Besides staying consistent on a training program, the biggest struggle for many people when trying to lose fat is overeating.
Whether it’s stress eating at work, pigging out late at night after a long day, or going off the rails when at a social function, it’s a common issue that can prevent you from making progress and derail you completely.
If this is what you’re struggling with, here’s what you can do to stop overeating:
1. Change Your Environment
When it comes to this issue, most people and coaches would tell you to just be more disciplined, will through and you’ll be fine. However, it doesn’t work that way in real life.
Willpower is finite and something we shouldn’t be relying on when trying to create better eating habits and behaviors. Because once willpower fades away (and it will), we go back to our old patterns and we beat ourselves up over it for not being disciplined enough.
Instead, focus on changing your environment. That has more of an influence on your behaviors than motivation and willpower. You can begin by performing a kitchen makeover.
This means going through your entire pantry, throwing out all of the foods and drinks that don’t help you get to your goals, and restocking it with ones that do.
If you’re at work and the break room has tons of snacks and junk, avoid it altogether and keep healthy items at your desk instead.
Change your environment, and good behaviors will come.
2. Understand That Hunger is Okay
It sucks to feel hungry. It’s an annoying feeling that takes a while to go away.
One thing that people struggle with is that once they feel hungry, they have the need to immediately satisfy that hunger. And when they do reach for food and drink to curb the hunger, it’s usually high-calorie options and big portions.
This leads to overeating and not making any progress.
A big part of being on a fat loss journey is understanding that hunger will be there and it’s completely normal. You’ll just have to get used to it. For people who are not used to being hungry, it usually is mental rather than physical.
A lot of folks don’t have awareness in their bodies so they no idea what they’re really feeling.
When you do feel hungry and the need to eat, check-in with your body.
Figure out what kind of hunger it is (physical, mental), what your mood is (stressed, relaxed, bored), and in what environment you’re in. This gives you an idea of where you’re at.
This is why intermittent fasting is such a good strategy for many people. It forces them to stick to not eating during a certain time period and to get used to hunger.
Try eating an IF style schedule to see if it can get you to get used to hunger.
3. Wait a While After You Eat
This is the easiest and simplest thing you can do to avoid overeating. Before eating your food, portion out what is proper for you and your goals.
It takes the brain about 20 minutes to get the signal that we’re full. So before you start piling on another plate of food, simply wait a while. Drink some water, and take some time to let the food settle in.
Another thing is to realize that you don’t need to be stuffed to feel full. On a 1-10 scale, with 10 being stupidly stuffed, you want to be around a 6-7, which is the sweet spot. For most people, a 6-7 is feeling satisfied.
Implement these three things and you’ll overcome your issues with overeating.