Overeating can happen intentionally or unintentionally. It usually leaves you feeling sluggish and regretting the last few bites of your meal. With Thanksgiving approaching —a holiday where we are likely to overindulge — it’s important to know the side effects of overeating and how to prevent it from happening.
Whether you are at a party or out to dinner with a group of people, it’s easy to get distracted and eat more than you need to. “Chewing thoroughly, taking breaks in between bites, putting your fork down, and using smaller plates are all helpful in preventing overeating,” said Amanda Foti, registered dietitian for Selvera Wellness. “Also, pay attention to your emotions. It’s common to overeat as a result of or in an emotional situation. Food can act as a coping mechanism for any emotion including boredom, sadness, stress, and others. If you find yourself mindlessly overeating for these reasons, brain storm other coping actions you can take that is not related to food.”
If an overeating slip up happens unintentionally to you every once in a while, you can work on ways to prevent the fullness, stomach ache, and guilt by slowing down and focusing on what you are eating. If overeating happens to you more often than you would like, take a step back and assess your eating patterns. “Perhaps you skip meals or go long periods of time without eating anything, leaving you overly hungry,” which causes overeating, Foti said. “This is also a common association I see. You should do your best to eat something, either a meal or snack that combines lean protein and fiber about every three to four hours.”
Whenever you sit down for a meal, be aware of how you feel and how you want to feel after you consume the meal. Foti provided The Daily Meal with valuable information on overeating and overeating prevention.