Alright, today I’m going to break down the #1 question that I get as a health coach. A version of this question lands in my DM’s, inbox or program messages a few times a week so I figured it was time to find my answer a permanent home.
First of all, I want to address the fact that OVEREATING is a completely subjective experience. What one person considers eating too much may not be enough for someone else. Every single body is different and our needs vary depending on a number of things like our output of energy, hormone levels and the season of life we are in.
It’s also important to note that we ALL overeat sometimes. Me too! When it starts to feel like it’s every day or impacting your ability to feel WELL then there may be an opportunity for a little growth and healing there.
When someone tells me they are overeating and we dig a little deeper it usually means they experience one or more of the following;
- They feel out of control when they eat, like they can’t stop even when they want to.
- They can’t tell that it’s time to stop eating until they’re REALLY full – like unbutton your pants and need-to-take-a-nap-kinda-full.
- They frequently turn to food to help deal with emotions
If you’re reading this and nodding your head I want you to know I was right there once too. I was so disconnected from my body and the struggle with food was REAL. At one point I was actually hospitalised with an eating disorder. #NotIdeal. The truth is a lot of my battle with food and my body was invisible and something that was mostly taking place in my mind. Counting calories, constantly questioning if I should or should not have that thing, pining over the weight on the scale and quite certain the only way to escape it all was to just “look better”, “do better” and “be better”.
It was exhausting.
Maybe you don’t have an eating disorder but some of the things I mentioned resonate.
Perhaps you cave to the tempting allure of those cookies each night after “being good” all day or maybe you can’t stop sneaking over to the office snack desk even though you know you’re just bored.
Maybe you cringe a little when you look in the mirror or live with a little voice in your head that is constantly bringing you down.
Whatever it is, you’re here for tips to help you feel less triggered and more in choice when it comes to food.
As a health coach who has worked with hundreds of women to support them in healing their relationship with food and their body, I’ve got you! Enough back story…let’s talk strategy!
- Ensure you are eating enough, frequently enough.
This may sound counterintuitive as you’re telling me you want to eat LESS, but hear me out. Far too many people don’t eat enough during the day, thriving on coffee, a small breakfast (if anything at all) and then they wonder why they overeat later on in the day. By the time you allow yourself food your blood sugar levels are wack-a-mole and your mind/body system has shifted into survival mode so you’re no longer able to make rational decisions.
Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced helps manage cravings and teaches the body that it can trust it will receive food without having to stockpile it like a little squirrel. The body is designed for survival so when it is not receiving enough food it will do what it needs to do to get it – hello eating-everything-in-view mode.
I often hear people say that they don’t trust their body anymore. I’ll ask you this…can your body trust you? Can it trust you will nourish it frequently enough with good foods? Can it trust you’ll let it rest when it needs to? Can it trust that you will give it water, love, play, kindness and care? Start treating your body with love and watch what happens.
- Reconnect with your hunger and fullness cues
Believe it or not your body has everything it needs to know how much or how little food it requires. It doesn’t need a food tracker or a scale or a complete meal plan from a specialist. You were born with hunger and fullness signals amongst other things that help you thrive as a human.
The trouble is that our modern world doesn’t exactly nurture a strong connection with the body. We learn to disconnect from it starting at a young age when we learn to push through fatigue or ignore our intuition or cut out that meal in order to consume fewer calories.
One of the first things I work on with clients is how to get back in touch with their hunger and fullness signals so that they can use them as a guide for optimal fueling.
- Identify non-hunger related reasons you may be reaching for food.
Next time you walk towards some food I want you to ask yourself a really simple question…”AM I HUNGRY?”. True hunger is a physical feeling in the body like a grumbling tummy, foggy thinking, cold hands/feet, fatigue, mood change etc. If you’re hungry please listen to your body and get yourself something to eat!
If you’re not actually hungry ask yourself the following questions, “What am I hungry for that can’t be solved in the fridge?!”. Start to tune into your current state.
Are you tired and craving rest?
Are you bored and craving some excitement?
Are you lonely and craving connection?
Are you stressed and craving a distraction or a temporary hit of dopamine?
As you identify what’s actually underneath the craving, you’ll be better equipped to nourish yourself with something that will actually satisfy you – a nap, a call with a friend, a moment to do something artistic or even a few deep breaths.
Often we look to food as our number one source of nourishment but the truth is we nourish ourselves in countless ways. Through the thoughts we think, the people we surround ourselves with, the activities we do or do not do, the job we keep and the way we fill our days. The more we nourish ourselves holistically, the less we need to rely on food to fill us up.
If you’re reading this and part of you is thinking “YES ERIN! This is exactly what I’m struggling with and I’m ready to MAKE SOME CHANGE,” I put together a free webinar called, “5 Steps to End the Battle with Food and Your Body” that takes you through the exact process I used personally and now coach women, just like you, to reframe their entire relationship with food and their body.
And don’t worry, I will NEVER recommend that you go on a diet or count macros or cut out fun foods (salty carb lover over here!). In fact, in this webinar I’ll explain how all of that is actually making you much more susceptible to weight fluctuations, strong cravings and food obsession.
Ready to learn more? Grab your spot at my next training → SIGN UP HERE.
It’s one hour and jam packed with practices you can start implementing right away!
If you’re exhausted by trying to figure out how to eat for your body and you feel like you’re the only one who can’t figure out how to stay disciplined around food, I created this for you.
I know how it feels to on the STRUGGLE BUS and how it impacts every area of your life and I also know how it feels to be on the other side.
Grab my hand and let me show you the path – trust me it’s way better over here!!
Sign-up for my free training HERE.