Emotional EatingWe all like eating good meals, and for most of us eating gorgeous meals can bring a lot of satisfaction. Along with that, many of us have a tendency to overeating, or eating more than their body actually needs for providing energy for regular daily activities. When overeating turns into a chronic problem, it can be considered a disorder linked to serious risks of becoming overweight, suffering from high cholesterol, as well as being at very high risk of suffering from such serious health conditions as diabetes mellitus, a stroke, heart attack, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, elevated blood pressure, and so on. There are several types of overeating as an eating disorder, including various conditions known as emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive overeating, and others. Most of modern people are well aware about the dangers linked to this eating disorder, and many are looking for an answer to the question, ‘How do I stop overeating and decreased the mentioned risks?’

The same question asked a group of scientists at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. They found out that some people have no problem with controlling themselves when consuming good and delicious foods. Others can not learn managing their food cravings and very often fall victims of emotional eating or overeating due to depression. Even those who suffer from serious eating disorders like binge eating or compulsive overeating can learn controlling their willpower. According to Joseph Redden, professor of marketing and logistics, and one of the lead authors of the studyHow Can I Stop OvereatingThe Fallacy of Willpower and Complexities of Overeating“, there is a common belief among those people who are looking for an answer to the question, how do I stop overeating. It is considered the some people have a strong willpower, and some do not have a willpower at all, that is why the latter can not do anything to prevent and stop overeating.

However, everything is not that simple. According to Redden, all people like eating delicious and art-like foods, but those people who have developed willpower still eat less. As practical experiments have shown, people with strong willpower can control themselves and eat less because they know how to get satisfied with less amounts of the foods. Further experiments have shown that it is quite easy to develop and strengthen own willpower. During the experiment, the participants were asked to count their bites when eating, and this request helped those with low willpower starting to control their tendency to overeating. In other words, they started acting exactly like the participants with strong will power, and no extra efforts were necessary but simply focusing on the problem and trying to control own meal consumption.

A conclusion that the expert group has presented to the general public is the following: when thinking about an answer to the question, how do I stop overeating, never believe that you will not be able to do that, and never worry about your willpower. No matter what kind of eating problem you have, including emotional overeating or other eating disorder, it can be enough just focus on the problem and listen to yourself very carefully. When you understand that you started feeling full, you should slow down and stop eating. According to Redden, the method of counting the bites you’re taking can also be helpful. Compulsive OvereatingRedden underlined that listening to yourself very carefully and learning to understand what you feel are two key steps to avoiding overeating. However, as the scientist underlined, one should not think that it is too very easy to learn controlling own food cravings and never overeat anymore.

Overeating, emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive overeating and other eating disorders, along with other common bad habits like smoking, are linked to losing control of our selves, or, to be more accurate, blocking control function in our mind. However, as the research has shown, it can actually be easier to learn managing with our tendency  to overeating since in many cases it is induced by such factors as being too much stressed out, being too much absent-minded, and so on. Some people are tending to overeating since they are geared since their childhood to finish everything that is at their plate. Some are practicing eating automatically, paying no proper attention and being not focused enough on eating.  Turning our self-control on, learning to get concentrated on what we are eating and truly enjoy the foods we are eating, avoiding eating everything served or everything at our plate are the key issues to the most effective technology to stop overeating. Read more about the true role of our willpower and ways to learn managing your food cravings in this website.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.



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