Overeating is usually triggered by physiological and emotional causes. If your eating behaviours are caused by a physiological factor, you might want to get in touch with a medical professional. There might be complex causes, such as hormonal dysregulation that makes you eat more than you’d want to. 

Similarly, overeating can be also caused by a calorie deficit. If you’re trying to lose weight and you find yourself constantly hungry, it might be that your body is trying to compensate for the loss of calories by making you overeat. A good idea would be to calculate the total amount of calories you need in a day based on your body weight and physical activity and ensure that you do not put yourself in a big calorie deficit. 

Or perhaps your diet is simply not meeting the nutritional values your body eats. You might eat less protein and fats than you need, which is why you are likely to binge on food often. 

Lastly, the psychology of why we overeat can be also linked to emotional causes. If you find yourself binging on food often wondering ‘Why do I overeat’ while feeling guilty, this might indicate that you are using food as a form of emotional comfort. For example, you might overeat at night to cope with the thoughts that appear in your mind when trying to sleep. 

Also, read – How To Stop Binge Eating At Night

Seek emotional support to manage your emotions and see in what situations you use food as a coping mechanism. However, if you resolved all these causes and still haven’t found the right answer to ‘why do people overeat’, seek support from someone who can help you with managing your habits around food and eating. 

It is best to avoid feeling guilty and punishing yourself for your eating behaviors. Most likely, your appetite tries to communicate something. Regardless of whether the cause is physiological or emotional, your overeating patterns have a deeper cause. Be gentle with yourself and ask for support on this journey. 

Asked by: Karine L.

CBT Psychologist / Cognitive Neuroscientist

Teodora is a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in Psychology and Integrative Psychotherapy. She has experience working in clinical trials with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients and adults with various mental health diagnoses. She has an integrative approach towards mental health and aims to help people recognize the importance of physical, emotional, and spiritual health to their overall mental wellness.