Overeating is a problem that affects millions of people around the world, and can inevitably lead to obesity and all the terrible effects that come with it. That's why, in order to protect your health, it's important to understand what causes you to overeat. Below, we've listed some of the most common eating triggers that you should avoid:
Many people start thinking about food the minute they stop focusing on other tasks, such as work or doing chores. This is especially true if you browse the internet or watch TV very often, since the overwhelming amount of food advertisements we see can wreak havoc on our self-control and leave us with lots of powerful cravings. If you find yourself thinking about food when you're bored, try having a large glass of water or take up a creative hobby, such as painting, knitting, or writing short stories.
2. Trigger Emotions
A trigger emotion may be either positive or negative, but it invariably sets off a period of overeating. Some people may begin to eat compulsively when feeling depressed, while others may find themselves opening the fridge when they're feeling excited or overjoyed. To manage trigger emotions, you'll first need to identify which particular emotion is causing your overeating, and then take steps to develop strategies to deal with that emotion without eating.
Trigger foods are specific kinds of food that are known to make people lose all self-control when eating them. Many trigger foods are often packed with sugar, which has not only been found to be harmful to our health but is a fairly addictive substance too. This is because sugar activates the part of the brain responsible for the body's reward system. However, this sense of achievement will wear off fairly quickly but can leave you feeling terrible for far longer. Here's how you can beat your sugar addiction easily.
4. Salty Trigger Foods
Like sweet foods, salty trigger foods can be just as overwhelming, particularly if they contain a great deal of fat as well, such as potato chips, French fries or salted pretzels. This is because they work on the same part of the brain as sugar does, and can cause overeating to occur at any time, regardless of where you are or how you are feeling.
A trigger environment is a particular location (or situation) that can cause habitual overeating. For example, many people who usually eat in moderation, go crazy at a buffet and eat until they can't eat anymore. Another example would be people who can't enter a movie theater without buying a huge bucket of salty popcorn. The best way of dealing with trigger environments is to avoid going there in the first place, however, if this is not possible, then you will have to explore new strategies to prevent yourself from overeating.
When you get stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which is part of your 'fight or flight' defense mechanism that makes you temporarily faster and stronger when you perceive danger (your body perceives stress as danger). However, since you are not actually in any physical danger, the cortisol in your body may begin to accumulate, which can cause you to eat as if you've just run away from a tiger or have vanquished your foes! Keep your stress levels in check and such compulsive overeating may become a thing of the past.
If you have been previously addicted to drugs, alcohol or any other kind of addictive substance, then you may be using food as a coping mechanism. However, substituting one harmful addiction with another (yes, unhealthy food can be a very serious addiction) is a slippery slope, so we'd recommend opting for a more positive coping strategy instead.
8. Being Deprived
If you feel that you are being deprived of something, this may make your chances of overeating far more likely. You might be on a strict diet and have a huge craving for hamburgers, however, it may be something that isn't food-related at all, such as being deprived of sexual contact or free time to focus on your hobbies. Don't try to fill up the gaps in your life with food, and focus on more positive coping strategies instead.
Make sure you share this with anyone who's trying to lose some weight!