far, much less following a diet that includes a list of permitted and strictly prohibited foods. Once we have identified our bad eating habits, gradually change them from one meal to another. A sudden, simultaneous change would not be sustainable in the long run. Implement our new, balanced diet at a gentle, slow pace. First, e.g. regularly put more vegetables on our plate, then continue with the other ingredients needed for a balanced diet. So we eat fruit more often after and between meals, or appreciate the lunch / dinner eaten at the guest, but don’t take it (again) from every food that is put in front of us.
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