Do you wish you could learn how to stop overeating? Are you finding that each time you reach into the cabinet for a snack, it turns into a stuffing? Do you find yourself going back for seconds at dinnertime? Does the feeling of being too full lead to overwhelm, low energy, guilt, anxiety, or lack of motivation?
I’m asking you those questions because I had the same tendencies. They still come up from time to time, but now I’m not powerless over them.
I know those feelings well, and I’m sending you a hug. Hugs are kind of my thing. I’m so glad you’re here! Thank you for letting me support you on your journey.
Lean in- there’s hope! Read on for the first step to shift your habits with compassion to stop overeating for good.
Know this: you are not alone.
Why is it such a common struggle to figure out how to stop overeating?
Overeating (either throughout the day or in one sitting) is a common behavior with a variety of causes. It’s a brain wiring issue, not a moral or willpower issue.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Cut yourself some slack. Not sure what I mean? Read on.
Your thoughts are not always absolute, objective truth. They’re often not even your own. Do you ever notice your behaviors are often unaligned with your goals and desires?
That’s because your brain is operating on old beliefs. Many of which no longer support the direction you want to go. Brain patterning occurs in early childhood. It serves the purpose of labeling your environment and assessing risk. A lot of your beliefs around food and body image is your brain trying to prevent rejection.
In my coaching practice, I teach my clients how to observe thoughts, feelings, and actions. Clients learn how to create new thoughts that lead them to the results they’re looking for. People who work with me learn how to feel whatever comes up, rather than eating instead of feeling.
You’ve created beliefs and rules around food, eating, and body image since you were a little kid. Inputs come by way of media, a random comment that stuck, a borrowed belief from a parent or a teacher, and so on.
The good news? You can decide what beliefs you want to keep and which ones you want to (bless and) release.
You get to decide if your beliefs serve your long-term goals and what to do if they don’t. Head over to this post for more on evaluating and reprogramming your beliefs as an eater.
The following tool has helped me, and the people I work with, commit to long-term goals around eating. Decide what you’re going to eat ahead of time. Rather than caving into triggers for immediate comfort from food that is all too brief.
There is nothing wrong with receiving comfort, joy, and pleasure from food- in fact, I encourage it. But, the challenge comes when you’re hoping for food to fix something you don’t want to think or feel.
The key? Learn how to feel any emotion and think intentional thoughts. That way, you don’t need to eat to cover up emotions or thoughts you’re trying to avoid. Let food be food- wonderful as it is.
There’s a link at the bottom of this post to a printable outline so you can integrate this tool into your daily life.
Ready to Learn How to Stop Overeating? It’s a Habit That Can Be Rewritten
Keep It Real: The Daily Doable Plan- The Key to Stop Overeating
This step is all about creating sustainable self-trust. It is time to stop breaking promises to yourself. You don’t do that by creating an unrealistic plan of what you wish you would eat, but know you most likely won’t.
You establish trust by planning out, beforehand, what you’ll actually eat. Plan what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Plan more food than you think you’ll need. Simple in theory, right? But it’s not always easy to follow through. Read on for built-in check-ins to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
Read: This is not a diet.
A daily doable plan is a straightforward evaluation of what’s on the day’s agenda. You then use this information to determine what would be realistic to plan to eat ahead of time.
The goal is to create a plan that leads to satisfaction and nourishment. That way, you prevent getting caught off guard and emotionally activated- two variables that make it hard to stop overeating.
This plan helps you show up for yourself. Say goodbye to daily disappointments from being too restrictive or unrealistic. You’ll make choices that have your long-term goals in mind. Eating in a way that you’re willing to for the rest of your life- not in a way that you’re ready to quit by Friday.
Stop telling yourself it has to be hard to work. It’s like telling yourself to run a marathon without ever going for a 10-minute jog. You made the marathon way harder than it had to be.
Contrary to popular belief, you can reach your goals without punishing yourself.
The first step to stop overeating is straightforward. Plan your food in such a way that not only do you know you can do it, but dare I say enjoy it and be in the driver’s seat. Say goodbye to feeling powerless over your choices. No more looking back on your day wondering how so much food ended up in your mouth.
The Essential Steps in Your Daily Doable Plan to Learn How to Stop Overeating
- When you wake up or before bed, take a few minutes to plan what you will eat for the day ahead. Don’t plan what you think you should eat. Plan what you’re willing to eat.
- Then, pass this self-check: On a scale of 1-4 with 1 being no way and 4 being all-in, you’re a 3 or better. If you’re a 2 or less, ask yourself what small shift you can make to be at a 3 or better.
What’s so special about a daily doable plan?
You’ll learn how to quit breaking promises to yourself when you make a realistic plan ahead of time. In turn, you’ll change your life. Your self-worth and self-trust skyrocket when you stop setting yourself up to fail by honoring what you say you’re going to do. Planning from the decision-making center of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, ensures alignment of your food choices with your goals.
Goals like, “I want to stop overeating.” without a realistic plan of how, are just thoughts that often set you up for self-sabotage. Not to mention the guilt, shame, and anxiety that come along with it. If you leave it to in-the-moment decisions, your primitive brain steps in. This part of the brain wants to find ease and pleasure and avoid pain.
The prefrontal cortex contributes to focusing attention, predicting consequences, anticipating events, controlling impulses, managing emotional reactions, and future planning. I don’t know about you, but that’s the part of my brain I want to make my choices from.
Often the most important work is honoring your yes’s and no’s first. When I started doing this work, I was recovering from so much self-sabotage. I can make anything sound lovely, so I had to honor my word with what I put on my plan. It helped me get to know my body, mind, values, and goals real quick. Eventually, once you hardwire a new belief system that’s aligned with your goals, in-the-moment reasoning is possible.
What Does Realistic Look Like?
For me, it looks like planning in potato chips and/or chocolate most days. Once I gave myself unconditional permission to eat, the urgent tendency to binge was gone. Knowing I get to enjoy my beloved crunchy, salty chips and rich, dark chocolate, makes it easy for me to stick to my plan. A plan that also includes whole foods, as well as protein and fat with each meal. I add in several servings of veggies (that I like), and plenty of water throughout the day. This way of eating has me feeling my best.
Realistic means you plan to eat what you’ll actually eat throughout the next day. Please resist the urge to complicate this. I know it feels simple and unstructured. But it’s profound- you become a person who does what you say you’re doing to do.
How does that sound?
It may feel scary. You’re used to starting each day with unconfident hope that you’ll follow through with your plan. Often, only to find you’ve overeaten, yet again, at the end of the day.
How to Use Reflection of Your Previous Day to Help You Stop Overeating the Next Day
The first part of creating your daily plan is evaluating the day before.
Hold up: take the pressure off yourself. You can’t fail; you’re experimenting. This reflection is an opportunity for honesty and curiosity.
And in doing so, you’ll uncover your patterns and habits. You’ll learn what to put on the upcoming day’s plan. It’s an opportunity to see what went well, what felt good, what left you drained, and so on. That way you know what you’re ready to shift and change.
In my coaching programs, I dive deep into daily doable plans. We look at both creation and reflection in detail. You learn how to deal with your emotional and thought life. This practice holds so much life-changing, sustainable, and transformative value. Simple, but profound and effective.
If you’re interested in a free consultation, click to learn more about my services here and schedule an appointment here. During this complimentary session, you’ll learn how I support my clients to stop overeating.
I care about you creating the life you want to live in. For many, learning how to stop overeating for good is a huge part of stepping into wholehearted living. To going after goals with confidence and trust. I’m honored to support you on your journey.
The most important thing to know is that the daily plan is not an excuse for you to berate yourself. It’s a plan to understand yourself and make tiny changes to improve your health. These shifts come from a place of compassion. And they add up to a significant impact. You’ll stop fearing missteps when you stop beating yourself up over them. Learn how to get curious instead.
You’ll find that this process will lead to you feeling more prepared, motivated, and confident. You’ll feel good about making some changes. Changes that’ll help you have increased energy, joy, and nourishment throughout your day.
Will you decide to trust this process to learn how to stop overeating more than your fears?
As someone who has done a lot of work to choose love over fear, I know how tempting caving into those fears can be. Or even how the downward spiral seems to happen without you realizing it. Before you know it, you’re swirling in a thought loop about how you’re not enough and you failed. Then cue about a dozen negative body image thoughts. It can get ugly real quick, almost seemingly out of nowhere. But where does it get you? Not to your goals, that’s for sure.
Fear is normal. It’s welcomed on this journey. Honor your humanness by allowing fear to go with you on this journey.
It’s as simple as this: fear thinks it’s needed anytime you are trying something bold or new. It doesn’t always mean there’s something terribly wrong. A few logical questions can help you verify that.
You don’t need to eliminate fear to choose not to take action from a place of fear.
You Don’t Need to be Perfect to Learn How to Stop Overeating
Trust in the process. Know you can mess up and get results. What if messing up is part of learning what to do?
You get to decide what your missteps mean. So make the choice that they don’t mean anything about your worth, commitment, or capability as a person.
It’s as simple as this: you’re a human with a brain that sometimes convinces you to give in to short-term pleasures, rather than long-term goals.
One of the best questions you can learn to start asking yourself before you eat is, “Is this aligned with my long-term goals?” Sometimes it isn’t, but you choose to do it anyway. If that’s the case, then love your reason why.
There is no such thing as perfection in life.
This coming from someone who tried countless times to convince myself otherwise. Said with love, there is no room for that mindset on this journey. Come as you are. Begin. Thanks for being here!