Thoughts that can cause you to eat more than you want to

We have all heard of emotional eating. It may surprise you however to know that sometimes our thoughts can drive us to eat more than we want to too. This thought-led eating can trigger over-eating in much the same way as emotional eating can. Here are some examples of thoughts that can trigger you to over-eat when you perhaps don’t want to eat as much:

I have already been “bad” I might as well continue

Often once we have had one “unhealthy” food, this can sometimes trigger an “all or nothing” mindset where we then feel that we might as well have lots of “unhealthy” foods. Of course, it is much better for us to just have one donught or one slice of cake, rather than 4... but for some reason, even just having one of these things, together with the thought that “I have been “bad”” can trigger us to over-eat even though we don’t want to/need to.

I feel fat/ my clothes are too tight

Strangely thoughts that we are too fat or that we don’t feel good in our clothes can drive us to seek out food for comfort. Often thinking that we are too fat can trigger thoughts that “there is no point in even trying” and then eating more food than we want to.

I am too far from my goal

If the goal we have set for ourselves in terms of weight loss or health seems too far away, then it can be tempting to not even bother trying to reach the goal at all. When we feel frustrated or annoyed that the goal we want to reach is too far in the distant future, it can be tempting to postpone trying to reach that goal until some point in the future too. This may lead us to overeat in that moment, thinking “that goal feels unreachable” and promising to “try again” at a later date...

I will be “good” from tomorrow instead

Often we can tell ourselves that we will start eating more healthily from tomorrow/on Monday/next week - however this thought is just a way of giving ourselves permission to over-indulge right now. This thought of putting-off healthy eating is another form of “all or nothing thinking” - we believe that we are either being “good” or “bad” and that there are no in betweens.

I feel full so I might as well feel “fuller”

As we are so often programmed to believe that in order to lose weight, we need to restrict our food intake and stay hungry - we can feel a little uncomfortable if we feel full (even just slightly full and satisfied) - and these feelings of fullness can drive us to have thoughts that we “might as well eat more now that we have blown it and are no longer successfully starving ourselves”.