Why is it that you can’t stop eating? That no matter what, no matter how full you are, or are not, that for whatever reason, you can’t seem to keep the food out of your mouth?
Maybe you can relate to this.
It’s 8 pm and your freak STARVING. Borderline hangry (this is a combination of hungry and angry)
You go to your pantry and grab the cereal, the snack food, and sit on the couch, shoveling the food in between breaths. Until 30min later, you ate half a bag of cookies or your kid’s cereal only to be mad at yourself.
I mean, why the F do you do that?
Here are some of the most common reasons why we see people do this AND what you can do about it.
Right off the bat, THERE ARE genes present in the body that can INFLUENCE people to eat more or realize they are not full. These genes influence circuits in the brain that control appetite and the feeling fullness from a meal, in addition to your mood from food.
Yes, food can, and in many cases, DOES affect your mood, but this is a topic for another article at a different time.
If you have these genes, then it can make overeating more common in your situation.
This isn’t a get out of jail free card; this doesn’t give you a pass to not stop eating. This just means your more prone to do it, but you still have some control.
If you grew up in a household where food was the center point of your family’s day, then this could be a starting point for you.
If growing up, you watched your family eat and overeat. You may think this is common and just don’t know or are not aware; there is another way to live.
Ever heard of the saying you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you? Meaning that like attracts like, and you will tend to adopt habits that those people close to you do when your younger, your parents are a big part of your 5.
Now they are not to blame, many cases your parents were doing the best they could at that moment with what they had. They are human too.
As a coach, this is one of the most common reasons we see. People are eating to treat some emotional triggers. This can be both good or bad emotion.
If your down, you may seek food to bring you back up; you have heard of comfort food before, right? Or if you’re up, you’ll seek food to keep you up.
Side note: If you haven’t seen it, there is an older documentary called SuperSize Me that talks about this right here how some foods (food companies in this case) will use specific ingredients that correlate with making you feel good when you eat their food.
These people, without realizing it, are using food similar to medicine. To treat something that food wasn’t intended to treat.
You’ve always been the fat person in the room, and if your no longer fitting that bill, then you start to lose the identity that you created for yourself.
Sometimes we see people that lose quite a bit of weight that even take years to no longer identify themselves as the ‘fat’ person.
Some people don’t feel that they deserve to be fit or ‘skinny’ (hate that word) and feel ashamed or have been shamed for even wanting to look that way, so they overeat and keep overeating to combat the negative emotions.
You’re on a forever diet. You spend more time dieting than you do living.
These diets can vary from one extreme to another, which can lead to forms of starving and binging.
Commonly, these people will feel so guilty about NOT being or hitting their goal weight they will punish themselves with exercise or withholding food.
Ok, Now What?
Let’s say you fit one of these bills, does this mean something is wrong.
No. It doesn’t mean your broken or something is wrong. Sometimes we just need to have an idea of what is going on, so we know what action we need to take.
What I want you to notice about each one of these is that there is usually something influencing you to overeat, but that’s not a pass to get you out of overeating. It’s just a reason, something that you can think about and rationalize.
Once you know the reason or the why behind your actions, then you can start to make better active decisions if you notice that your about to begin overeating.
All will have to start with some form of self-control. You will have to realize what you’re doing and make an active decision to stop and do something else.
No one said that you had to go at this alone, so if you do feel that you need help with this, guiding you along this journey, then seeking help from a coach (raises hand), a friend, mentor, or even professional help is a great option.
By no way am I saying it’s easy to do, even with a professional guiding you; it will take work. But self-control is a muscle that the more often it’s worked, the stronger and better you become.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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