How to Stop Overeating Once and for All
Why can’t I stop overeating? That’s what I used to ask myself. Now, I can go to any party or event, be stressed and not even be tempted to overeat. Here are my appetite control strategies and how to stop overeating once and for all.
This is the way to live my friends! And it’s not willpower! I simply don’t have the desire to overeat anymore.
For most women, the struggle with overeating is real. We are surrounded by so many choices that it probably seems impossible that you could simply eat food, when you are hungry and not worry about gaining weight or being able to resist the foods you worry are going to make you gain weight.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy eating, enjoy food, and enjoy the feeling of not being a slave to cravings or overeating.
How to Stop Overeating Once and For All
Learning how to stop overeating does not involve dieting or depriving yourself. That kind of thing has been proven time and time again, to not work in the long term.
I also don’t think giving up on having a fit healthy body is a good option.
There is a way to have both! Be fit and healthy and NOT diet. It’s a matter of learning what are the causes of overeating and learning some appetite control strategies.
I’ll share my story, but it’s one that other women have experienced as well.
Why Can’t I Stop Overeating?
As a teen, I began to feel like I was too big. To tell you the truth, I worried about it, well, ever since. We are bombarded by the messages that we will never be thin enough. And for most of us, we are not going to be “thin.”
But I wanted to be!
It wasn’t until I turned 50, that I decided to give up dieting for good. In the 6 years since, I’ve been able to get to and maintain a nice weight for my body. Not only did this affect how I feel about my body, but it helped my skin and face.
Here’s what I think happened. I learned to eat in a way that didn’t depend on willpower at all and I learned to actually nourish my body.
While many people see eating as a struggle. You struggle against tempting foods or a struggle against emotional eating, These days, I see eating as simply putting some food in me a few times a day.
Food is a pleasurable part of my life and the struggle is gone.
Illness can Lead to Solutions
My personal journey started with being sick. My digestive system was a mess for a couple of years before I even considered that food might be the cause. In a serendipitous moment, I had the idea that maybe it was wheat. And it was.
Literally within a few days of not eating any wheat-based products, every single digestive problem I had, disappeared. Not got better—went away completely. All the embarrassing issues that I had for two years were gone.
This did not cause me to lose any weight though I felt so much better!
A year or so later, I did a Whole 30. This really changed how I looked at food. Again, I didn’t lose weight. However, I wasn’t overeating, and I felt that I was truly nourishing my body.
At some point, I realized that I WAS losing weight. I wasn’t eating as much, and I was not eating in the evenings.
Effective Ways to Stop Overeating
At that point, I became more intentional about the timing of my eating. I realized that having a long period of time between my last meal of the day and my first meal the next day was very helpful.
This was long before intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating was a thing. Now you see information about it all over the place.
For me, it was the combination of eating real food and not eating around the clock that changed things for me.
I was pretty strict for a few years and rarely indulged in sugar and not at all in wheat-based products. I exercised almost every day. I was able to get thin!
These days I understand and trust my body.
I’ve let myself gain about ten pounds because that weight is EASY to maintain. I don’t have to be 100% strict nor do I exercise as much.
I just get to live my life, move my body in ways that feel good, and eat food that tastes good.
What are the Causes of Overeating?
We ascribe a lot of reasons to why we overeat. We are lazy. We have no willpower. There’s too much good food around. We don’t have time to eat right. It’s emotional eating.
I think the answer is something completely different.
I believe it starts with those kinds of thoughts and beliefs and because we don’t know different, we eat in ways that reinforce those thoughts.
Our overeating and lack of willpower are physical manifestations of our thoughts and beliefs.
When you believe you have to overeat, you aren’t motivated to make real changes.
Instead, you try diet after diet, and those diets only reinforce your belief that overeating is inevitable.
How many times have you slipped up on your diet and that leads to the rest of the day being blown, or the rest of the week, or even longer?
Yeah, I know. It’s happened to me before.
How do I Stop Overeating Once and For All?
It is possible to not overeat.
I overeat so rarely, that the last time it happened, I got the idea for this post. I had bought some chips. Sometimes I really crave potato or tortilla chips. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal. But on this day, I ate the whole bag.
As I looked at my empty bag in dismay, I also laughed. Because, it caught me off-guard and I decided, I better not buy those darn chips again.
But I didn’t hate myself or tell myself that I had ruined anything! I threw the bag away and I didn’t give it another thought until today.
In the meantime, I’ve just been doing my usual thing of eating in a way that nourishes and supports my body. And not overeating.
How Do I Suppress My Appetite?
People overeat because they are hungry.
Sometimes they eat foods that make them hungrier.
They don’t understand the food they are eating and the physical cravings it creates.
For some reason, we’ve all bought into the belief that we need to be hungry to have the body we want. Why? To be thin of course. Yet, concurrently, we eat foods that actually make us hungrier.
I think the reason we over eat is because we don’t allow ourselves to really enjoy eating. We either restrict ourselves too much or we eat things that don’t nourish our bodies.
Pay attention to the next paragraph, it sums up how to quit overeating!
When you learn to eat enough to not be hungry and you mostly eat good food, then you lose your cravings that drive you to overeating. There ARE effective ways to stop overeating.
Effective Ways to Stop Overeating
This is a process folks! It’s not an overnight solution.
Limit sugar and foods that act like sugar in the body
Fortunately, back in my late 20’s when I was pregnant, I started to consciously restrict sugar. I didn’t give it up, but I really watched it. Over the years, I’ve learned how vital it is to my health to limit foods that raise insulin and cause inflammation.
I learned to eat fat and not get fat!
In my 30’s, I learned to not eat a lot of fat with carbohydrates. I learned you could eat fat with vegetables and meat and I could lose weight.
These days I am comfortable eating lots of healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and even butter. These types of fats and oils help control my appetite, keep me full, and make food taste amazing.
Eat only at meal times
After my Whole 30 experience, I finally learned that food has a purpose beyond tasting good. It is nutrition and the more foods I ate that provided nutrition, the better off I would be.
One of the important rules of Whole 30, is that you eat enough food at your meals, that you don’t snack or eat at night. You eat enough food and healthy fat, that you can easily go for many hours between meals.
I remember as a child that we only at at meal times. I had plenty of energy and I stayed slim until I got older and started snacking.
As an adult, I had to relearn the importance of not eating around the clock. About six years ago, I gave up snacking and eating between meals.
This was life changing!
There is such freedom in not needing snacks on hand or in being able to get from one meal to the next. I used to FEAR hunger! Now, I love the gradual building of hunger. It doesn’t come on fast, nor does it result in stress. It feels good.
I especially recommend not eating after dinner and fasting until your first meal of the next day. This long period of not eating is great for your body. Here’s an introduction to Intermittent Fasting.
How to Control Your Appetite and Quit Overeating
- Avoid sugar and processed foods.
- Avoid wheat and limit other grains.
- Eat real food: eggs, meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats. I do eat some high carb vegetables every day such as potatoes, beets, carrots, or winter squash instead of bread or pasta.
- Eat two or three meals a day.
- No snacking between meals. (if you are getting hungry—eat more at your meals or add more fat.)
- No food at night. How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting
- Try to get at least 12 hours after your last meal of the day before your first meal of the next day.
- If I have a treat, I have it with a meal, not in-between.
- I have coffee in the morning and bone broth to extend my fast, instead of breakfast most days.
- No food is 100% forbidden, but I limit the things that I know will create cravings or make my tummy feel bad.
- I make most of my meals at home.
Body Acceptance and Love
I want to end this with talking about accepting your body. Most people, do not love their bodies! Not only that, but we resent that we can’t just whip them into shape.
Our bodies are designed to be stable, to maintain a normal-for-us weight. Years of poor eating habits have left many of us with bodies that are not in a range that we are comfortable with.
It takes some time to implement new eating habits. It takes time for your body to adjust. You can’t do this for a week and expect everything to change.
Body acceptance and love means feeding your body and treating it right—no matter how much you weigh. It also means being patient with it, while it is adjusting to new foods and ways of eating.
While you are improving your eating habits, remember to move your body. Walks, yoga, stretching, and other exercise gets you in touch with your body. Begin to appreciate all the great things it is already doing.
Feed it, move it, and most of all love it!
Hi, I'm Sara and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute coaching session.