Why do I eat so much?

In this brief article, we will answer the query,”Why do I eat so much?” We will explain how compulsive eating starts. We will look at some symptoms of compulsive eating disorder. We will also briefly discuss how to control compulsive eating.

Why do I eat so much?

If you find yourself eating so much all the time you may be having a clinical disorder that is known as binge eating disorder (BED) or compulsive overeating. People that have BED usually eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time and afterwards feel guilt or shame.

Not all people that overfeed are bingers. There are people who eat a lot of food but throughout the day instead of a single sitting. You might also not overeat regularly but only in situations where you feel stressed, lonely or are upset.

Some of the characteristics of eating disorder are:

  • Consuming large amounts of food.
  • Eating food quickly 
  • Eating even in situations when you are no longer hungry.

How does compulsive overeating start?

Compulsive overeating usually starts slowly such as a mindless habit of watching Tv with a bag of chips and overtime this becomes a norm. It has however been largely associated with underlying emotional distress such as having a negative body image.

It can also occur due to a traumatic childhood event or after restrictive dieting. The home environment of a person can also come into effect. For instance, compulsive overeating has been associated with people whose parents were not present or good role models for eating.

What are some symptoms of compulsive overeating?

People who compulsively overeat usually do it alone and usually shy away from talking about their eating disorder.

If you notice that you or someone you know has the below symptoms of binge eating, then ensure that you talk to a healthcare provider:

  • Eating a little when in public and a whole lot in private.
  • Having negative feelings about yourself because of your weight.
  • Feeling depressed after overeating
  • Feeling tormented because of eating habits.
  • Binge eating
  • Going on and off many diets.

How can I control compulsive overeating?

Seek help

If you find that you are overeating, it is advisable that you seek professional help more so if there are some emotional distress that have contributed to it. Seeking help from a counselor can assist in identifying the psychological triggers such as a negative body image that may be causing your compulsive overeating.

Avoid labels

Labeling yourself such as having thoughts that you are a bad person can trigger feelings of overeating as a form of comfort and this can put you in a vicious cycle.

The same thing applies to food. For instance, if you label ‘food is food’ then you are more prone to consuming any kind of food even unhealthy foods and this can result in a variety of health complications.

Take a pause

When you have an urge to eat, take a pause and query yourself if indeed you are hungry. This is because most times people get so fixated on what they want to eat to a point that they do not stop and query if they are hungry.

If you get used to eating food as a means of coping then you can forget the cues that represent feelings of hunger or fullness and it is required that you get back that awareness in your body.

Change your environment

If you find yourself in an environment that has caused a bad habit in you, one of the simplest ways of stopping it is by changing the environment. This will give you a great opportunity to make more purposeful decisions. 

Give into cravings 

It is okay to give in to cravings just ensure that you consume the food in moderation. This is because if you ban foods this can result in you overeating them later on. So, if you have a craving for a particular food even if you are not hungry, consume a small amount of it.

You can read more about how to stop overeating by clicking here.


In this brief article, we have answered the query,”Why do I eat so much?” We have explained how compulsive eating starts. We have looked at some symptoms of compulsive eating disorder. We have also briefly discussed how to control compulsive eating.



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