There are times when working out alone might not be enough, reducing your food intake might just do the trick. However, reducing food intake has turned out to be a difficult task for the best of us. These are the 7 shocking reasons why you are overeating.
You’ve got too many choices
According to a new revision, people who ate a range of pepperoni pizza brands (as opposed to sticking to one) were less likely to think that the food would fill them up, and were more likely to overeat later. It makes sense if you think about it—since diverse brands pack diverse portions and calories, it’s hard to figure out exactly how much to eat, and the wide array of options becomes pretty overwhelming.
You’re running a restaurant out of your kitchen
Are you like a line order cook in your house, dishing up one meal for you and the hubs and another for the kids? Not only will you be tempted to sneak a bite or two (and extra calories) off their plates, but the stress of making separate meals isn’t worth it. “It takes too much time, and you’re already busy enough,” says Mark Macdonald, author of Why Kids Make You Fat…And How to Get Your Body Back. “The more tasks you put on your plate, the more crazed you feel, and the less energy you have to take care of yourself and eat well.”
Try this: Think about where you fall on your priority list, and how you deserve to have your needs met, too. “I tell my patients that you can’t be on the bottom, or not even on your list, when it comes to self-care,” says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor. “We need to realize that what our children see us do is powerful.”
And that means showing that everyone eats healthy—including you. So when you make that one meal, just flip the portion for you and the kids to make everyone happy. Give them a bigger serving of carbs and smaller portions of protein and veggies (so they’re still happy about getting some nuggets, but also being exposed to healthier fare), while you dig into a double serving of vegetables, a portion of protein and a smaller amount (about 1/2 cup, nutritionists recommend) of carbs.
You’re watching the wrong things on TV
Okay, it’s no secret that television watching and eating don’t exactly mix. Case in point: That moment when you look down at an empty bag of chips, but can hardly remember tasting them. But there’s actually more to it, as research shows it may be more about what you’re watching while you eat. Scientists recently discovered that people ate up to 55 percent more popcorn when viewing a sad movie compared to a comedy. Gotta feed your feelings, right?
Try this: First, opt for Jimmy Fallon over Nicholas Sparks. Next, think about why you’re always zoning out in front of the TV—and pairing it with snacks—because you could be using it to cope with boredom or stress. “Some say that it’s the only thing they get to do that’s considered me-time, and food doesn’t demand anything of them,” says Cederquist. But that’s not actually true, because comfort food wants to be carried around on your hips and belly—an awfully demanding need, she says.
So instead of turning to that nightly bowl of popcorn, Susan Albers, author of 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, suggests figuring out which of the top three comfort techniques actually makes you feel better. (Because when you reach the bottom of the bowl, do you actually feel better about yourself? Probably not.) Try reaching out to a friend for a vent session; make time for your favorite way to exercise; or pick a calming activity, like a bath, to help you unwind. Albers says not only will you actually feel less stressed, but it’ll also make you less tempted to munch later on.