Overeating is a contemporary problem that now affects large numbers of citizens in the developed economies. For much of human history, societies suffered from insufficient food supplies, and this situation still prevails in many Asian and African countries. In times gone by only the wealthiest of people might have suffered from overeating, but rising living standards have dramatically extended the numbers able to overeat, especially in the USA and Western Europe. Overeating takes a heavy toll in shortened lives and sicknesses. With a recent United Nations report highlighting how more people are going hungry around the word, it should also raise moral questions. Successful strategies to cut overeating include both motivational thinking and practical techniques.

Learn about how it can damage your health

It is notoriously hard to change eating habits. Sometimes the overeater needs to be shocked out of their complacency to make the change. Before you help yourself to that extra portion, read about how overweight people suffer from more sickness and live shorter lives than those of normal weight. In particular, notice how the incidence of diabetes and heart disease all increase for someone carrying too much weight. These statistics are frightening. They come from research done by highly respected scientists and doctors around the world. Maybe this will be sufficient to convince the reader to limit eating to basic nutritional needs.



Think about all the extra money you spend on food

Suppose the variety and amount of food someone needs to eat to be healthy costs $20 per day. Now this person spends $40 a day on food. They buy much more food than they need, including a sizable amount of junk food of no nutritional value. If they just stopped to think about all the other things they could do with the extra money they spend on food they do not need, it might persuade them to cut the overeating habit. They could even promise to buy themselves some jewelry or another gift they would appreciate with the money they save.



Think about how overeating affects your wardrobe

Overeating causes the waste to expand, so that favorite suite or outfit no longer fits. Absorb the message that if you overeat, be prepared to give up wearing the nice clothes that fit so well on the slimmer you. To avoid the extra costs and all the hassle of shopping for larger clothes it might be worth considering starting a diet or joining a gym. It is much better to choose new clothes as fashions change, or special occasions come up, rather than be forced to make these changes by and expanding waist!



A social motivation for cutting down on overeating

Although there are obvious exceptions, those who are a normal weight have a much easier time socializing and making lasting relationships. When you feel a strong desire to have that extra portion or that snack, turn your thoughts to how others look at you. Someone seeking a loving relationship needs to make sure they are as attractive as possible, and those extra pounds only reduce your appeal. Even someone in a relationship cannot assume that their partner will come to terms with their overeating as the deterioration in their looks becomes more evident.



Make sure you get a decent night's sleep

What possible connection could there be between a lack of sufficient sleep and overeating? Since the fact that sleep influences the desire to eat is not widely known, this is a legitimate question to ask. As a rule, someone who sleeps less than seven hours per night is sleep deprived. Studies prove that these people tend to eat more and hence become overweight. The less you sleep, the smaller amount the body produces of a compound called leptin. The more leptin the body produces the fuller you feel. As the same time, insufficient sleep increases the amount of the compound ghrelin produced and this stimulates hunger.



Get used to eating slowly

The slower you eat and chew your food the better you digest it. Slower eating helps ensure the digestive system stays healthy but it also helps to curb overeating. Satisfaction from eating comes with a certain delay. The longer you spend over eating the meal, the more chance you will start to feel satisfied and realize it is time to stop eating. Dietary experts recommend chewing food about ten times before digesting it.



Don't let hunger control eating habits

Most people imagine that eating, whenever they feel hungry, is likely to be the best way to avoid overeating. It seems logical that someone who eats in response to hunger should avoid overeating since they only eat when the body indicates it needs feeding, but the reality is not so simple. Hungry people eat much more so it might be better practice to take small meals at other times. Whoever eats when they are not hungry usually eats less than they do when eating to satisfy hunger pains.



Do not be tempted to skip breakfast

If someone has an overeating problem, the idea of skipping breakfast might seem a sensible step to take, but it is one of the worse moves they could make. This first meal of the day fills up the body. Whoever skips breakfast soon starts to feel very hungry. He or she ends up eating more than they would if they left the house after a filling breakfast. Missing a meal may be a good idea to help lose weight, but make sure never to cut out breakfast.



Take stress reduce measures

Some overeating comes as a reaction to emotional problems; Doctors are well aware that those under great stress or suffering from depression usually eat more than others whose state of mind is healthier. In situations of this kind, it is important to get professional help to deal with the underlying mental health issue — overeating cannot offer real relief. Emergence from depression and reductions in stress should help eating habits get back to normal.



Reduce alcohol consumption

Most people know that excessive drinking damages the liver, but it also distorts the drinker's normal appetite. Heavy drinkers tend to be more prone to overeating than others. They also put on weight faster with all the sugar calories they bring into their bodies. The sight of men walking around with "beer bellies" is a graphic illustration of the conflict between alcohol and weight control.



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