Take a look at your eating habits. Are you constantly snacking, even after eating large meals? Is it rare for you to feel full after eating meals/snacks? Here are some more causes that may be triggering your impulse to overeat.
- Consuming artificial sweeteners. These interfere with your body’s ability to determine how much it should be consuming. They also weaken your body’s ability to count calories according to a food’s level of sweetness. This, in turn, means your body has a more difficult time knowing when it should feel full and when you should stop eating.
- Exchanging snacks for healthy food. How many times have you gone into your kitchen wanting a bag of chips but choose to leave with an apple instead? If you go in craving a certain food but end up grabbing another, you’re going to be headed right back for the kitchen for something else until your desire is satisfied. While choosing a healthier snack is a good idea, try substituting for one that is similar to what you wanted. For example, instead of potato chips, try a bag of kale chips so you’re still getting something that is crunchy and salty.
- Hormone deficiencies can cause people to overeat, especially foods that are high in fat content. Hormones regulate our brain’s reward system and deficiencies can turn our stomachs into a bottomless pit that never seems to become full. Talk with your doctor about checking your hormone levels and what measures you should take.
- Some people think they if they’ve exercised a certain amount during the day, they can eat as much as they want. Many overestimate how many calories they burn during their workouts, often not burning enough for that 400 calorie ice cream cone they consumed afterward.
- Low-fat foods. These foods are often only 11% fewer calories than their full-fat counterparts. These foods are also higher in sugar and sodium, both of which can trigger overeating.
- Lack of nutrients. If your diet is high in processed carbs and refined sugars, your body will crave more of foods containing these because it simply doesn’t know any better. If you never eat veggies, your body won’t know how to crave them. Make sure the foods you’re eating contain the nutrients your body needs, such as those found in veggies, beans, fruits, and high fiber grains.