Whether you happen to overeat after a stressful day at work or to simply reward yourself, it is common for individuals to overeat to fulfill their junk foods cravings, get something off their minds, or simply are bored. Regardless of the reason, overeating in general is a really unhealthy happen that tends to exponentially increase obesity for Americans across the country.
“Emotional overeating happens when we eat to cope with stress, either in the absence of hunger or passed the point of being satiated,” said Dr. Heather Meggers-Wright, licensed psychologist of Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau.
Dr. Heather Meggers-Wright also provides professional insight in relation to the types of food we crave as we overeat. With stress, we often crave foods high in calories that take our minds off whatever is stressing us out or negatively affecting our mental or emotional health.
In addition to simply gaining weight, overeating can also lead to some psychological effects related to decreased self-esteem and feeling sad or upset the unhealthy food consumed.
To avoid extreme cases such as bulimia or consist overeating, try to follow the below steps to prevent any negative health effects from this habit.
Find a healthy replacement if you generally consume high calorie food when you are stressed or have anxiety. Instead of going to the chocolate cake first, try eating your favorite fruit or low-calorie dessert to supplement you craving. You know yourself better than anyone so making the best food choices is really up to you and you only.
Your body takes about three hours to digest a meal. Eating small snacks throughout the day instead of large meals will help suppress hunger on a regular basis. A ready supply of carrots, apples, or nuts will both give you sufficient energy without causing drowsiness that heavy or high calorie foods tend to have.
On a macro-level, social events such as Thanksgiving or weddings are often seen as special occasions geared towards overeating in the name of celebration. As you attend these gatherings, exercise self-control to prevent overeating that would deter the healthy habits in your day to day.
If you have a tendency to overindulge at these times, one tip is to eat healthier foods before going to said event in order to prevent any kind of overeating. Also, incorporating lean or vegetarian proteins to curb your appetite is also very useful when faced with the urge to overeat. Some healthy foods high in protein include eggs, beans and poultry.