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Why Do We Overeat or Binge

I recently posted a blog post in which I shared tips on how to stop overeating, but then I thought I also needed to dig  a little deeper and discuss some reasons why we overeat or binge. I’m not an expert, but I’ve learnedt a thing or two in my 17 years of battling my overeating urges.

If you’re confused about why you overeat or binge, here are some potential reasons:

The Urge to Overeat or Binge Can Be a Primal Instinct

The urge to binge eat can come from the primal part of your brain, which is trying to protect you by making your body store extra fat in case of starvation or colder months. Understand where the urges to binge might be coming from, and know that you do not have to act on them.

Overeating as a Form of Comfort

Perhaps you are somebody who turns to food for comfort in times of stress or discomfort. Your automatic response could be to turn to food and binge, but there are many other things you can do instead, such as meditating, doing yoga, dancing, painting, taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, having sex, etc.

Overeating as Self-Sabotage

Believe it or not, but overeating can stem from not being kind to yourself. When you have an ideal body in mind, your ideal can be intimidating, and when you don’t feel like you are good enough, or think that you will probably never reach the goal, you can self-sabotage by binge eating, so that you can stay where you feel you deserve to be. This is not true for everyone, but it is something I recognised in myself.

Believe that you are capable of getting a healthy body. People use health as an indicator of beauty. If you look healthy, you automatically become more attractive. You cannot change your features, or the general looks that you were born with, but you can work towards getting a healthy body and glowing skin.

Overeating as Instant Gratification

Patience might not be your best quality, and waiting to see results can be frustrating. What often triggers a desire to overeat or binge is being frustrated about not being able to get something else you want. Food is one of the quickest ways to get instant gratification. We often sacrifice what we want in the future for something that can give us pleasure in the moment.

Nutrient Deficiencies Can Lead to Overeating and Interfere with Weight Loss

Undereating is one of the biggest triggers for overeating for a lot of people, and perhaps it is something you have struggled with. When you eat less than what your body actually needs (the amount you would burn in a day if you stayed in bed and did nothing), and your body does not get all of the essential nutrients it needs, it can trigger the urge to overeat.

Having enough variety in your diet will help you get a balance of nutrients. Your meals need to be nutrient-dense to avoid cravings brought on by deficiencies.

You Are Not Satisfied

Of course you will want to overeat if you are living on bland food, avoid the foods that you enjoy, and you feel hungry all the time. Feeling satisfied after a meal is essential for weight loss and not overeating. Meals need to be satisfying, so that you don’t feel like snacking afterwards. 

I’m sure there are more reasons that can be added to this list. Perhaps you’ve discovered some of your own I’m not aware of yet. I hope this article will help at least one or two fellow overeaters. 

Always remember, you are not alone.