Most women have no idea why they engage in overeating.
Which leaves them feeling confused, frustrated, and helpless when they eat more than they planned.
I know how mind-numbing overeating patterns can feel.
But here, I’m going to fill you in on why it is you eat too much.
And how you can move past your overeating tendencies for good.
First, let’s get clear on what overeating actually is.
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post.
When we talk about overeating, we’re referring to the physical experience of having eaten too much.
Or eating past the point when you would naturally feel full or satisfied from food.
The concept of overeating is very clear and simple.
Where most get confused is what’s actually causing them to overeat.
This can cause a number of my clients to take their overeating patterns personally.
The truth is, your overeating isn’t personal.
It doesn’t mean anything negative about you.
There are always direct causes for why you overeat regularly.
And the two main causes of your overeating are your brain and body.
In case you weren’t already aware, your brain is responsible for all of the actions you take with food.
This happens because everything you eat is because of the way you feel.
Your feelings, or emotions, are the fuel for your eating decisions.
Everything you eat is to feel a certain way.
Or to avoid feeling a certain way.
When overeating occurs, it’s your brain’s attempt to either:
In this way, it’s clear how our feelings compel us to take certain actions with food.
From here, we also know that every feeling we experience is due to a thought we’re thinking.
And thoughts are the sentences in your head.
The good news is we can choose which thoughts to believe daily.
So, you can decide to think thoughts that will produce certain feelings.
Feelings that will compel you to take the actions with food that you want.
For example, let’s say you got fired from your job.
This circumstance is neutral.
How you experience this circumstance will be based on your thoughts about it.
So, in one scenario, you can choose to think thoughts like “This shouldn’t have happened” or “What’s wrong with me?”.
These thoughts will produce feelings such as disappointment, frustration, and worry.
Which are all negative emotions that your brain tells you that you don’t want to experience.
They are uncomfortable for you.
Therefore, to cover up these negative emotions, your brain will compel you to overeat.
So you can feel better.
In another scenario, with the same circumstance of getting fired, you can choose to think completely differently.
With thoughts like “What a bummer for them. I’m the best employee” or “Another job will be happy to hire me and serve me better”.
This will create more grounded, positive emotions such as self-trust, confidence, and commitment.
Since these emotions are ones you want to experience, the actions you take with food will be different.
You will not feel the need to overeat to cover up your emotions here.
Intentionally creating these emotions serves your eating habits.
Because you won’t constantly be trying to cover up these feelings with food.
Now, let’s discuss the connection between overeating and your body.
This is the more physiological side of things.
Turns out, your body is always trying to communicate to you what it needs daily.
Your overeating patterns are simply another way your body does this.
Your body wants to overeat due to a lack of fuel or pleasure from food.
When you feel a desire to overeat, it’s a way for your body to tell you that it’s not receiving the fuel or pleasure it needs from the eating experience.
Which can mean a number of things:
The point is, your body has a number of different reasons why it wants to overeat.
What I want you to focus on here, is that there are always reasons why you overeat right now.
And you have everything you need to begin figuring out why you have the eating habits that you do currently.
I don’t want you to rush to fix your overeating right away.
This will not serve you.
I simply want you to begin paying attention to the times when you eat a bit too much.
Take notice as to what was compelling you to eat more.
It’s important that you don’t judge yourself here.
Be very curious and compassionate with yourself.
Begin noticing patterns when it comes to your overeating.
Ask yourself questions like:
Asking these simple questions will bring you so much awareness.
Which is really the missing link for most when it comes to overeating.
Before you can move past your overeating tendencies, you need to understand why they’re occurring in the first place.
Become fascinated with your eating habits – right now.
We also need to address the negativity that surrounds the subject of overeating.
It’s important for you to know that nothing about overeating is negative.
Overeating is actually neutral.
What makes overeating negative, toxic, and shameful is your thoughts about it.
And these types of thoughts will only increase your suffering around it.
So, work to change your thoughts about overeating.
Create a new relationship with it.
I encourage my clients to see their overeating tendencies as a sign that their body is taking care of them.
When your body wants you to overeat, it’s because it’s trying to keep you alive.
Our urges to eat more food, even when it’s not necessary for our health, happen for a reason.
It’s our bodies (and brains) trying to keep us nourished, satisfied, and full.
What I teach my clients is to not try and fix their overeating patterns.
But to work with their natural signals from their body to create new patterns of eating that work for them.
Pushing against your overeating tendencies will only make them stronger.
You need to teach your body that you will provide it the fuel and satisfaction it needs from food.
Only then will your urges to overeat slow down.
Because your body won’t be in a constant survival stress state.
With that being said, I can’t say this enough.
Change the relationship you have with overeating.
It will put you in a much better place to manage your current eating habits.
I know what it’s like to suffer when it comes to overeating.
Because you’re clueless as to why it’s happening to you.
I want you to understand that this never needs to be the case.
Instead of feeling like a victim of your overeating, I want you to be proactive.
Show yourself compassion and get really curious.
When you overeat ask yourself “What is most compelling me to eat more at this moment?”.
This will serve you so well.
Next, watch the Youtube video that goes along with this post:
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified eating psychology coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.