Realizing you have been overeating is not as straightforward as you would imagine. Many people frequently snack throughout the day or indulge during the holidays, but if you’re not careful, you could foster an unhealthy relationship with food.
It’s not to say you can never get second helpings, but you should also watch out for signs of overeating. Here are six signs that could indicate that you need to reevaluate your eating habits.
You Feel Satisfied But Continue Eating
If you’ve kept eating even after you feel full, that’s a classic manifestation of overeating. To avoid this bad habit, try putting your fork down immediately when you feel 80% full. It takes time for your body to process the food you’ve eaten, so stopping at 80% feel will keep you from overeating accidentally.
Remember, there’s no shame in having leftovers. Just because it’s on the plate doesn’t mean you have to finish it in one sitting.
You Often Eat With Distractions
Most Americans are guilty of taking a side of television with their dinner. Texting and social media are also big culprits of distracted eating.
According to the founder of B Nutrition and Wellness (Gisela Bouvier, R.D.N., L.D.N.), eating with distractions takes your attention away from listening to your body. You disconnect from your satisfaction and hunger patterns, which leads to overeating.
It’s best to always eat at your dining table without your devices present. Also, don’t scarf down your food too quickly. Take time to savor every bite. That way, you’re more likely to feel as you approach getting full, which in turn ensures you don’t overeat.
You Avoid Social Places Or Events Where There’s Food
Do you feel ashamed or guilty when eating with friends, colleagues, or other people around? Fear of judgment of your eating habits could indicate that you have a problem behind closed doors.
According to an expert in Calgary, Canada (Grace Wong, R.D.), avoiding meals leads to self-isolation. The thought that you may lose control over your eating cannot allow you to be part of any social setting that involves food. If this pattern continues, it could eventually lead to binge eating disorder or BED.
The best thing to do is plan your meals ahead of time and eat normally before an event. Hanging out with a trusted person or people will help you adapt, and gradually, you’ll feel better when eating around people.
You Go Back For Seconds And Even Thirds
In most cases, your first plate contains a standard portion that your body requires per dish. But suppose you finish the entire plate and still don’t feel full. On the contrary, your stomach growls for more.
If you’re still hungry after your first plate, try loading up on vegetables for your next helping. Vegetables are high in volume and low in calories, meaning it’s practically impossible to overindulge. Plus, your body will never complain about you getting closer to your eight daily servings of fruits and veggies.
You No Longer Appreciate The Flavors
Do you ever find yourself eating more out of habit than hunger or pleasure? Ironically, this lack of motivation to eat may be an indication you’re overeating.
Food experts suggest that you feel pleasure only during your first few bites of food. After that, you keep eating until you’re full. The appetite goes away after a few bites.
If you can no longer appreciate the flavors of a meal, you may have lost touch with your body’s needs and start eating for its own sake. Take some time to refamiliarize yourself with your body’s hunger cues.
You Finish Your Food Faster Than Everyone Else Around You
You should never rush your eating process. Regardless of what business awaits you or how hungry you feel, eating too fast makes it easier for you to overeat, increasing the calories you consume.
Experts say it takes about twenty minutes for your stomach to communicate to the brain that it’s time to stop eating. Therefore, if you eat too fast, chances are you’ll interfere with your body’s internal communications and eat more than you need.
If you need help slowing down during mealtimes, try engaging your dinner mates in conversation or taking sips of water in between each bite.
It’s no secret our bodies need food, but overeating is too much of a good thing. Therefore, no matter how delicious the meal is, watch out next time so that you can only eat to your satisfaction and not a spoonful more.