A group of friends clink wine glasses over a table filled with various food dishes.
Centr Team

5 ways you might be overeating without realising

Centr Team

Here’s a secret: no one has perfect self-control. When it comes to food, we all go a little overboard sometimes, eating way more than we should and throwing our best-laid nutrition plans into (hopefully brief) chaos.

But you don’t need to let overeating take you by surprise. Knowledge is power – pinpointing how and why you might accidentally be overeating will arm you for the battle against bad habits.

To help you figure out what you're up against, we’ve identified the five types of overeating and how to take back control.

1. Too much snacking

Everyone loves a good snack, and it’s not hard to understand why. We tend to feel our guiltiest about our eating habits when we feel full. With snacking, you can graze on treats all day while avoiding that swollen belly shame of a too-large sit-down meal. But what you don’t avoid is the calories.

To keep yourself from blowing your calorie budget on treats, time your snacks carefully. Pre and post-workout snacks are perfect – they’ll get you through hard gym sessions and help you with recovery.

2. Over-indulging in treats

Treat meals have their place in a balanced, healthy diet. But when it goes from a single burger to a full blow-out buffet of indulgence, you can find yourself feeling not-so-great afterwards. Enough slip-ups can cause you to throw out your healthy eating plan altogether – especially if it’s a tough, restrictive one.

The first thing to do is not be so hard on yourself. Beating yourself up after a binge only makes you more likely to do it next time. Treat yourself with respect and kindness.

Then set yourself firm ground rules. Try planning your healthy, balanced meals out at the start of the week. Prep your meals, schedule any small treats you plan on having, and keep to whole foods rather than processed. A healthy food-to-treat balance of 90/10 or 80/20 will help you feel satisfied without the binge. Of course, with Centr meal plans, we do all this legwork for you.

3. Too much of a good thing

Eating good food feels, well, good. So, of course it makes sense that sometimes we can go too hard on nutrient-dense foods that we’ve been told are great for us, feasting on fruit or adding handfuls of nuts to every meal. But healthy calories are still calories, so if you’re eating nutritious, whole foods and gaining unwanted weight, this could be the reason.

If you don't have Centr balancing your meal plan, just try to be thoughtful about your portions. Peanut butter is great, but there’s a limit to how much you need. If you're demolishing half a jar by the spoonful, it's probably time to pull back.

Peanut Butter Energy Bites from the Centr meal plan.

Centr meal plans don't mean giving up peanut butter, though. Just look at Dan Chuchill's Peanut Butter Energy Bites.

4. Going back for seconds

When you’re partway through a really delicious dinner, chances are you’re already thinking about going back to the kitchen for more. But seconds aren’t just a few extra calories – they’re pretty much a whole extra meal.

Instead of rushing through your plate and dreaming of your second round, try eating mindfully. Relish every bite and keep your mind on what’s in front of you. You’ll find that extra helpings lose their appeal.

5. A fast food habit

Fast food and 'junk' food can provide a quick surge of sugar and salt to pick us up when we’re down. At best, they’re a ton of empty calories without any nutritional value. Studies suggest they could also have worrying long-term effects, increasing health risks down the line. Rather than turning to food that’ll ultimately make you feel worse, choose healthy, whole foods to keep your body happy and promote both better sleep and better workouts.

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