What’s the reason you overeat?

It tastes so good.

It’s my favorite.

It’s a special occasion.

I deserve to treat myself.

I’m bored.

You might relate to any or all of these. Or others.

But none of them are the reason you overeat.

The real reason is that overeating serves a purpose greater than the result you want from not overeating. That is, the satisfaction from overeating is more important than the satisfaction you’ll receive in the future.

And I get it. Putting off today’s enjoyment for results “someday” feels like suffering. Especially if you can’t trust the results will come. And who wants to suffer?

Well…we do!

Photo by Elmer Cañas on Unsplash

Think about it. How much time have you spent over your life, saying no to your immediate desires for a greater end? For a college degree? Your dream job? To start a business? Raise healthy kids?

I remember studying for the CPA exam I was to take in May of 1990. I began studying two days before Christmas in 1989. Because I knew if I didn’t start before Christmas, I’d wait until after New Years. And if I waited until after…you get the idea.

So, I said no to my best friend who asked me to go to the movies on December 23rd.

I buckled down for the better part of five months. I passed the exam.

You’ve done the same thing. Many times.

If you haven’t done it with overeating, why? What’s different?

If you want to find out, spend a week not overeating. (Remember, overeating is simply eating more than your body needs. It can be a snack. A few extra bites. Nighttime eating. Anything that’s more than you need.)

As you experiment, notice all the reasons your brain comes up with for why you should eat, or why you want to eat. Like “it’s been a long day” or “it’s my brother-in-law’s birthday” or “I just want to veg out and not think about it.” Write down all the reasons your brain gives you. Keep a running list.

At the end of that week, go through your list of reasons FOR overeating. Then make a list of all the reasons you want to STOP overeating. Be honest with yourself and decide which list of reasons you like best.

If at the end of the research you decide you want to continue with your habits, that’s the right answer for you.

If you decide you want to stop overeating, that’s the right answer for you.

No judgement.

If you want to stop overeating, do you need support? If that week-long experiment wasn’t too bad, you may be fine on your own. And every time you make the conscious choice to not overeat, congratulate yourself. Those short-term wins are helpful.

But if that week was a nightmare, or anywhere close, let’s talk. I’d love to help you stop overeating and achieve your weight loss goals!


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