Why People Overeat

obese child

A lot of people want to lose weight, and some people think it’s easy. You have to limit what you eat. But that’s not as simple as you think. If you want to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. Which means you burn more calories than you consume. You can achieve it by being active, so you burn many calories or reduce the amount of your calorie intake.

So, for us to actually lose weight, we must first understand the reasons why we overeat. We must understand the factors that cause overeating and things we can do to stop them without negatively affecting our health.

Boredom and Distractions.

Just imagine you are watching a movie and you start feeling bored. Then you saw chips in the cabinet. You will most likely take that chip while watching your film. Often, you will go for a soda too while eating that chip. This situation is a perfect example of eating out of boredom and not of hunger.

Eating out of boredom leads to overeating. Since you are focused on the movie or show you are watching while holding a big bag of chips, you will not realize you are eating a lot until you finish the whole bag. Sadly, a lot of people suffered from overeating because of boredom during the lockdown.

Not tracking your daily calorie intake.

A lot of people keep track of their daily calorie intake. It is an excellent way to ensure that you take fewer calories and are on a calorie deficit. But many also people don’t track their calorie intake.

By not tracking your calorie intake, you can easily underestimate the number of calories you take each day. Because of that, you end up consuming many calories, which means you’re not in a calorie deficit.

There are a lot of fitness apps that you can download to help you keep track of your daily calorie intake. Just follow the instructions and strictly follow your daily calorie limit to keep you from overeating.

man with overeating problem

Inconsistently tracking your food.

It is one of the issues when you measure your food differently each day. You could think that you are eating the exact amount of food as you did yesterday, but the truth is you are eating a lot more. The most important way to track your food is to be consistent in how you track it. Remember: consistency is the key.

With consistency, you will not have many discrepancies in how you track your food. Which means you will not overeat calories on certain days. You will be more conscious of the amount of food you are eating at different times.

Find a technique that you think is good for you. Be consistent, and you will be surprised by the results. Stick to one method of measuring your intake. One good strategy is, like we said earlier, to use fitness apps.

Keep in mind that overeating is not a healthy habit. In most cases, it might even result in eating disorders like bulimia nervosa. You might need to search for treatment programs for bulimia nervosa to prevent further complications when it gets to this point.


There are two possible effects on our eating habits when we are stressed. It’s either we overconsume food or under-consume food. We all had that situation with one tiring day, and you go home, and the first thing we look for is food on the fridge.

Why do we eat when we are stressed? Studies have shown that the hormone called Cortisol is the one at play. It is released when we are stressed. It is linked to the increase in our appetite, which leads us to overeat.

When we eat foods, our brain releases dopamine which makes us feel better and good, and it’s okay if you do it moderately. But if you keep eating a lot of food to fight stress, you are at risk of overeating.

To stop this, you must recognize whether you are hungry or not. Do you feel your stomach growling? Or are you low on energy? If not, you might just be looking for food for comfort. With great effort, you will prevent yourself from reaching for food to fight stress.

Sleeping Factor

And last but not least, we believe that the main reason why people overeat is because of lack of sleep. Remember, we mentioned Ghrelin earlier, which is also associated with a lack of sleep.

To be simple, the less you sleep, the longer time you’ll have to be awake. And being awake means you have more time to be hungry and more time to eat, which might lead you to overeat. Studies show that if we sleep less than 6 hours at night, we crave foods rich in sugar. These foods usually have low nutrients but are higher in calories which causes overeating.

So, to stop it, it is an excellent idea to improve your sleeping habit. One of the best ways is to chill out for at least 30 minutes, which means no social media or phones are allowed. Focus on having at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and you will be surprised by the results.

There are a lot of reasons why people overeat. And no matter what your reasons are, acknowledge and resolve them as soon as possible. Overeating can have adverse effects on your health, talk to a doctor if you need professional help.

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