It’s likely that, at some point or another, you’ve eaten more than your share. Maybe because it was your favorite food, or because you were really hungry, or perhaps for some other reason. While doing so every once in a while, isn’t a big issue, the health consequences of overeating repeatedly are numerous.
In this sense, when the guilt of excessive eating becomes constant, you may experience a variety of health problems. Not only will you gain weight, but you may also experience factors associated with your mood.
So, how can you keep this from happening? We’ll offer some recommendations in the article below.
Is overeating a problem?
In general, the consequences of overeating occasionally are minimal and temporary. However, if the desire to eat becomes recurrent and out of control, then it will likely lead to several physical and mental consequences.
People who have a disproportionate appetite not only gain weight; they also begin to develop a negative perspective that can keep them from carrying about their day-to-day lives.
There are many factors associated with a need to eat more than you should. As we’ve already mentioned, it doesn’t just happen when you’re eating your favorite meal. In fact, recurrent overeating usually doesn’t have anything to do with the food itself. Rather, it often has to do with constant stress or factors like going on a diet that’s too restrictive.
The Consequences of Overeating
First of all, excessive eating can have physical consequences, like excess weight or obesity, although that’s not always the case. In many cases, the consequences can be psychological in nature. This is true both in individuals that are overweight as well as the rest of the population.
According to information published in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, the psychological consequences of overeating may include the following:
- Loss of control around food
- Social isolation
- Increased anxiety
- A state of anxiety or suffering
- Loss of enjoyment when participating in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Alteration in memory and concentration
- Obsessions regarding food and nutrition
- Sleep alterations
- A decrease in work performance
Keys to help you avoid overeating
To avoid excessive eating, there are strategies that you can implement on a daily basis. However, you need to understand that they are mere interventions and shouldn’t substitute professional treatment. If you have excessive anxiety around eating, then you’d best consult with a doctor or specialist.
Identify your emotions – In order to identify the emotions that you’re experiencing, it also helps you deal with your problems. One idea is to start a journal and write about what you’re feeling. Besides distracting you from looking to food as a solution, it can also help you discover interesting things about yourself.
Avoid obsessing over food – When you notice yourself overeating, this isn’t the time to punish yourself. If you start to exclude foods that you like, then you probably won’t be able to keep it up for long. Rather, you’ll develop a strong desire to eat whatever it is you’ve eliminated from your diet.
This, at the same time, can come hand-in-hand with feelings of frustrations when you’re unable to meet your goal. As a result, you enter a vicious cycle that’s hard to get out of. Therefore, it’s always best to follow a healthy diet without going to extremes.
Exercise in a way that you enjoy – Several studies point out that some people exercise as in order to compensate when they overeat. In other words, for them, exercise is punishment for having eaten too much, and the only way to avoid gaining weight.
You should remember that physical exercise is healthy, but the goal shouldn’t just be about weight loss. You should exercise because it’s good for your well-being, and be careful not to exceed your physical capacities. If you’re not used to it, then begin gradually–between twenty and thirty minutes per day.
See a professional – While not everyone turns to a health professional when it comes to overeating, there are situations when you should. This is especially true when excessive eating has to do with emotional factors.
As explained in a study in the medical journal Current Psychiatry Reports, psychological therapy is useful in recognizing and correcting behaviors that lead to overeating. At the same time, it improves a person’s overall wellbeing.
The consequences of overeating: What to keep in mind
While overeating over a prolonged period of time can lead to weight gain, it can also cause other consequences as well. Therefore, it’s important to determine why it’s happening and identify associated factors as soon as possible. That way, you can choose adequate treatment in order to keep this problem from affecting your quality of life.