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Why are We Overeating?
You may be surprised to find out why people overeat. For some of us, eating is a stress reducer. For others, it is to keep the metabolism at high level. In fact, nutritionists say that eating smaller meals, more often, is the real key to weight control. Therefore, the best way to handle emotional stress eating is by intermittent fasting. There’s no diet pills or strenuous exercise involved.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
You may not be familiar with this term. The “fasting” is scary to anyone who has an addiction to food. For instance, when I first heard the words intermittent fasting, I was devastated. As a foodie, eating delicious food means everything. So, it took time and effort to take the plunge into fasting. No way was I about to starve myself to death. Finally, I discovered the best way to eliminate emotional stress eating. Boy was I thankful.
History of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is nothing new. The history of intermittent fasting goes back to the 1940s. It was originally a laboratory experiment using baby mice. What the research found was interesting. The calorie restriction appeared to extend the animal’s life.
Later on, intermittent fasting (IF) was first practiced by bodybuilders and athletes in developed countries. In fact, it was combined with their food cycling regimens. For example, these weight trainers reversed the intake of fats and carbohydrates in their diet according to their training schedule. This resulted in:
- High carbohydrates/low fat on training days
- Low carbohydrate/high fat on rest days
Make no mistake, these muscle men knew their stuff. Thus, intermittent fasting gained a lot of momentum within the fitness community.
Your Inner Strength with Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting helps you separate your eating behavior from your emotions. Because it gradually helps you get rid of the feelings that you “have to” eat something at short intervals, eating only in a certain time window. This gives your day more structure. Therefore, making it easier to detach your feelings from your eating habits.
Especially if you’re going through difficult times. Intermittent fasting can be your anchor. Your strategy to combat emotional eating.
How to Prepare for Intermittent Fasting
Breaking bad food habits is not an easy thing to do. First, you have to understand the reasons why you have been taking in an excess of calories. Then ask yourself why? Have you been under an overload of stress? Did you lose somebody or something that is near and dear to you? After examining these causes, you can then start a plan of action.
Why Does it Work?
You can bet your bottom dollar that there is a cause behind overeating and/or binge eating. Often times, it is a response to something stressful. One of the first things we run to when stress arrives is food. Food is a self-medication for many people. I can write a book on this topic. This weight loss method works if it is done the right way. However, it won’t happen overnight. Preparation is key.
Preparing for intermittent fasting:
- Commit to a plan to action and stick to it.
- Keep your refrigerator full of healthy foods and snacks
- Dine with people who have similar eating goals
- Only eat when you are physically hungry
- Control portion sizes
Remember to talk to your physician prior to starting any new diet plan. Unfortunately, intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
Decide the Schedule Most Suitable to You:
The Daily Approach 16/8:
- Restricts daily eating for 16 hours
- You eat during the next 8-hour period
The 5:2 approach:
- Eat regular meals for five days a week
- You limit yourself to one 500-600 calorie meal on any two days of the week.
When experimenting with IF, I found the 16/8 approach to be more sustainable to my particular lifestyle. If I can do it, anyone can (lol).
Is There a Downside to Fasting?
This form of fasting is intended for healthy adults to lose weight. Plus, it is not intended for children or adolescents who are still growing. Neither is it intended for pregnant or lactating women. Also, anyone with a chronic disorder such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease should avoid IF. Disclaimer: Get clearance from your physician first.
https://leangains.com/leangains-site-guide (accessed May 5, 2018).
Coping Strategies Help You Stay Course:
No one claims fasting is easy. However, you can avoid the pitfalls that crop up to throw you off balance. Do not yield to temptation. You can take charge by being vigilant and prepared. Try to avoid these common triggers such as:
Being bored or idle is a common emotional trigger. While you may have a stimulating active life, when you have nothing to do you turn to comfort food. You go into your “raid-the-refrigerator-mode.” Next thing you know, you have wiped out everything in sight. I know the feelings. I’ve been there and done that. Going through a whole pack of Fig Newtons is a piece of cake. The problem is, the cookies end up around your waist.
Avoid social media while eating. If possible, turn off computers, tablets, phones and televisions. You’d be surprised how much food you eat when you have distraction.
Eat Your Food Slowly
Research shows that people who eat slowly have a lower body mass index (BMI). They also eat smaller meals. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that you are full. So, slow up guys and gals. The bottom line is by taking more time to eat you get a greater sense of fullness.
Furthermore, a 2015 study showed amazing results. As an example, it found that adults who ate 400 milliliters of tomato soup (slowly) reported feeling full after their meals. On the other hand, participants who ate quickly did not.
So, make a practice of eating slowly. At first, it may be challenging. Gradually, try to put the utensils down between eat bite. This will slow down your eating patterns. Also, try taking a few deep breaths between bites. Over time, this will become second nature.
Control Your Portion Size
According to the CDC, people who have large portion sizes eat more. In addition, people using smaller plates eat less. It also helps to know portion size. For example, a serving of meat should not be larger than a deck of cards. A cup of rice or vegetables is about the size of your fist. Eventually, you are able to eyeball portion size.
Here’s More Damage Control
- Never go shopping when you are hungry. You will always buy more food
- Put your snacks in smaller bowls or containers
- Store bulk packages in a place that is hard to reach
- Use smaller plates, bowls or containers
It is hard to stick to a plan when you have yummy snacks in the fridge or cupboard. According to CDC, opening up a cabinet full of your favorite snacks is a common trigger to overeat. So, don’t do it. Clear those cabinets. In fact, if you are really brave, you can discard them.
An Ounce of Prevention
The message in this article is crystal clear. Take control of your eating habits. This is how you become proactive in your weight loss goals. An “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is not just a cliche. Therefore, never take your health and wellness for granted. The benefits you reap are priceless.
Overeating is a common problem that poses a health risk in the long run. The sooner you stop and take note, the better. Always confront your doctor when it comes to your overall health issues. First, get a handle on your eating habits. Second, take control of your weight. If all your previous diet plans have failed, you are a good candidate for intermittent fasting. This is a proven, incredible weight loss method.
Just remember, you can incorporate a healthy lifestyle. For example, get regular exercise, drink an adequate amount of water, get 8 hours of sleep and avoid stress at all costs. In addition, consider yoga and meditation as another important bonus. It can enhance your weight loss journey.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the space below. You can also send me an email. I am glad to be of service to you.