Despite whatever we may think, episodes of overeating do not happen in isolation.
When we are at the bottom of a tub of Ben and Jerry’s or finishing off a bucket of fried chicken, we may well think that it ‘just happened’.
There are in fact many steps;
- You have to decide you are going to have this food.
- You have to get it in, or go and get it.
- You then choose to reach for more and more once you have the food.
It does not just magically find it’s way into your lap and then into your mouth.
This is not a reason to feel bad.
We have all done it/do it from time to time.
When I was strictly tracking all my food, I went to a barbecue at a friend’s.
I had decided I would not track that day – I would have a day off!
I went completely crazy.
I ate to excess and to the point where I felt sick.
I felt massively bloated and overfull for the rest of the day.
As a result, I didn’t actually enjoy the afternoon.
Whatever leads you to overeat, it is not mysterious.
For me, on this occasion, it was because I was really over restricting most of the time.
It could be something, or a number of things, very different for you.
You just need to pull the chain apart and figure out what the links are.
Overeating is hard to stop once you start.
It is far easier to prevent it in the first place.
We can do this by addressing issues further down the chain and breaking the links.
Below, you will be able to download the behaviour awareness sheet that we use with our clients;
Next time you overeat, fill in the sheet.
It will allow you to look at what you were doing and feeling before, during and afterwards.
The first few times you use it, do not think about making changes.
At this stage you are just looking for trends.
You are learning about the sort of situations that lead you to overeating.
Look for events, times of day, or even days of the week, that recur.
These are the links in the chain.
It could be stress at work.
It could be the weekends, perhaps because you are being too strict during the week.
Eventually, over time using the sheet, you will be able to break the links and change your chain for the better.