6 Reasons Why We Overeat

Do you frequently push your stuffed belly away from the table moaning, groaning and berating yourself for once again eating too much and having absolutely no willpower?
 
There are many reasons why we overeat and none are actually due to a lack of willpower. Let's explore a few:
 
1. Distracted Dining (Lack of Awareness)
How often do you eat with complete focus on your food and body? If rarely, you're not alone.

Distracted dining is a result of our addiction to constant external stimulation and multitasking--e.g., eating while working, reading, texting, driving, walking, dressing, cleaning, etc.
 
Chow down while watching TV? Doing so can lead to eating an extra 300 calories per meal!
 
2. Nutrient Starved
We live in an overstuffed, undernourished nation. Many people are nutrient starved due to an overconsumption of low-quality, processed, fake foods or a lopsided diet (e.g., very low carb or fat). When your body isn't fed a nutrient-rich, balanced diet, it will constantly desire more food in an attempt to obtain all the nourishment it needs to thrive.
 
3. Erratic Eating Rhythm
An erratic eating rhythm inevitably leads to overeating. Skipping breakfast, skimping on lunch, or eating a late supper because you're too busy to eat, trying to lose weight or fearing weight gain will often result in pigging out at dinner or nighttime binge eating.
 
4. Fast Eating
When you eat fast, your brain doesn't have a chance to register fullness or satisfaction so it screams for more food. Many of my clients have admitted to eating so fast that an hour later they can't remember if they even ate. Even if your belly is full, your brain is still hungry driving you to eat more food more frequently.
 
5. Need for Grounding
Do you live a fast-paced, chaotic life without quiet, calm respites for re-centering? If so, your scattered energy may lead you to overeat as the very act of eating is grounding. A big plate of food can elicit big-time relief (albeit temporary).
 
6. Pleasure Deficient
When your food doesn't give you pleasure, you may eat more in search of satisfaction. This might happen if you're eating a lot of diet, non-fat, poor-quality or uninspiring foods. Or, if you're consuming an unvaried diet, following a rigid plan, or eating meals prepared hastily without love.
 
Also, if your life is void of pleasure, food can become your main source of it. Overeating occurs when you rely on food for fulfillment instead of experiencing pleasure from other life pursuits.
 
But, you may think, "The very reason I overeat is because the food is so freakin' good!" I hear ya. However, this is not due to how pleasurable the food is, but rather a lack of awareness.

Pleasurable food can sweep you away seducing you into overriding your body's fullness cues. It powerfully entices you to "just go for it." Awareness goes out the window and soon that food you loved so much becomes a major source of discomfort and disgust. I know, I've been there many times!

Food should absolutely be a source of pleasure. However, challenges arise when it's your only source of pleasure or when yummy food is used as an excuse to disembody and overindulge to the point of pain and misery. Love, honor and respect your food--and your body.
 
Reflect, Then Act
As I mentioned, these are just a few of the many reasons why you might overeat. As you reflect on them, examine your own habits with compassionate curiosity. Then, in the spirit of experimentation, take action.

Consider making one change this week, whether it's switching off the TV, eating breakfast or enjoying a pleasure-filled activity. Experiment and notice the difference it makes.