Don’t feel bad if I tell you to stop overeating. May be you think that you’ve all the rights to do what you want to, and you know what you’re doing.
Well, I don’t think so. Many of you do not know what you’re doing. You probably do not bother to stop overeating thinking of it as a harmless behavior.
If such is the case, then think again!
Overeating IS harmful. It does more harm than good. Sometimes you do not come to know when eating turns into overeating and you make yourself vulnerable to a host of diseases.
I know not everybody overeats. Or maybe you do it only rarely or occasionally when you’ve a party, celebration, or when you’re on a vacation. Or does it happen more often?
Recent studies show that if you indulge in overeating for as little as a month, its impact can result in long-term weight gain.
But seriously, do you know what tempts you to overeat?
Why Do You Overeat
You overeat because you like the food. You love the taste, the feeling, and can’t stop yourself from having more of it. And then, of course, now everywhere you’re served larger portions!
True, but there’s more to it.
You cannot stop overeating because you ignore the body’s call to take such an action. Your senses get the better of your intellect. You do what your mind, the king of all senses, says.
This is not the only reason. You also go on binge eating or compulsive overeating because you might be under stress, anxiety, or suffer from depression.
You begin to treat overeating as a coping mechanism to face the negative mental states. Even boredom and skipping meals leads to binge eating.
More reasons are lack of self-respect, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, lack of self-control, feelings of guilt, emotional problems, inability to express yourself, trauma, and others.
These all add to the miseries of overeating, emotional eating, and other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Whenever you overindulge, there’s a surge in the blood sugar levels. The pancreas then spills out more insulin, which lowers the blood sugar levels.
The brain gets alarmed by this sudden lowering of the blood sugar, which acts as a false message. Now, in order to increase the glucose levels, the brain creates craving for sugary food.
So, you start eating more even if you’re not hungry. This binge eating cycle continues, unless you make efforts to break it.
Why Should You Stop Overeating
Overeating causes the body to gain extra calories and additional fat deposits around the waist and other parts of the body. This leads to weight gain.
If your weight spins out of control, you risk obesity. With it come many health disorders and diseases that you would not want to even know about.
They are –
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Chronic back pain
- Heart disease
Aren’t these eye-openers and strong reasons enough to ring the alarm in your mind to stop overeating?
Maybe a better knowledge of the working of your digestive system and how overeating happens might help you stop yourself from overeating.
What Happens When You Overeat
Your stomach has a limited capacity. When you overeat, you stuff your stomach with food. Beyond a certain limit the stomach muscles start stretching and expanding.
When the body senses that your stomach muscle is stretching beyond its limits, hormones get into action and send a signal to the brain to ring an alarm for you.
This is to tell you to stop eating!
But you’re either busy talking to somebody, engrossed in watching TV, or surfing the Web and you ignore or don’t even notice the alarm.
So, what happens is that your stomach balloons up and causes pain and discomfort. However, frequent overeaters and their stomach muscles get used to this phenomenon.
With the excess of food in the stomach, it becomes difficult for the digestive enzymes to act upon the food and digest it.
Since the process takes more time now, the stomach remains full and causes additional misery. The food isn’t pushed into the small intestine unless it is properly liquefied.
Too much of food in the stomach and its bloating makes it push against the diaphragm that lies just below the lungs. This may bring some pain and difficulty in breathing.
If your meal consisted of fatty food, chances are that the valve between the stomach and esophagus, your food pipe, opens up.
It causes the acidic liquid from the stomach to flow back into your mouth and give a sour taste. There’s also a sensation of burning better known as heartburn.
If the stomach bloats extraordinarily, then there are three things that can happen. The person vomits, suffers from diarrhea, or the stomach ruptures.
But in case of compulsive binge eaters, the stomach muscles become too weak to throw up the excess food, so that food remains in the stomach, and part of it converts to fat.
What Happens After You Overeat
You experience a sick feeling after overeating. The stomach gets bloated and you have a food hangover.
Besides having an upset stomach, you may experience passing gas, belching, mood swings, burning eyes, and other discomforts.
How to Stop Overeating
If you feel you’re a compulsive binge eater, the first step is to get medical help. Contact your general practitioner or health care provider and seek help and suggestion.
You might be put under medication or given psychological therapies. The medical professionals will also suggest you take a self-help programme.
If you’re overweight then a weight loss plan and training from an expert will help and do you good. You can also take the following precautions, measures, and make them part of your habit, routine, or lifestyle.
- Keep a food diary
- Track what you eat
- Eat little and often
- Eat food high in complex carbohydrates
- Eat slow
- Practice mindful eating
- Avoid eating sugary foods
- Cut out alcohol and caffeine
- Do not engage in dieting
- Have healthy and balanced meals
- Manage your stress
- Avoid temptation
- Exercise daily
- Fight boredom
- Get enough sleep
- Listen to your body
- Do relaxation exercises like breathing and meditation
- Get control over your mind
- Be happy
- Get support
There can be many other tips, suggestions, and ways to force yourself to stop overeating. If you know of any, do share in the comments.
Remember, cutting down on overeating saves you money and time. It definitely betters the quality of your life as you remain away from the dreadful obesity related diseases.
The consequences of overeating are bad. The best way to stay away from them is to stop overeating.
Obesity is spreading fast all around the world. Part of it is due to our overeating behavior, carelessness, and lack of responsibility in taking proactive steps to avoid it.
Over to you –
Do you overeat or have experienced overeating? Do you know of anybody who suffers from overeating disorders? How do you or they try to stop overeating? Share your thoughts and experiences and help others.
Photo Credits: FreeDigitalPhotos
Posted on: January 25th, 2013
Last Updated on: January 29th, 2013