We have all done it at one time or another, and it happens for a range of different reasons: overeating. Boredom, too much good food, an inability to clearly define and identify hunger, or just because the food was there are some of the reasons we do it. Done occasionally, it's not such an issue. But for those of us who overeat regularly, and gain weight as a result, it may be time to take a closer look at why we're doing it.
Eating too much is easy because the body lets it happen. Hunger is a strong sensation. If fullness was anywhere near as strong perhaps fewer of us would have issues about regulating the volume of food that we eat. If it's been some time since you managed to stop eating at the right time, it may be time to get back in touch with your body's natural signals. Try serving yourself much smaller portions, even half of your regular meal if you have to, and eat as slowly as possible. Try ending the meal a mouthful or two before you usually would, to remind yourself what "comfortably full" feels like. This will take time (weeks, even months), but is an important process to work through to remind yourself of the body's natural hunger and satiety (fullness) signals.
The most important thing to do if you or other family members are prone to overeating is to limit the type and volume of food in the home. My clients are always shocked to hear that if food is kept in the home, they will eat it. Numerous studies by behavioural eating researcher Brian Wansick have shown that the more food we have around, and the more of it we can see, the more of it we will eat. So forget the idea of having a lolly jar on your desk that you only raid in emergencies, or a packet of biscuits in the cupboard that you only open if guests visit. If it is there, you will eat it. The final strategy is to compensate when you do overindulge. A day of simple salad and soups and some extra exercise will not only help you feel better when you have overeaten, but it will teach you to balance your intake with your output on a daily basis.