Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get to the root of why you might be overeating.
The Eating Quiz
Different Types Of Eating Habits
If you answered mostly A's to the above questions, you most likely have a healthy perspective towards your diet. You eat when you're hungry and usually choose foods that will nurture your body.
You have many interests that come before eating and are likely to resort to them in times of boredom instead of turning to food. This is the best approach to eating and you should try to keep on doing what you are doing!
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If you answered mostly B's, you are likely an emotional eater and use food to comfort yourself in bad times, celebrate success, and as a way to pass time.
You may want to keep a food diary and keep track of what (and more importantly, why) you are eating when you are. This will help you pinpoint your most vulnerable times and take steps to eliminate these situations from occurring.
If C's were your main choice, you are a restrictive type. You likely never allow yourself to indulge and have the willpower most people only dream of. This is great - however, the downfall is that if you ever do 'slip,' you are more likely to go on an all out binge. With you it's usually all or nothing, so if you are going to eat badly, you are going to eat very badly.
This mindset sets you up for a negative thinking pattern that could potentially lead to eating disorders. Try to remember that just because you have a small setback, it does not mean your entire diet is ruined.
In fact, allowing a little more leeway into your diet may help you to feel less stressed out over always eating so cleanly and may even speed your metabolism up (as when we are highly restrictive our metabolism adjusts and slows down so it burns less everyday).
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Finally, if you found situation D most like you, you eat more out of necessity than anything. You eat when other people are eating, and usually reach for the most convenient thing around.
While this is good (as you are not using food to fuel any underlying emotions), it has its drawbacks, as if what is easiest to eat is unhealthy, you are unlikely to take any proactive steps to reach for something else.
Just Because It's Convenient
Doesn't Make It The Best Choice.
Realize that by making minor adjustments to what you order for dinner, or only eating half of a dessert that is being served, you will reap more health benefits and will have an easier time controlling your weight.
Also realize that at another time, you may have answered each question differently, as well. This is completely normal and just means that you react differently in different situations. If this is the case, try and identify when you are more likely to reach for unhealthy food and think up ways you can either distract yourself or find something healthier to eat.
Eating is something that offers us pleasure in life, and to always be dieting takes much of this pleasure away. It's important to experiment with cooking methods and find ways of preparing healthier versions of your favorite dishes.
It's also important to allow yourself a treat on special occasions, but realize why you are eating and stop when you are full. Don't let your emotions overcome your knowledge of what is good for you; make an educated decision on how much of a treat you will allow yourself to eat.
By identifying the underlying reasons why you eat, you will be able to take measures to enforce your healthy habits and prevent and abolish your unhealthy ones.
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