To many people overeating means bingeing and for others it means consuming more or other than planned. Most people overeat for many different reasons.

Below are the Top 10 Triggers for eating based on my previous clients – they are not in any particular order.

How many apply to you?

Fat woman in red holding a bowl of Christmas fondant,<br/> eating chocolate, smiling eyes closed.
Fat woman in red holding a bowl of Christmas fondant,
eating chocolate, smiling eyes closed.

1) Boredom.

This is eating when you’re bored or do not have anything interesting to do or look forward to. TV is a favourite pastime especially when you are alone at home, kids in bed, partner at work or you live on your own and are bored.

Then those food adverts are showing images of delicious ‘food’ straight into our brain it is so easy to be drawn towards the fridge or cupboards.

2) Feeling Deprived.

When following a ‘typical diet’ you will feel deprived of the foods which you enjoy and this leaves you craving for them even more. Science has also proved that the deprivation causes ‘withdrawal’ symptoms similar to those when we give up a drug!

No wonder most diets fail!

The emphasis on skinniness as an ideal has led to many people to use severely restrictive diets. Some make you avoid eating whole groups of foods. Usually our body needs these foods and they often have high visibility and availability form shops. These become powerful eating stimuli in their own right.

The ‘dieter’ often breaks their “plan” and eats the ‘forbidden’ or ‘naughty’ food. This may lead to overwhelming guilt followed by feelings of low self-esteem which motivate the individual to eat more of the avoided food in an attempt to numb these negative feelings. Ooops.

3) Feeling Disgust or Hatred with Your Body.

Are you focusing on the things which you feel are ‘wrong’ with your body and figure. One of the main reasons women, (and men), are unable to overcome eating triggers is their inability to accept their body shape due to the bombardment on our minds of absurd body ideals, that are based on ‘perfect models’. 99.99% of us are not ‘perfect models’ and can never be so.

If your genetics give you wide hips you cannot diet them ‘unwide’. If you cannot create a thigh gap – good as they are not sexy to most men! They like a bit of meat on a woman’s legs – sorry don’t mean to sound sexist. Scrawny legs = malnourished.

4) Glucose intolerance.

Many people suffer from this problem which is based on a natural physiological trigger. In a healthy body, carbohydrates are converted to glucose and a blood glucose level of ~60-120mg/dl is maintained without thought to the dietary consumption of carbohydrate. In the glucose intolerant population, carbohydrates are readily converted to glucose and the pancreas responds to this shift in blood sugar by secreting an excessive amount of the hormone, insulin. Insulin’s job is to remove the glucose from the blood stream and help it to enter the body cells.

If done properly, the blood glucose level returns to the normal range regardless of the amount of carbohydrate consumed. If this system is not working correctly, a quick rise in blood glucose followed by an over production of insulin occurs. The excessive insulin is not recognized by the body cells so is unable to remove the glucose from the blood stream. The result is an increase in blood insulin levels, which has an appetite stimulating effect. The person is driven to eat and if simple carbohydrates are chosen, the cycle continues. Junk Food Makes You Eat More Junk Food!!!!!!

5) Habits.

Your daily eating habits are not as healthy as they may be and you may not even be aware of some of them. Often, excessive eating, lack of physical activity and stress tips the scales of our otherwise balanced lifestyles.

Many women have told me that overeating tends to occur more in specific places and at certain times. In the evening at home cooking and “having a snack to keep me going” or “you’ve got to keep trying the dinner to make sure it is OK” .Un the evening watching television “You have to snack while you watch telly”.

My be it is always having several biscuits with your tea of coffee, having a bedtime snack or finishing the kids’ food when they leave it, etc.

6) Lack of Energy and Feeling Tired.

Are you are putting up with so much stress or hassle in your life that it is constantly draining your energy, leaving you feeling tired. So your energy level becomes low and you look for a fast pick-me-up.

Unfortunately, most people reach for calorie laden sweet and fatty treats. Sound familiar?

7) Needing Love and Comfort.

If you turn to food when ever you need love and comfort you may really pile on the pounds. With the pressure of work and home both men and women tend to be ‘burned’ out. All this is acceptable if supported with constant appreciation and love. However, lack of appreciation, discouraging remarks leave people sad and lonely, they tend to turn towards food to find consolation and some pleasure in life.

8) Feeling Overwhelmed.

You have got so much going on that you feel you find it difficult to take the first step to changing your eating habits. Take the first step, then the second and third and move on…

9) Feeling Upset and Hurt.

Do you turn to food when someone says or does something that feels upsetting or hurtful to you? Anxieties and emotions can also trigger the desire to eat.

Many people eat because they are sad or stressed out or even to celebrate when they are happy.

10) Lack of Willpower.

Your attitude is shaped by your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s really easy to feel good when the going is good. The key to vibrant energy and a powerful attitude is to MAKE yourself feel good, ESPECIALLY when the going’s tough, and you don’t feel good, or you don’t want to feel good.

Sorry but you have a skip load of Willpower – “I will have that cake, I will have those doughnuts, I will have….”

What you are short of is WON’T POWER. “I won’t have that …..” Sounds much better and feels it too.