What I Wish Everyone Knew About Overeating

Food. We need it to survive and yet so many of us have a complicated relationship with what we put in our bodies.

The idea of eating just for fuel seems simple, but we eat things that are not for nourishment all the time. Many of us don’t give our bodies what they instinctively and basically need. Instead, we overeat. A lot. It is a common practice in our society.

When we overeat, we become overweight. It really is that simple. If you are carrying around more weight than you would like on your body, it is directly linked to what you are choosing to put into it.

When I start working with a new client I ask her if she was hungry when she ate last. Usually the answer is “no” and most of the time she can’t remember what she ate at all. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a choice for nourishment but a force of habit. Being hungry wasn’t even on her radar.

So why do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Because of the way you feel. It can be a negative emotion lurking within you – inadequacy, boredom, frustration, entitlement – that you are trying to overcome with food or another feeling that you are resisting or reacting to. Your body has been trained to enjoy eating and if you use food as a reward when negative emotions arise, you are likely overeating and putting unnecessary food in. Eating when you are not hungry is a classic example of letting your mind make the decision about when to eat instead of listening to your body’s signals about hunger.

How do you know when you’re truly hungry, though? As Geenen Roth puts it, think of it this way: “Being hungry is a lot like being in love: If you don’t know, you’re probably not. Your body lets you know in no uncertain terms when it wants food.” All of the other times you eat, it is your mind making the decision. Physical hunger is a sensation that starts in the body and travels to the brain. Emotional hunger starts in the brain and then travels to the body.

If you haven’t been eating for nourishment for a long time your hunger signals are probably not giving you a correct reading on your physical hunger. This can be fixed by changing what you eat and getting your mind and your body into better alignment.

Overeating is caused by emotional hunger. Emotional eaters are afraid of taking a long look at themselves and what is really going on in their brains. That is where it all starts.

Are you worried you are an emotional eater? Let me teach you how to eat from a place of physical hunger and have your body and mind become aligned to lose weight for good. Sign up for a free strategy session with me to get started.