Especially in recent weeks, I’ve been asking myself this question. Why am I overeating? I built this website to help others on their own fitness journeys. Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain lean muscle, there’s plenty of information here about it.
My goal has been to help others get into the best shape of their lives, and while I have learned a whole lot about how to successfully drop unwanted fat and get toned, I’m still human. Mistakes happen and old habits can come back.
So, this article will answer the question, “why am I overeating?”, and please know, this is my own opinion based on my own experience.
I Believe Overeating A Mental Block
The one thing I’ve gathered from my own experience is that overeating is a mental issue, which makes it complicated. It’s not necessarily so simple to stop doing, because it’s hard to understand exactly why it happens when it does. And by the time I’ve realized I’ve done it, the food is already in my belly.
This is why I think Noom is a great weight loss program. Its approach to weight loss is psychology-based, rather than one that focuses on strict dieting. The whole purpose of the program is to get people to pinpoint which bad eating habits they’ve developed, and then take baby steps to destroy those habits and build solid new ones.
I’ve been overeating in the middle of the night recently. This is called night-eating syndrome, which I’ve written about before. I overcame it at the beginning of the pandemic, right when I discovered that developing simple eating habits (not dieting) are the way to truly drop unwanted pounds and sculpt your body.
I lost 15 pounds of fat and started packing on lean muscle, which was so inspiring, I started this blog to help others on their own fitness journeys as well.
So, now, I’m again overeating in the middle of the night, which I believe has to do with the fact that I’m eating at a calorie surplus, covered in the last section of this article. But the point is, this food is being eaten in my sleep, and it’s going far beyond my daily calorie budget.
In some ways, I’m not stressing a ton about it, but in other ways, I’m bummed out that these old habits are back. The one thing I truly believe is that overeating revolves around our emotions and mental barriers that cause us to do things we know are wrong.
Below, I’ll summarize a few other reasons you may be overeating.
Being Stressed Out
There have been research studies that point to a connection with emotional or physical stress that causes people to overeat. In fact, when we’re stressed out, cortisol is released, and because of this, it causes people to specifically crave foods that aren’t necessarily healthy, whether they’re sugary or salty. It’s usually some form of fatty junk food.
Too Much Cardio Or Dieting
This was a huge lesson in my own life. For years, I moved from one cardio program and diet to the next. I always believed that intense cardio and low-carb eating is how we lose unwanted fat. From Orange Theory classes to Kickboxing, and Beachbody workouts to daily jogs, I was a cardio fanatic. I also ate 6 small low-carb meals a day.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that when we do too much intense cardio or restrict ourselves of the foods we love, it can cause us to become ravenously hungry, making it far more likely for us to overeat.
So, it’s quite possible that we’re sabotaging our own efforts to get into shape, simply by overdoing the cardio portion of our fitness programs or restricting ourselves too much in our diets.
When I was living a cardio low carb life, my night-time eating was at its worst, and I’m sure I overate 300 – 500 calories every single night, simply cause I’d wake up, go to the fridge, and tell myself it was okay to do.
Why was it okay to do? I believe what was going on is that I was justifying in my head that I lived a healthy lifestyle all day long. It’s okay to do this. That’s my guess anyway, and this is exactly why I feel Noom is a great program, which is designed to help us pinpoint what kind of thinking is hindering us, and how to turn our habits around.
With all the low-carb dieting and 6 days a week of cardio, I never got into the shape I was after.
I Am Trying To Gain Weight
Lastly, I’ll add here that my guess is that one of the reasons I’m overeating in the middle of the night so much recently, is that I am legitimately trying to gain weight. The way I’m doing this is by eating at a 500 daily calorie surplus.
And even though I’m doing that, those calories are all coming in during the daytime hours. So the extra calories I’m taking in are all in the middle of the night. Maybe deep down I’m justifying once again that it’s okay to do this, because I’m trying to hit a target weight before I start to cut fat again.
But, that doesn’t change the fact that this is still overeating and a bad habit. So, I’m in a weird head space lately, realizing that I’m doing this, and it’s not right. But it’s happening. Yes, I’m trying to gain weight, but doing it this way is unhealthy.
Overeating In Summary
It’s a complicated topic I feel. Overeating isn’t so cut and dry, and I’m sure the reasons behind it are different from person to person. I know my own triggers and reasons. They’re always related to being asleep and walking to the fridge justifying my actions.
One thing that has worked very well for my nighttime eating BTW is sparkling water. While I can’t give a clear-cut answer as to why I’m not utilizing this tip right now, I can say that it has been a great way to stop me from grabbing anything random out of the fridge.
I just buy flavored sparkling waters, and what I notice is that when I just drink a sip of it, my mental hunger cravings diminish substantially.
I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions at all regarding anything laid out above, please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading.