OVEReating means eating more food than what our body needs, or eating more than what is healthy, leading to weight gain and often obesity. It may be regarded as an eating disorder if it is compulsive eating or binge eating.
Let me first list down a few scenarios which will make the term ‘OVEReating’ really clear:
You are having your dinner and feel that you have finished your share. You find that a little sabzi (Indian Kari) is left in the bowl, only to avoid storing the leftovers in fridge, you quickly gobble it down … that is overeating.
You have finished your share of food, but then notice that your kid or your spouse has some leftovers on their plate. Since you feel that throwing away food is not good (as we are always told to respect food), you end up eating it yourself… that is overeating. 🙃
Your spouse or your kids come back from office/ school. You find that they have not finished their lunch. You sulk but don’t want the food to go waste, so you eat it yourself. (If ever my husband came home with leftover lunch I used to love it and ate the whole thing, a habit I got from my father, he loved our leftover tiffin 🙈🙈) and later eat the full dinner too… that is again overeating.
You are eating your food and it tastes really good. You decide to have 1/2 roti (Indian Flatbread) more (Common, just 1/2 roti, what harm can it do.. right?)… but it is overeating. Remember you have already had your share!
You are wandering around the house, and open the refrigerator. You pop whatever comes in your hand (normally they are sweets, or a fruits), in our mouth. Or you happen to be moving in the kitchen, you grab a handful of some namkeen (mixture) & eat it… now that is overeating too… ‘cause guys you are not hungry, just bored!
You finish your food and then have the dessert (fruits/ sweets.. all considered dessert here) 🤤🤤 … that sure is overeating. (Eating dessert after food, is a COMPLETE NO NO. To know when to have the sweets, please visit: Eat Sweets & Still Lose Weight)
Some rare dish is cooked and served in your home, which generally gets prepared occasionally, but it is also your favourite (like chinese or pizza or dosa). In your greed, you end up stuffing yourself with it – ahem… overeating again 😈.
You are at a party and after feeding your tummy with snacks, you end up having the main course as well (you are feeling bad for your hostess.. right? Poor lady had taken so much efforts) … yes sir, that is overeating as well. 🤐🤐
You meet your friends at a kitty party or over a drink – you talk & eat, and eat & talk – that is overeating too. Here you are eating food only because it is kept there in front of you, you are not actually hungry, or at least not hungry after eating 2-3 servings.
After-dinner snacks, snacks while watching television or movie at a theatre or even chatting on phone or working on our laptop: At all these times we tend to overeat. Cause we are not thinking, we are just mindlessly overeating.
I can continue on & on and give you more and more scenarios like this.
On many occasions people think: We have very normal eating habits, but still we are gaining weight. Why? 🤔🤔 Well, I was one of them (before my weight loss). 🙈🙈 There is no sarcasm here, in their mind this is exactly what they seriously feel. This is what I felt too.
What do we take from the above Scenarios
All events I have spoken about are our normal routine events of your everyday life, and our actions in these events is just reflex, we are not really thinking while doing. When we are asked to count our food (like actually remember what we ate during the day), we forget to consider these food in our count. So whether in the name of kids/ spouse leftovers, favourite food, friends gathering, time pass, we keep on eating food. This food is really unwanted and could have been easily avoided.
In Step# 4 of the Learn to Lose Weight the Right Way, we wrote down what all we eat. This was an awareness activity for you to realise what you are eating, to identify the culprit in the daily diet.
There is a very thin line between Eating Right & OVEReating.
Eating Right is when you are eating your meals in portions and stopping at the right time. You may like read the full article on how to start eating right here.
OVEReating, on the other hand, is when we continue to eat till our stomach is full or much beyond that, till the stomach is uncomfortably full. Then our poor tormented stomach reacts: acidity, burps, farts, bloating, constipation, etc. So we end up eating antacids, hot water, laxatives and other digestives. 😳😳
Keep in mind… IF YOU TROUBLE YOUR STOMACH, IT’LL TROUBLE YOU BACK.
Now let us see how we can deal with the scenarios discussed above:
Weight loss is not about eating less or eating diet or eating diet food in excess, the key is in eating right: Step# 5 of my Learn to Lose Weight the Right Way.
- Prepare the food in lesser quantity than what you do now.
- If there is even one spoon sabzi left, store it. You can use that sabzi as filing in bread for your 11 AM meal the next day.
- Reduce the serving size for your children/ spouse. You can always give them more when they have finished the first serving. If food is still left in their plate & you don’t want to store it, it is better to throw that food. Don’t eat it yourself to torture your stomach. Whether now or the next morning in the loo, you decide 😜. If you do now, you save yourself the suffering… It is important to RESPECT your Stomach.
- For the leftover tiffin/ lunch, eat it as part of your dinner or a full meal on its own. Don’t eat the tiffin AND also the dinner. DO NOT increase your meal size.
- If you are at a party, you already know the whole drill, there will be snacks and then the main course and then the dessert. Distribute your servings accordingly. Decide in your mind the quantity you shall have and stick to it. One off binge eating episode is fine, but don’t make it a habit, will talk about it in the net post.
Don’t confuse boredom or greed with hunger
- If you are liking your meal or after eating your share, you still feel hungry & want to eat more, wait for 10 minutes before you take that additional serving. There would be temptation, but you have to be sure that you really ARE hungry and not greedy. Remember: Food expands after going inside the stomach and if you give a 10 minute break, you’ll realise that you are not hungry at all.
- If your favourite meal is cooked, eat only what is right. If you want to have more, wait till your next meal time. You can also store it and have have it as your meal later or next day. Like have one dosa every morning for breakfast or a pizza piece with your evening tea. This way even your stomach will appreciate it.
- If you are bored, find yourself a hobby. Overeating is NO hobby, it is just giving torture to your body. Have water if you have opened the refrigerator.
- Eat only when it is time for your meal, not otherwise. I will also write soon about the in between meal fillers (for if you are hungry in between your 2 hour meals)
Do remember, focus and determination will lead you to your goal, remember Step#1 of my Learn to Lose Weight the Right Way.
So the next time you want to OVEReat, you will remember this post.
Do write down the occasions from your routine life when you overeat in the comments below, would love to know from you.
Until the next post, XOXO.
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