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Examining Overeating

OvereatingContrary to what some may believe, the majority of people that are overweight or obese are not binge eating a bag of chips or a gallon of ice cream every day. People that are overweight or obese tend to take in 300-400 extra calories per day causing a steady increase in weight.

Part of the problem is that most people have no idea how many calories they should consume in a day to maintain their weight. A registered dietitian can help you calculate the approximate number of calories that you need based on your gender, body, weight and activity level.

Examining overeating behavior is another important strategy for losing and then maintaining a healthy weight. During those times when you may overeat or graze excessively take a close look at your feelings and the circumstances in which you are doing so. There can be physical reasons for overeating and there can be emotional reasons. Physical hunger occurs gradually whereas emotional hunger is sudden.

When eating to fill an emotional void, people typically choose a specific food. When you eat to satisfy a physical hunger, typically a variety of foods are acceptable. When eating to attempt to fill an emotional void, you are more likely to keep eating even past being full, creating feeling of guilt. Realizing the behaviors associated with overeating and how many calories are ideal for you is one of the first steps to managing your eating and health.

By: Molly McBrayer, Clinical Manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services

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