The Psychology of Overeating and How to Overcome It


The Psychology of Overeating and How to Overcome It

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of obese Americans is rising at an alarming rate. Obesity puts you at a greater risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.  According to the World Health Organization or WHO, millions of people die from health complications stemming from obesity.

One of the main causes of obesity is uncontrollable eating. Unfortunately, overeating cannot be cured. Hunger and satiety are deeply seated in the human psyche. Most health experts believe that overeating is not caused by an individual’s lack of self-control. Rather, it is a result of foods being pushed and marketed by dishonest manufacturers.

Indeed, several studies reported that processed foods are teeming with synthetic flavors, preservatives, sugars, sodium, saturated fats, and other fattening ingredients. In the book “The Psychology of Overeating,” author Kima Cargill noted that consumer culture and the human’s natural desire to gorge on nutrient sources are to blame for overeating. Cargill makes an interesting argument that food products are being pushed to consumers in such a way that it developed into a different kind of food environment. The author noted that food manufacturers are preying on the consumers’ weakness to sell their products.

To stop overeating, the government and consumers must counter moral, political, economic, and social imperatives to consume food. The Psychology of Overeating aims at rethinking the real cause of obesity in a consumerist society.

How to Control Eating

Identifying Hunger

Most people cannot tell the difference between extreme thirst and hunger. And sometimes, people mistake moderately hungry to starving. All these conflicting signals cause a person to eat more than he or she should. To know if you are truly hungry, you need to recognize the physical cues that signal the need for food. In addition, you need to know when to stop eating. Ideally, you want to stop eating when you are satisfied. Satisfaction in a meal means not being full but not feeling hungry either. Being full or stuffed is not only uncomfortable, it also leads to a stronger appetite.

Eat Every 4 Hours

Do not wait too long before eating otherwise, you will end up consuming more food! Ideally, you want to eat every 4 to 5 hours. If you wait too long, you’d be too hungry. And when you get too hungry, you are more likely to ask for seconds. By spacing out your meals every 4 hours, the blood sugar level remains stable. When the blood sugar level is stable, you are less likely to consume fattening foods.

Never Miss Breakfast

Eating breakfast does more than just rev starting the metabolic rate. It also keeps you satiated so you do not end up eating a mid-morning snack and a generous lunch later in the day! We recommend a high fiber diet like a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruits and nuts. High fiber foods will fill you up nicely so you don’t feel hungry as quickly.

Boost Protein Consumption

Just like fiber, protein is slow burning so it staves off hunger more efficiently than carbohydrates. Studies also show that dieters who eat high protein meals are more satisfied with their meals. They are also less likely to overeat.



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