How to stop overeating… this kind of seems like a ridiculous topic when half the world is starving. And then it all makes sense when you hear about the growing obesity rates in Western countries and of course the rates of eating disorders.
Why are so many of us obsessed with food and overeating it? The next (logical) question is…
How to stop overeating?
If you’ve clicked on this article you’ve probably done the whole overeating thing. You’ve probably done the restrictive eating thing to go with it. Maybe you’ve done the whole overeating and vomiting thing too? Read more about Emma’s story here.
Between the both of us we’ve done all three. We let our obsession with food rule our lives for so many years. A lot of time and energy focused on nothing, getting us nowhere. BUT it did lead us to finding the paleo diet (and leaving it) and creating our business.
So really, gotta be #grateful. And the best bit is that we get to help people through our experiences, maybe people like you or your loved ones.
Right now it feels so good to say that we’re not obsessed with food and that we only overeat every now and then (hello Christmas, Birthdays, holidays etc).
Look… this is us sitting on the deck of knowledge. We definitely are knowledgable in the department of overeating! Haha.
All over social media and in our Merrymaker Club we get asked ‘how to stop overeating?’. So instead of re-writing our answer over and over, it’s about time we published this post!
It didn’t happen overnight, but it was a change in mindset. It was a realisation that we seriously have an abundance of food available all the time. Literally, we will NEVER run out of food (grateful again), so we never need to overeat. Never ever!
Just because the food is epically delish does not mean we need to continue eating it when we are not hungry.
We know this sounds super simple, but this mindset switch works to overcome overeating. It’s not a case of you read this and POOF you won’t overeat, it’s about reminding yourself again and again. It’s about being mindful.
We know, this is way easier said than done, especially if you have a shitty relationship with food. WE KNOW. We’ve been there and still go back there time to time.
We’re going to be sharing lots more about this during our 21 day Get Merry Challenge. It starts 8 January and we are so excited. You can get your name on the waitlist HERE and be the first to know about it all.
As you may have guessed, healthy delishness will be involved. Just like this epic smoothie bowl. You’ll also hear from AMAZING health experts and be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded people with similar goals. It’s going to be a game changer for your health and happiness.
Another big AHA for us was learning about primary foods. We learnt all about this from our Health Coach studies at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition.
The idea that other stuff fills us up (not just food)… like love and relationships, like fun and joy, like career, bliss and purpose.
Becuase we both used to have negative relationships, horrible jobs and no real purpose or direction we filled ourselves up with food. Seriously glad we did that course! Changed our whole belief system around health and food. If you are interested in learning more about this course, here’s all the info.
We know there is so much more on this topic so we asked our Aussie health blogger friends. A huge thank you to all of them!
How To Stop Overeating via Our Amazing Health Blogger Friends:
This was really interesting to hear from so many different perspectives. It’s super important to remember that everyone is on their own journey and what works for one, doesn’t work everyone. It’s all about going with what works for you.
Jules Galloway one of our fave naturopaths said serve food up on a smaller plate. If you use a big plate you’ll be tempted to fill it. Wait 20 mins to go back for seconds (the brain takes 20 minutes after you start eating to register that you’re not hungry anymore).
Kate Callaghan aka The Holistic Nutritionist says to eat mindfully. Focus on your meal and minimise distractions… so eat at a table, not in front of a TV. Take in all of the smells, tastes and textures of your meal. CHEW. YOUR. FOOD. Sit back. Take a moment. Then go for another bite after you have completely finished the other one.
It should be pretty much liquid by the time you swallow it. Breathe, deep belly breathing is the fastest way to get you into rest and digest mode, so you can release all of the lovely chemicals that will not only help you digest your food, but tell your brain when you have had enough.
Leah Williamson from Brisbane Paleo Family has a delish suggestion that we agree with 100%! Make sure you include good fats (like avocado) to your meals. Fat keeps you satiated and fuller for longer so you are less likely to overeat.
From the lovely Krissy of Pretty Wee Things. My top tip is actually to throw away 3/4 of the packet/bag/box. I know it seems super wasteful and it’s not a forever trick, but until you get the hang of portion control, meal prepping, understanding your hunger and fullness cues and learning to love food in the most positive way possible, it’s a tip that totally works. It’s more wasteful to damage your health and feel food-guilt than it is to throw away 3/4 block of chocolate.
Please note that I absolutely do not promote the waste of fresh or healthful nourishing foods. I eat primarily plant based for this exact reason. Heck, I even have a post about how to use beetroot leaves to reduce waste! This tip refers specifically to packaged, processed foods or foods that are not nourishing to us in any way (e.g. lollies, chips etc). As someone who has struggled with disordered eating to the point of purging it was a helpful tip in my recovery until I was able to heal my relationship with food.
Kalli Wellington from Guide To Organics says Kefir is a great source of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other unique compounds that can greatly contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Consuming this delicious fermented food will leave your stomach feeling settled and refreshed, and stop you from overeating.
Christina Matthewson from Family Health Naturally says the first place I like to look at with clients is the subconscious record that they are playing. People might know what and how much they should be eating but their mind keeps them in a place of self-sabotage. Weight is a symptom of a problem, it’s not the driving problem. So what are the imbalances that are taking place, i.e. is there an oestrogen imbalance, are their adrenals struggling, what’s happening with their thyroid, are their detox pathways open?
Jessica Donovan from Energetic Mama shares some super easy and actionable advice: include a palm sized portion of protein such as eggs, nuts, fish, chicken or meat with your meals to keep you full for longer. You will be less likely to snack on junk between meals.
Ivy Thompson from Real Food Agenda says it took me 20 years to learn that my urge to over-eat was directly connected to my urge NOT TO feel anything. I would bury my feelings deep, deep down with food as the “emotional numbness” of choice. It wasn’t until I tried kinesiology that I somehow experienced an emotional release, that in turn made me eat more sensibly, no longer over-eating.
Rani Hansen from You Totally Got This quit sugar and we are totally on board with this! She says, when I substituted sugary processed food for real foods including full fat everything, for the first time in my life I didn’t feel deprived and because I didn’t feel deprived I didn’t need to overeat.
Brenda Jansenk says overeating can be a habit that has been formed. For example, one day we came home from a hard day of work and we ate and noticed we felt instantly better, so then we ate some more for more of that feeling. So the mind records this occurrence, i.e. stress + lots of food = comfort. It’s a way of securing pleasure, even though it’s only temporary, and avoiding immediate pain. Soon enough though, this is going to cause problems to our health. Bringing consciousness to the situation in the form of asking yourself “is this what I wish to choose in this moment? Will I continue on automatic pilot, or do I choose not to eat?” is an important step in addressing overeating or any negative habits which develop.
Matt and Nat from Paleo Power Couple believe it all starts with a change in mindset. Why you eat (emotional eating vs eating to nourish your body) determines what you eat (junk food vs real food).
Kristy Arnall from Real Food Culture says stop shopping at the supermarket. Instead get veggie boxes and bulk whole foods. You eat better and aren’t tempted to buy unnatural food. I also use smiley and sad faces in my calendar for how I feel in relation to eating so I can determine if a food is upsetting me. Each time you go to eat ask yourself, are you eating to nourish, eating because you’re bored, eating because you’re upset, eating because you’re happy etc?
Last but definitely not least comes from Lizzy Williamson and she says to MOVE! Seriously, exercise is the cure for so much! You can do her 2 Minute Emotional Eating Workout here!
Ahhh we both feel mega excited and inspired after reading all these epic tips. We’d love to hear from you, if you have any advice or experiences to share… add them in the comments section!
And remember! If you’re keen to ditch the over eating… come and join us for the #GetMerry Challenge! We start 8 January and it’s going to be epic!
Emma + Carla
P.s Don’t forget to check out the Get Merry Challenge and pop your name on the waitlist!
Feature image via Unsplash.