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Overeating is a Modern Day Health Issue

December 31, 2017 By , , , ,
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Through the HCG Diet at The Natural Path, I learned NOT to overeat!

Do you Find Yourself Overeating?

Over eating has many negative impacts on the body.  It impacts our digestion. It affects our mood.  It stalls our energy levels and causes us to store excess body fat. When my patients come to me with weight issues this is one of the first avenues that we explore. My approach is to always make my HCG Diet patients feel comfortable and never judged.  There are many physiological and psychological reasons that human beings choose to eat beyond the functional need to live and the simple pleasure of enjoying food in moderation.
Afterall, we need an appetite. We are human and we have a NEED to eat.  Humans are also programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  Eating fills this basic need to avoid the pain of hunger and to find pleasure in the food itself.


Reasons that our Physiology and Psychology Might Cause us to OVEREAT!

Awareness. Presence.
Today, many of us eat on the run. We eat without even truly tasting our food. I am 100% guilty of this sometimes.  When you eat without any awareness,  your brain is not able to register the taste, pleasure, aroma and satisfaction of your food. Believe it or not, this has a strong impact on digestion.  This is called the cephallic phase digestive response.   This does not happen when you eat without your brain on board.
So, what can you do?  The answer is totally profound in simplicity — you sit down and take a quiet moment to eat. With each mouthful you tune in to the taste, texture, temperature, aroma, etc of your food and you enjoy it while chewing it SLOWLY!  The body goes through many processes as we eat in preparation for proper digestion. Without the brain registering the food, the digestive process does not happen as thoroughly.


When my weight loss patients sit down to chat with me for the first time,  I often ask how long they have been “dieting”?  “My whole life!” is a very common answer.  This is when we have the discussion about making changes and creating a lifestyle that feels healthy and in  non-deprivational.  Being too rigid will set the stage for failure so we create a plan that suits the needs of each individual person.  Education is a big part of this process.

When it comes to having a strong burning metabolism, cutting calories is never a good way to go. Here and there through the dieting process, the brain will scream out “I am hungry.” When the body senses the condition of starvation, it slows metabolism down and increases the potential for fat storage. Muscle building will not be a high priority for a body that is in a starvation mode. With a calorie restricted diet, you are training your body to down regulate calorie burning.  Not. Good. Period.
Macronutrient Necessity

We need macronutrients — protein, fat, carb, water, fiber.  One of the most old, out dated science about eating is that we should eat a diet that is low in fat. High quality fats are so good for the body.  The problem is with the psychology of this word “fat.”  If we do not get enough fat, the brain thinks it is “hungry.”  If you are low in any macronutrient your brain will signal “hunger” so that you can get more nutritional balance.

Be sure you have the proper balance of macronutrients in your diet!  Cutting corners on one can trigger hunger.
Stress can mean so many human emotions. Stress is actually more of a chemistry that gets triggered in the body in response to certain situations.  Other words for stress chemistry are   anxiety, fear, negative self talk, negative self thoughts, negative thoughts about others, etc.
The way we talk to our selves and the thoughts that we experience are powerful.  In some ways, the body/mind/spirit is having a real or imagined experience with thoughts that can create a fight or flight response (stress). The fight or flight response will shut down digestion and alter the appetite. Stress chemistry takes metabolic energy and puts it towards survival. Stress chemistry triggers the release of the hormones insulin and cortisol which tell the body to store fat and not to build muscle.  They also tell the body not to sense pleasure. When this happens, we have the need to find pleasure (as it is a basic human need) and we turn to food for that temporary sense of pleasure.
You are just being human and obeying your physiology
However, this is where awareness must come in.  We must over ride these instinctual parts of our brain and be the voice of reason!  If we can become aware of this response we can do something about it  — we can help manage the stressors or even find other ways to seek pleasure that will not put extra weight and inflammation on the body.

but being aware needs to happen in order to make this better.



Sleep has a great deal to do with appetite.  When we do not get enough sleep we will under produce leptin.  Leptin is needed to tell us when we are full.  This can cause us to lose natural appetite regulation.

Symbolic Substitute

The Mind is brilliant. When we cannot get what we want, we tend to reach for the closest approximation thereof. Ex, if we cannot get the love we desire, we may look for a dog to take it’s place.  One of the most common symbolic substitutes is FOOD. The mentality is … Eat food –> Feel better. Some foods can raise endorphins within 30 seconds of eating and this signals pleasure.  The problem is that most of the food we choose is not actually good for us and causes inflammation in our bodies which leads to a whole cascade of negative impact.

Overeating Can Be A Teacher

 Be gentle with yourself.  You are being human! Most of the time you have become a pawn to your physiological and psychological instincts and the way out is through awareness.

Overeating is not a problem when overeating is a teacher. Our relationship with food is a teacher.

Listen to the symptom and see what they want to teach you.  Perhaps, you could look at your diet, you could look at the stress in your life, you could notice when and how you eat, you can notice how you speak to yourself, you could look at your sleep patterns and you can look at what pleasures you might be trying to replace with food.   These questions hold a lot of information about ourselves.
I bet there are some pretty profound lessons there!
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