Imagine a world where people only ate when they were hungry and stopped when they were full. Obesity would be nonexistent. But in reality, we are constantly bombarded with environmental cues that encourage us to overeat.
Here are eight environmental factors that can lead to overeating:
- Enticing smells and sounds: The smell of freshly baked cookies or the sound of popping popcorn can make us hungry, even if we’re not actually hungry.
- Eating while distracted: When we’re eating while watching TV, reading a book, or working on the computer, we’re more likely to overeat because we’re not paying attention to how much we’re eating.
- Large portion sizes: Many restaurants and fast food chains serve portions that are much larger than what we need to eat.
- Easy access to unhealthy foods: We’re surrounded by unhealthy foods wherever we go, from vending machines at work to convenience stores on the way home.
- Fast food: Fast food is convenient and affordable, but it’s also high in calories, fat, and salt.
- Unrealistic portion sizes: We’re often exposed to unrealistic portion sizes in advertising and social media. This can make us think that it’s normal to eat more than we actually need to eat.
- Jumbo-sized food packages: Jumbo-sized food packages may seem like a good deal, but they encourage us to eat more than we need to.
- Large dishware: Studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they’re using large plates and bowls.
- Buffets: Buffets can be tempting because they offer a wide variety of food. However, it’s easy to overeat at a buffet if you’re not careful.
If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to be aware of these environmental factors. By making small changes to your environment, you can make it easier to stick to a healthy diet.
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid eating while distracted.
- Choose smaller portion sizes.
- Limit your intake of fast food and unhealthy snacks.
- Be aware of unrealistic portion sizes in advertising and social media.
- Buy smaller-sized food packages.
- Use smaller plates and bowls when eating.
- Be mindful of what you’re eating at buffets.
By making these changes, you can reduce your risk of overeating and improve your overall health.