How to stop overeating

A Step-by-Step Plan on How to Stop Overeating and Develop Healthy Eating Habits 

Overeating is simply excessive eating without control, and whether we realize it or not, we all have this habit at some point in our lives. Whether you overeat, have an eating disorder, or are wondering what to do after binge eating, there are simple strategies you can use to control your appetite and stay healthy; continue reading to get a head start. 

Table Of Contents

Understanding the Symptoms of Overeating: Do You Have Them?

Overeating is often characterized by a lack of control over one’s eating behavior. Individuals who find it difficult to stop eating, even when physically complete, may be experiencing this sign. 

Many people use food as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or other emotional triggers. Overeating can be indicated by the desire to overeat even when not physically hungry. Emotional eaters frequently use food to temporarily alleviate negative emotions, but this habit can lead to weight gain and unhealthy eating patterns.

Overeating results in visible weight gain. When a person consumes more calories than their body requires, the excess energy is stored as fat, resulting in gradual weight gain over time.

Why is overeating unhealthy? Furthermore, excessive eating can contribute to a variety of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Such conditions should not be overlooked because they can have a significant impact on overall well-being.

Recognizing the signs of overeating is critical for people to regain control of their eating habits and make healthier choices. Excessive consumption, emotional eating, frequent snacking, uncontrollable eating, and the resulting weight gain and health problems are all signs of overeating.

how to stop overeating

Overeating Symptoms

  • Eating a large amount of food frequently
  • Feeling hungry even though you are full 
  • Frequently eating in secret
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes 
  • Feelanxiousiety with the thought of having a big appetite 
  • Feeling dizzy or fainting after eating 
  • Indigestion 

Also, read – What Is the Best Intermittent Fasting Window To Lose Belly Fat?

How to Feel Better After Eating Too Much – Don’t Blame Yourself

If you’ve recently overeaten, it can be easy to beat yourself up and feel guilty. Feeling ashamed or embarrassed can worsen the situation and make it harder to move on. It’s important to remember that overeating doesn’t define who you are. Everyone has moments of indulgence, and no one is always perfect. 

If you’re feeling down after overeating, try some tips on what to do after a binge eating session to help make yourself feel better:

  • Acknowledge how you’re feeling. It’s normal and OK to think about what happened. However, acceptance is critical in moving forward. 
  • Talk to a friend, or family member who will understand and be supportive. 
  • Exercise to boost your mood and burn off calories from the binge. Make sure not to overdo it – go for a walk or practice yoga instead of intense physical activity that could lead to further exhaustion. 
  • Get much rest so you can recharge your body and mind. This also allows time for digestion and helps reset you’re eating patterns.

What Is the Difference Between Bulimia and Binge Eating?

Binge eating disorder (BED) is defined by recurrent episodes of rapidly consuming large amounts of food while losing control. People who have BED do not “make up” for their overeating by engaging in compensatory behaviors such as vomiting or excessive exercise. Instead, they are frequently filled with remorse, regret, and shame. BED is the most common eating disorder in the United States.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent binge eating episodes, also known as BED. Bulimics, on the other hand, use compensatory measures to avoid gaining weight, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, fasting, or overdoing it with exercise.

So, the main distinction between binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa lies in the presence of compensatory behaviors. People with bulimia engage in these behaviors, whereas those with BED don’t. 

How to Avoid Overeating

  • Stay hydrated 

How do you stop overeating? Easy! We frequently confuse thirst for hunger, especially when we are hungry or have cravings at the wrong time. Drink a mouthful of water now to determine whether you are hungry or thirsty and to keep your body hydrated.

  •  Limit distractions

When there is an activity that is distracting you while eating, you will find it challenging to know the amount you have eaten; however, when you remove all distractions, and your mind focuses on the task at hand, you will have total control over your food intake and know whether you overeat or not. 

  • Eat slowly 

Eating slowly will help your brain process information concerning your stomach and tell you whether or not to stop eating. Moreover, taking your time to eat will give you a proper sense of fulfillment.

  • Avoid skipping meals 

Skipping meals will make you extremely hungry, which is unhealthy for your body because your appetite increases when you are hungry. Furthermore, you will have no control over your food, which may lead to unintentional overeating. The best solution here is to eat snacks at regular intervals or smaller meals on a regular basis. 

  • Give yourself a break 

You must understand that combating certain habits, such as overeating, necessitates patience and compromise. So, instead of cutting yourself off all at once, take a slow step and learn how to stop feeling hungry.

  •  Don’t eat out of boredom

Some people vent their anger or stress on food or eat out of boredom, and that’s why it is essential to learn how to stop overeating when bored. The easy step is to find other activities like exercise, swimming, or any activity that will make you comfortable to vent your stress and anger. 

How to Stop Overeating

How to Break the Habit of Eating and Begin a New Routine in a Healthy Way

One of the best ways to break unhealthy eating habits is to create a new routine. You can do this in several ways by focusing on external cues like setting aside time for meals, prepping healthy snacks ahead of time, and staying mindful while eating! 

Wholehearted commitment is the key to success in any endeavor, and it’s especially crucial when embarking on a new lifestyle experiment. It may seem obvious, but believing in and embracing your decision honestly is essential. Without genuine dedication, you’re more likely to face challenges and setbacks.

What is a minor but essential step in recovering from binge eating? Explain what you mean when you say “never eating out.”   Take a moment to discuss this with yourself or your partner and clearly state your objectives for this endeavor. Are you planning to avoid eating out altogether? Or will you allow exceptions for specific occasions? Should take-out meals, prepared foods from the grocery store, or visits to coffee shops be included in this restriction? And then provide detailed specifics to avoid any ambiguity.

After deciding on your preferred method of avoiding eating out, you must develop a dependable and delicious meal plan. It’s difficult to improvise when you’re responsible for preparing three meals a day, seven days a week at home.

Also, read – How To Stop Binge Eating At Night

What Causes Nighttime Binge Eating?

Various factors can trigger binge eating before bed, and understanding them can help you develop strategies to manage this behavior. Here are some common triggers:

  • Emotional factors: stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, or sadness
  • Restrictive dieting
  • Habitual patterns
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Availability of food

How to Stop Overeating at Night

You may find yourself eating when you are full and not hungry at night, but did you know that night eating can cause you to consume more calories that are bad for your body? Here’s how to stop overeating at night when you’re full. 

  • Identify the cause 

Your night food intake may be because you deprive yourself of enough food during the day, binge eating, or just boredom. So when you identify the cause, you can easily find the proper steps to solve the problem. 

  • Have a meal plan 

A meal plan can assist you in breaking the unhealthy eating habit by controlling your food intake and staving off hunger. 

  • Fight anxiety and stress 

Anxiety and stress are often the two reasons people eat when they are not hungry. Still, you need to understand that using food to curb your emotions is a temporary solution instead of finding other positive ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

5 Obsessive Overeating Symptoms

1. Frequent episodes of overeating

Individuals with compulsive overeating often experience recurring episodes of consuming vast amounts of food within a relatively short period. They may lose control during these episodes and continue eating despite physical discomfort.

2. Emotional eating

Compulsive overeaters often use food as a way to cope with emotional distress. They may turn to food to alleviate stress, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, or boredom. Eating becomes a way to soothe or numb these emotions temporarily.

3. Eating in secrecy or isolation

People with compulsive overeating tendencies may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their eating behaviors. They may hide their excessive food consumption from others and eat in solitude to avoid judgment or scrutiny.

4. Preoccupation with food and eating

Thoughts of food and eating consume a significant amount of mental energy for individuals with compulsive overeating. They may constantly think about food, plan future meals or binges, and fantasize about certain foods. This preoccupation can interfere with daily activities and relationships.

5. Feelings of guilt and distress

After a binge-eating episode, individuals with compulsive overeating often experience intense guilt, shame, and regret. They may feel distressed about their lack of control around food and its negative impact on their physical and emotional well-being.

Also, read – Psychology of Eating: How Food Affects Mood

How to Stop Compulsive Overeating Binge Eating

Compulsive overeating or binge eating is recognized as a psychological disorder disturbing many people around the globe. People suffering from binge eating eat large amounts of food even when they are not hungry, and after that, they will start feeling shame or guilt.

Do you want to know how to lose weight when you have a binge eating disorder? Binge eating can result in serious health issues such as weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Here are some steps to take to stop this eating disorder. 

Focus on eating a healthy diet 

Don’t cut yourself from those foods at once; instead, focus on eating a healthy diet while slowly reducing the intake of those unhealthy meals. 

Know when you are full

Train your mind to know when you are full to improve your eating behavior and decrease binge eating incidence. 


Yoga is long proven to improve emotional stability, reduce stress, and increase relaxation. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce the risk of overeating. 

Clean your kitchen

Remove those unhealthy groceries and fill your fridge with healthy vegetables and foodstuff; this will improve your diet quality and make it hard to binge eat.

Compulsive Eating

Understanding compulsive eating is a critical component of overcoming overeating!

Compulsive eating is similar to binge eating. Many people have this disorder and find it hard to talk to others. Compulsive eating means frequently eating more than what your body needs. 

The best solution to stop this behavior is to determine how many calories you need a day based on your age and body size, eat slowly, and develop a schedule of eating at the same time every day. 

Overeating Disorder

Sometimes you might think it is ok to overeat food, but you might not know you have already developed an overeating disorder. People with overeating disease mostly have a clinical condition called Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

A condition in which people overeat and then feel ashamed or guilty about it. When you overeat, your metabolism speeds up in an attempt to burn off the extra calories. That’s why when you overeat, you usually feel hot and uncomfortable. 

Also, read – Psychology of Weight Loss

Depression and Binge Eating – How to End the Cycle

It can seem like an uphill struggle if you’re battling with depression and binge eating, but there is hope. There are certain actions you can take to start breaking the pattern of overeating brought on by depression, but it will take time.

The first step is to identify when your depression leads to overeating. Becoming aware of the signs you’re about to overeat is the key to breaking out of this cycle. For example, are there certain emotions or situations that trigger your depression and lead to overeating? Make a list of these triggers so you can be aware when they arise and take steps to prevent yourself from overeating as a response. 

Moreover, find healthier coping mechanisms to deal with your depression. While turning to food for comfort can be tempting, this isn’t a sustainable solution. Instead, try yoga or meditation to help you manage difficult emotions more productively.

How to Stop Overeating

What Is the Difference Between Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa?

The primary distinction between bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder is that people with bulimia attempt to counteract the effects of their binging by purging (e.g., vomiting, taking laxatives). Those with binge eating disorders do not engage in any compensatory behaviors after a period of binging. Binge eaters often feel ashamed, guilty, and disgusted with their behavior. 

  • Both bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder can lead to severe physical and mental health issues, such as weight gain, electrolyte imbalances, depression, anxiety, and an increased risk for other medical conditions. 

Treatment for these disorders typically involves a combination of psychotherapy (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and family therapy), dietary counseling, medication (if necessary), and lifestyle changes.

How Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Help You Control Your Eating?

It can assist you in becoming aware of false or unfavorable thoughts so you can see difficult situations more clearly and react to them more skillfully. CBT can be used to recognize and alter harmful eating patterns, such as emotional eating.

To use CBT for controlling your eating, start by recognizing how specific thoughts trigger your urge to overeat. These are known as thought distortions—thinking patterns that cause us to distort reality in negative ways. Examples include jumping to conclusions, overgeneralizing, black-and-white thinking, and other cognitive errors. Once you recognize these thought distortions, you can challenge them with more realistic thinking.

Also, read – How to Lose Weight With Intuitive Eating?

The Bottom Line: You Understand How to Avoid Overeating!

If you are struggling with eating disorders, you must seek help from our professionals.  It is difficult to know how to stop binge eating when bored, but once you open up, you will find straightforward, easy strategies to stop the behavior. 

There are many strategies to help you stop overeating and create healthy eating habits. By being aware of your triggers and cravings, getting rid of distractions when you eat, identifying the importance of mindful eating, drinking more water, and avoiding multitasking while eating, you can make significant strides in improving your eating habits. 

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results from changing your eating habits. Making healthier choices will become second nature with patience and perseverance!

William is from Canada, he is passionate nutrition & wellness writer. William understands that the topic of wellness is still not well understood, so his goal is to enlighten and teach people how to live healthier and happier in their bodies.

Carmen Van Rensburg is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in the field. She has demonstrated expertise in devising exercise-based rehabilitation services that promote wellness and recovery. Her instructive techniques in conducting safe and effective exercise sessions have significantly aided individuals in various areas. These include weight loss, improving muscle strength, optimizing cardiovascular function, enhancing body composition, increasing flexibility, and facilitating recovery from chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.