“Why do I still want to eat when I’m full?”
Do you often feel like you just can’t stop?
This is one of the most frustrating urges, but the good thing is, the mindset and habit can be broken, and you can get passed the feeling of wanting to snack even after a meal!
Here are a few reasons why you are feeling this way and how to solve them.
- You eat too much processed food.
When we refine things like sugar and flour, they become extra concentrated and hit our system hard. This causes a spike in blood sugar.
A spike is always followed by a “crash,” and this crash sends a signal to your brain that you need food again – even if you’re not hungry!
The solution is simple for this one: eat less processed foods!
The less processed foods you eat, the less you mess with your blood sugar, and the less you will crave food when you’re not hungry.
- You’re Just Tired
How many times have you come home from a long day and all you want to do is eat even though you’re not hungry?
You’d be surprised how often this is just physical exhaustion.
Take a nap! If you’re not hungry, don’t eat for energy! Instead, rest for energy.
- Your Mind Wants What It Can’t Have
If you’re a yo-yo dieter, then you probably have some food rules, like no sugar, carbs or dairy?
These can be rules that cause fast weight loss, but it is not always sustainable and by telling yourself you cannot have something, the mind wants what it can’t have. So, when you tell yourself you can’t have cookies, your mind is going to crave cookies!
Sometimes, having all these rules cause you to binge and want what you can’t have, but when you actually allow yourself to have anything you want, you will actually find you don’t go crazy and binge like you think you will!
In fact, the opposite happens. Because you know you can have these things you crave whenever you want, you are able to wait until you’re hungry to have them.
It’s like reverse psychology.
- Your Environment Design Sucks
Do you ever find yourself eating something just because it’s there?
You walk into your office and there’s a bowl of candy just sitting there, so you have some even though you’re not hungry.
This is overeating caused by poor environment design.
Sometimes keeping things out of sight helps keep them out of mind.
If you have true binge eating problems, this tip might not work. (You’ll hide the food, and then find the food. But don’t worry – the rest of these tips will help!)
But for some people, it really helps to keep tempting food out of sight.
Try it and see if it helps.
- It’s a Special Occasion!
It’s a celebration?! Your mind might start shouting:
“Let’s have some wine! Let’s have some cake! Let’s do all the things!”
Celebrations are fun, and you deserve to live your life.
But you also deserve to celebrate your body every day. And overeating is not a celebration.
The next time you feel obligated to eat or drink something when you’re not hungry because you’re celebrating, remind yourself of what’s important: YOUR BODY.
And if your body isn’t hungry, it’s just plain disrespectful to put food in it.
There are plenty of other ways to express celebration than eating.
Try hugs, good conversation, and confetti poppers!
- You’re Just Dehydrated
Sometimes the desire to eat when you’re not hungry is simply caused by dehydration.
Drink a glass of water and see where you’re at.
- Your Friends Pressure You to Eat with Them
Sometimes your friends can be bad influences! Have you ever gone out with friends and you have made provisions and a decision to not overeat and then they get upset with you when you say no thanks?
Honestly, if not-eating upsets your company, then you’re in bad company.
No one should pressure you to disrespect your body and eat when you’re not hungry.
Reassess who you’re surrounding yourself with and realign yourself with supportive friends.
- You Feel Obligated to Lick Your Plate Clean
So many people struggle with wasting food because they were trained at a young age to lick their plates clean. This has a huge impact on our behaviour.
The belief that we need to always finish our plate becomes ingrained in our subconscious mind, and it needs to be unlearned.
This is a hard-wired belief that is going to take some time to untangle.
Then start some affirmations where you say something like, “I give myself permission to throw away food when I’m not hungry.”
I know it sounds crazy! But it seriously helps.
And if this sounds absurd or triggers you, then this is exactly where you need to start working.
- You’re Seeking Pleasure from Food
When there isn’t enough pleasure and joy in your life, you will seek that pleasure from food.
It’s called hedonic eating
As a human, it’s natural to seek pleasure from food because you are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
So sometimes the desire to eat when you’re not hungry is actually just a desire for more pleasure.
Find your joy outside of food and schedule it into your life. Make it the priority it deserves to be.
For me, this involves making time for surfing and bubble baths, even if it means saying no to a friend.
Saying yes to joy and no to obligation is how I show self-respect.
- You’re Avoiding Pain by Comfort Eating
When you stop to identify the feelings present when you overeat, there’s always an uncomfortable feeling there.
Some examples are stress, shame, insecurity, uncertainty, fear, loneliness, and stress. And that’s just a short list!
When these feelings come up, your primal brain is wired to avoid them – and food is an easy solution. But not the solution you want!
It helps generate awareness around the uncomfortable emotions that drive overeating.
It simply involves pausing your binge, dropping into your body, and asking yourself what you’re feeling; and then making space to feel what’s there!
This is a very difficult practice, but it’s very, very rewarding.
Especially once you see your overeating patterns slowly come to an end!
How to Stop Eating When You’re Not Hungry
Overall, getting yourself to stop eating when you’re not hungry is a matter of making room for discomfort.
While environment design and proper hydration matter, usually it’s these pesky feelings that are driving the desire to overeat!
By practicing the Stop, Drop and Feel method, you can train yourself to feel your feelings instead of turning to food.