Ever find yourself unable to stop yourself from eating too much? It happens to the best of us. Eating is, after all, a supremely satisfying experience. But just like anything in life, excessive eating is bad for you. And certain things that we do could trigger us to eat more than necessary. So what could be the hidden culprit behind your intense urge to snack? Check out these factors and find out what you can do about it:
1. You’re Sleep Deprived
Yes, sleeping less than 8 hours could lead you to eat more food as the day progresses. According to a research conducted by experts at Mayo Clinic, individuals who cut their sleep time by an hour and 20 minutes each night consume 549 more calories the next day as oppose to those who got the right amount of shut-eye. Researchers believe that sleep has a profound effect on the body’s level of ghrelin and leptin. These hormones work together to stimulate and suppress the appetite.
In addition, you feel more sluggish when you are sleep deprived. An exhausted person will subconsciously seek out food for energy. And this becomes a vicious cycle. This lead to weight gain and overeating. To overcome this, make it a habit to hit the sack early. Your bedroom should be conducive to sleeping too. Remove all distractions that keep you from sleeping, like laptops, mobile phones or TV.
2. You Skip Meals
Skipping lunch or dinner could compel you to overeat by the time dinner arrives. Making a habit out of skipping meals increases the ghrelin level in the body. This hormone is responsible for triggering the appetite. Too much of ghrelin triggers the brain to keep wanting food. If you miss one meal, hormones will run high in the bloodstream. By the time, the levels of hormone stabilize; you’ve already eaten more than your fill of burritos, pizza and burgers by dinnertime.
Always eat at the right time. This trains the body to release hormones at specific periods. If you don’t, you will consume more calories.
3. You’re Stressed Out
Notice how you eat more when you’re anxious or stressed out? You are an emotional eater. Emotional eaters tend to crave food in high-stress situations to cope. It’s a brain’s response to stave off anxiety. The thing with emotional eaters is that they eat without feeling hungry. They just eat. And there lies the danger.
A recent study published in Psychological Science suggests that NFL fans eat greasier, unhealthy foods the day after a loss than a win. Finding comfort in food goes back to the concept of eating to make yourself feel better when you were a child. This is ingrained in our brain. But it can be reversed by pacing yourself. Don’t just mindlessly shove food in your mouth. Finding better alternatives to unhealthy snacks help too!
4. Eating in Front of the TV
Distractions keep us from tracking our food consumption. According to a research from the University of Birmingham in the UK, distracted eating leads to progressive snacking. Instead of eating in front of the TV, practice disconnection. This means shutting down the TV, preparing your food and eating in the dining area. Literally put food on a plate and take time eating it. Don’t just grab a bite and go.