How the heck do I stop overeating?

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How many of you wake up with the best intentions to eat healthy and stick to your plan, but by the end of the day you find yourself reaching for junk?  Chips, cookies, candy, pizza, beer...You become disappointed and left wondering, “How I stop sabotaging myself?”

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First recognize that YOU HAVEN'T FAILED.  Look at overeating as an opportunity to understanding a better relationship with food.  Think of it as a lesson, “what is this teaching me?”

1 - Learn more and understand your hunger cues.  Some of us have been on diets for so long, that we don’t know the hunger and fullness cues.  Get to know your body. Everyone is different. Check in. Do you feel light-headed, nauseous, stomach empty when you’re hungry? When you feel this way, be in tune with that.  Then, when you’re full, make note of how you feel. If you can pay attention to those cues, you can know if you’re hungry or full and better understand your hunger cues to avoid overeating.

2- Understand the difference between body sensations and body feelings. Can you tell the difference between true hunger and emotional hunger?  The sensation of hunger or true hunger starts in your body. Your brain is alerted that you need food. An emotional hunger is a feeling that starts in your brain, then those thoughts go to your body. Food will never resolve emotional hunger. If you’re eating because your bored, lonely, agitated... no amount of food will fill that hunger. Instead, work to resolve and process those feelings without using food.   When you notice yourself reaching for food, stop and ask yourself, “Is this coming from my body or my mind? Is the true hunger or emotional hunger?”

3 – Slow down and stay present.  It is so easy to overeat if you’re in “La La Land.”  If you’re a fast eater, your brain can’t fully register your meal. There is a fancy science term called CPDR – or cephalic phase digestive response. Which basically just means your digestion starts in your mind.  Your brain can’t register what it's’ eating, meaning your body isn’t getting the correct signals until it’s too late and you’ve overeaten. Stay present, slow down, sit at a table, not in front of a TV. Enjoy your company and enjoy the food. Take in how it looks and tastes.  When you eat, really eat! You might find yourself needing less food to feel full and won’t be overeating as much.

Overeating and your appetite are NOT the enemy.  It’s a symptom asking us to wake up and pay attention.  It's about HOW you eat versus WHAT you eat.