signs that you are overeating

7 warning signs that you are probably overeating

August 24. 2022

It is often said that the feeling of fullness arrives ten to fifteen minutes after we have actually gotten full. So we have already eaten enough before we start feeling so. Well, that’s not a problem if you stop eating when you feel full. But how many times have you continued even past that point? Or even past the point when you feel like you’ve had – not just enough – but too much. Quite frankly, it happens to each of us sooner or later. But for some people, this happens on a regular basis and turns into an eating disorder. If this is part of your routine, you may be a chronic overeater, which puts you at risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a number of more severe diseases. Stay with us to the end of this article, as our medical weight loss clinic in Chicago explains everything you need to know about compulsive overeating. The causes, the typical signs you are overeating, and most importantly, the ways to prevent it.

Causes of overeating

Why do I continue eating even though I’m full? – This question may sometimes sound like an unsolvable riddle, but in reality, the explanation is not that complicated. Setting aside occasions such as holidays and birthdays, there are several common reasons why you may resort to overeating and binge eating when it comes to everyday life.

  • Mindless eating – If you are distracted during your meal, you may not be aware of how much you have eaten. Unfortunately, eating while watching TV or in front of the computer has become a common habit for many people. Even while eating in a dining room, most people don’t let mobile phones out of their hands. That leads to mindless eating, unaware of whether you are full or not.
  • Emotional eating – There is a reason why certain dishes are called ”comfort foods”. A good meal can make you feel better when you are sad, angry, or lonely. But if that’s your general coping strategy, you may risk developing a binge eating disorder.
  • Stress eating – Stress is detrimental to one’s health, and it knows how to push people into harmful behaviors. When stressed, some people drink or smoke, while others resort to binge eating. As eating cannot change the circumstances which cause you to feel stressed, no amount of food is enough to relieve you from the pressure.
  • Irregular eating – Skipping meals and eating without any routine will make you constantly hungry. So when you sit down to eat, you may need to replenish all those skipped meals at once. Such irregular eating patterns are highly likely to lead to eating disorders.

What signs can show that you’re overeating?

The first step toward treating eating disorders is acknowledging that you have developed one. That may not be so easy, considering that irregular eating patterns and a constant feeling of bloatedness and sleepiness have become normalized for many people. That’s why in this part, we present to you several key signs you are overeating:

You eat faster than the people around you

Nothing says binge eating disorder more than eating speed. If you finish your portions before the people around you barely get to half of theirs, that’s a clear sign of overeating. Also, when you consider that the hunger neurotransmitter is always some ten to fifteen minutes late behind the stomach, you get to eat much more before you start feeling full.

Your heart races when you eat

Digestion is not an easy task for your body. It requires effort from both your stomach and your heart, as it has to pump more blood to support the process. So if you consume a lot of food at once, especially if you do it fast, your heart must rush to pump all the blood needed. So your heart starts racing, causing abnormal heart rhythms.

You feel trouble breathing after meals

One of the most common signs you are overeating is when meals leave you out of breath, but not in the sense that you are left breathless as how good the meal was, but that you are literally out of breath, you have trouble breathing. If a meal leaves you feeling as if you were running or exercising, you have most likely overate.

You feel out of control when eating

When people do something compulsively, they practically have no control over their actions even though they are doing them consciously. Such is the case with the binge eating disorder as well. So if eating brings you into a state of nervousness or even panic where you don’t have control over your appetite, that’s a clear indicator of compulsive overeating. Therefore, appetite suppressants may be a good option. If you wondered does phentermine burn fat or just suppress appetite – the answer is no; phentermine does not burn fat but it is an excellent appetite suppressant when taken correctly.

You pay no attention to the food and don’t enjoy the flavors

When binge eating, people often do it automatically, without even being aware of what they are doing. That goes so far that sometimes they may not even know what exactly they are eating in the spur of the moment. That may not necessarily indicate any eating disorders as distractions such as TV frequently cause you to pay no attention to the food. However, it can still easily make you overeat.

You eat out of boredom

This has become an everyday thing for most people, so it may not necessarily signify a binge eating disorder. Eating only when hungry is frequently out of people’s schedules for several reasons. Sometimes people have fixed lunched breaks, so they eat whether hungry or not as they don’t have another occasion during work hours, but other times they eat just to fill up free time. So although this may not mean an eating disorder, eating out of boredom means that you are overeating. If your body needed food, you would’ve felt hungry. Because of that, we highly suggest that you try following a 2200 calorie meal plan.

You eat to cope with emotions

This is one of the most important signs you are overeating. It is the feeling of hunger that should trigger you to eat, not emotional feelings. However, eating is a common coping method, but it can quickly turn into compulsive overeating. There’s nothing wrong in reaching out for your favorite treat when you feel emotionally down, but turning it into a habit to use food as a coping method can cause severe problems that may require treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

8 ways to prevent overeating

If you recognize your behaviors among the abovementioned signs you are overeating, you have started wondering what steps to take to get rid of the habit. There are several easy tips that you can incorporate into your everyday life. However, if you are exhibiting a sign of severe compulsive overeating, it is highly advised to consult a professional as you may need eating disorder treatment.

Find your preferred portion size

You cannot overeat if you have a more or less fixed amount of food designated for each meal. The first step towards developing a binge eating disorder is allowing yourself no limitations as to how much you can eat. But if you’ve determined your preferred portion size, you are saving yourself the possibility to eat more than actually suits you.

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals will not make you stop overeating. Quite the opposite, it will leave you hungry and make you crave much more food when you sit down to eat. That makes you prone to losing control during your meal and resorting to binge eating. You may opt for a protein bar in case you don’t have time for meals, but make sure to keep track of how many protein bars a day you take. Therefore, don’t skip meals. Stick to your preferred portion size and eat regularly.

Limit the foods which are easiest to overeat

Having a lot of high-calorie and nutrient-depleted foods in your diet could also be among the signs you are overeating. You have most likely never heard of someone binge-eating broccoli or lettuce. The most commonly binged on foods are sweet and salty snacks and other highly processed products. The more of them are present in your diet, the more likely you are to overeat; that’s why you should aim to limit those foods. Regularly following a meal plan can be your best option in order to do so.

Increase your fiber intake

Fiber is an indigestible matter found mostly in vegetables. Fiber-rich foods are highly filling yet relatively low in calories. So if you add more fiber-rich foods to your diet, you will be able to get full easier without actually consuming much food. In addition to that, fiber is highly beneficial for digestion.

Drink enough fluid

The average person in the West doesn’t drink as much water as their body needs. That leads to constant mild dehydration, and that chronic thirst is frequently wrongly interpreted as hunger. So instead of drinking water, people opt for salty and sugary foods, further dehydrating themselves. Water and fluids such as coffee and teas don’t have calories but take up space in the stomach, making you eat less. Therefore, make sure to stay adequately hydrated in order to prevent binge eating.

Remove distractions

Focus on the food you eat. Pay attention to how quickly it fills you up; you’ll know how much more you should eat and when to stop. Distractions such as TV and mobile phones shift your focus away from the food, which results in mindless, compulsive overeating.

Eat slowly

If you are about to start your meal, the Chinese will tell you ”màn màn chī”. That is a common expression, and it literally means eat slowly. There is a lot of wisdom behind this phrase, as slowing down when eating really is beneficial. Not only does it bring relief to your stomach and heart, but it also gives you more control over how much you eat.

Listen to your body

And last but not least, be observant of the signs your body is sending you. Eat when hungry and stop when full. But make sure to eat slowly to give your body time to send you signals that you are full. If you follow your natural needs, you will never develop anything like a binge eating disorder.

Final thoughts

Overeating has become a relatively common occurrence for many people, but in reality, it’s not such a harmless phenomenon. It doesn’t just make you feel tired and bloated and deteriorate your body image but also puts you at risk of severe health issues. It can also develop into chronic eating disorders. So if you’d like to find out more about compulsive overeating and how to identify and prevent it, schedule a call, and we will answer any question you have.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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