The 7 Most Common Thoughts That Lead To Overeating

9 October 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Overeating

Often our thoughts trigger our urge to eat until we are uncomfortably full. Here are some of the most common thoughts we think that lead to overeating…

1. “But I deserve this….”

You have had a stressful day at the office and you come back home and head for the chocolate! The kids have gone to bed and you take out the tub of ice-cream and your mind is saying: “I work so hard, I deserve this”. Do you really need to reward yourself by eating because you have been “good” or because you have had a hard day? These are patterns that we have grown up with…Get good marks and you will be rewarded, or behave and you will get ice-cream. Rather than saying I deserve this we could say: “Hey, I want to eat this because it’s going to taste delicious” – without the need to justify, it comes from a far more empowering place.

2. “It’s okay if I eat more because it’s only … salad or vegetables”

It never helps to judge our food as good or bad; healthy or unhealthy because when we eat “good” food we often justify eating more of it and when we eat “bad” food we believe we have blown it, so it leads us to eating more. Either way it doesn’t help. Remember food is neutral – just a bunch of ingredients that feel differently in our bodies. Whether we are overeating celery sticks or cheese sticks, the behaviour is what is important.

3. “But it tastes so delicious!”

In the 8 hungers – this is known as mouth hunger, which is one of the most difficult hungers to satisfy because the mouth wants constant entertainment – different tastes and textures. The mouth can happily go from savoury to sweet to sour to chewy to smooth! What is the antidote? If you eat your delicious bite slowly, with attention and awareness you are able to savour it and will be satisfied with less. Whereas if you eat the cake standing up without attention, it’s like eating it behind your own back – so you will need an entire cake to be satisfied! (or sick). So when eating, take your time with the food you love to really savour the taste!

4. “I am so tired”

The only thing that solves tired is rest. Eating solves hunger and a desire for some pleasure. Tiredness is a huge trigger to overeat and binge. Our bodies often respond to what our minds are saying so if you keep thinking: “I am so tired” this will be amplified in your body. Ways to up your energy are through rest, breathing, water and exercise. Try some energizing breathing techniques.

5. “I shouldn’t! I mustn’t eat that!”

This thought is a recipe for overeating! That thought is normally the voice of our inner dictator and typically when we hear that voice, we respond rebelliously with thought number 6. We always have a choice, we can eat whatever we want, the question is – how will you feel after you have finished eating?

6. “What the hell! Who cares?!?!”

That’s the voice of your inner rebel. Who are you actually rebelling against?  The message you are telling yourself is “I don’t care about myself right now.” Can you shift to the voice of your inner nurturer or inner adult to change the dialogue? Something like “What would be better than the food right now?” would be a much better question to ask.

7. “I can’t waste this food”

When we eat beyond what our body needs to energize it, we are wasting food. The only difference is we are wasting the food in our body and not in the bin. Why is it okay to treat our bodies like a rubbish bin? This is often difficult at restaurants, but you have a choice: you can eat all the food and feel uncomfortable or you can waste it or take it home with you.

Eating to the point of comfortable fullness and eating food that feels good in our body is not about being good, it’s about feeling good in our bodies. It doesn’t usually feel good to eat lots of sugar or to eat until we are stuffed! So why ruin the pleasure of eating with the discomfort of overeating?

Watch those thoughts!


Are you tired of overeating and feeling out of control around food? Ready to end the war with your body?

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