It’s easy to over-dramatize the odd extra helping as a ‘binge’ or ‘blowout’, but if you are constantly eating more than your body needs, there may be good reasons.

You’re not eating enough protein

The human body’s drive for protein is so powerful that it will keep consuming food until its protein needs are met according to a University of Sydney study. As protein intake decreases, kilojoule intake increases, researchers reported. Consume 15 to 20% of daily kilojoules from high-quality, low-fat protein sources. Lean meats, legumes, fish, eggs and tofu all qualify.

Eating while doing something else

Whether it’s the portion sizes at your local, a bout of intense work stress or mindless nibbling in front of the TV, there’s a whole gamut of reasons why we eat more than what we need or when we’re not hungry at all. Try to eat intuitively – only when you’re hungry. Focus on eating when you feel hungry and stopping when you feel full.

Overwhelming your taste buds

Research suggests that when we can choose from a wide variety of foods, we generally eat more. Under the ‘smorgasbord effect’, new flavors are thought to stimulate appetite while bland or monotonous menus bore us into disinterest. Try to limit yourself to just a few choices.