The real reason why you may binge on food
If sometimes is becoming often, here are some of the reasons why you may be eating too much – and what to do about it.
Problem: Unbalanced macros
New research found our drive for protein is so powerful we overeat in our pursuit to consume more of it. A University of Sydney study published in Cell Metabolism reveals calorie intake increases as protein intake decreases.
Solution: The researchers recommend that high-quality protein – low in fat and high in good-quality complex carbohydrates – comprises 15 to 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake. Chow down on lean meats, legumes, fish, eggs and tofu.
Whether it’s the portion sizes at your local, a bout of intense work stress or mindless nibbling in front of the telly, there’s a whole gamut of reasons why we eat more than what we need or when we’re not hungry at all.
Solution: Try to eat intuitively – only when you’re hungry. Focus on eating when you feel hungry and stopping when you feel full.
It turns out the expression ‘feast your eyes’ is accurate. Research suggests that when we can choose from a wide variety of foods – say, at Christmas lunch or a hotel buffet breakfast – we eat more. Called the ‘smorgasbord effect’, new flavours are thought to stimulate renewed eating, whereas we quickly grow bored of a single flavour and stop eating sooner.
Solution: Limit yourself to a few choices rather than sampling a little of everything to keep the smorgasbord effect in check.