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Sunday, September 25, 2022
HomeLifestyleAdvice On Overindulge In Eating

Advice On Overindulge In Eating

It has been a norm a lot more these days, sometimes over Zoom calls and sometimes thrown around the house. When I catch someone eating their third snack of the day, with a guilty smile they’ll laugh, “I know, but I can’t help it.”

Like opening our phone to social media after we’ve promised ourselves to reduce on our screen time, it’s characterized by an incessant nagging feeling that needs attending to, even when we don’t really want to engage. You might try to tell the voice to go away, that you’re trying to concentrate, but you know that you have it when not ten minutes later you’re in the kitchen looking for something to eat.

The persistent of need to eat something even when we aren’t hungry is a frustrating problem many of us face — perhaps even more so during a time we are increasingly spending more time at home, when we are always a short walk from the kitchen.

But there is something so forgiving, and perhaps slightly endearing. It’s less shameful in nature than terms like ‘mindless binging’ or ‘compulsive overeating’, for it acknowledges that it’s less of a disgraceful problem than it is just being human. Like how we are all susceptible to loneliness, we are all susceptible to eating out of boredom.

And like how you might cope with loneliness, instead of berating yourself or brooding in guilt for how you feel, the best cure for a lonely mouth is with a bit of empathy. Try not to go overboard with it — all helpful coping is done in moderation — but the idea is to let yourself enjoy a bit of cathartic snacking.

But wait, isn’t it a bad idea to eat when you’re not hungry? Shouldn’t you just force yourself to not eat?

If the solution were that easy, healthy eating wouldn’t be a problem, but exercising willpower and forcing ourselves not to eat rarely ever works. Instead of satisfying our cravings, it feeds into our guilt when we end up “breaking”, tripping a sort of all or nothing mindset: we tell ourselves we’ve made a critical mistake, and so we shame ourselves into making the problem worse.

Eating out of boredom happens to us, nevertheless it is about shaping it as a natural feeling and a forgiving experience, rather than to shove down those feelings. For once we recognize and confront it, we end up making better decisions after the fact than exacerbating self-sabotaging behavior on guilt-triggered impulses.

So next time you’re craving something to eat, maybe you’ll engage, and maybe you won’t, but don’t feel bad if your mouth is feeling a bit lonely these days. Sometimes laughing about it and moving on is the best thing you can do after eating a bit too much.

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