Overeating burdens the body and is the prelude to illness. It also causes you to age prematurely. Sincere effort is required to control overeating and achieve satisfaction by eating just enough food to nourish you. The joy and satisfaction of eating does not have to be sacrificed to overcome overeating. Much to the contrary, improved health and a purer appreciation for food can be achieved.
Listening to Your Body
Overeating wreaks havoc on the digestive system. Toxins are spread throughout the body and cause more serious degenerative diseases.
“Overeating, a popular pastime in the wealthy nations, is thought to be the major cause of premature aging. Fifty years of research have shown that when a nourishing diet is eaten sparingly, aging is retarded. In fact, consumption of too much rich and denatured food is responsible for most of our civilized diseases, such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Overeating by vegetarians also occurs regularly, and while it may not always result in weight gain, it invariably causes weakness, digestive upset and accelerated aging.” – Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford
Listening to your body is the best way to know when you are full. The present day food culture has dictated to eat large portions and feel full to the point of discomfort. Learning to feel fullness and satisfaction before your stomach becomes tight and heavy is the true starting point. Eating slower allows the body to register what has been eaten and puts the taste buds and the stomach on one accord.
Processed Foods Cause You to Overeat
Processed foods and drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup can cause you to overeat. Corn syrup slows down the secretion of the hormone leptin, whose job it is to signal to you when you are full and give you the impulse to stop eating. Corn syrup is in so many products that are consumed in excess, such as sodas, flavored juice drinks, yogurt, jams, BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, many snack foods and is even in some so-called health food products.
Excluding corn syrup and foods containing corn syrup from your diet is a major step forward in helping to control overeating. Be sure to read food labels to avoid corn syrup and look for healthier alternatives or create your own homemade versions.
Provide True Nutrient Support to Your Body
Processed foods are also devoid of nutrients. The body is unable to find satisfaction and continues to give you the impulse to eat and provide it with the nutrients it needs. Eating fresh foods with high nutrient levels provides the body with true satisfaction and nutrient support. A diet that provides a balance of minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and good fats can bring such satisfaction. You won’t need to eat as much because your body will give you the feeling of being nourished.
Limit the Types of Food at One Meal
It is also helpful to eat meals that have just two or three ingredients. When we have so many different types of food at one meal, it causes overeating.
“Each food has a unique flavor which the appetite control center of the hypothalamus recognizes. Before it feels satisfied, the hypothalamus seeks a certain amount of every flavor it has sampled. Thus it is very difficult not to overeat a meal of many ingredients.” – Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford
Drinking Water Regularly Curbs Overeating
Drinking adequate water is extremely important, and can also be helpful to curb overeating. Sometimes, what we think is hunger, is actually a cry for water, and after drinking water, hunger dissipates.
“Water is the basis of all life and that includes your body. Your muscles that move your body are 75% water; your blood that transports nutrients is 82% water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90% water; your brain that is the control center of your body is 76% water; even your bones are 25% water.” – The Water Cure
In light of these proportions, it is understandable that our body could be asking for the water it so earnestly needs to function.
“Eight 8-ounce glasses daily is the recommended regimen advocated by Dr. Batmanghelidj, to keep the human body fully hydrated. For each cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink, an additional, compensating eight-ounce glass of water is required.” – Your Body’s Many Cries for Water
Add Healthy Beverages to Your Diet
In addition, vegetable juices are potent sources of nutrients and enzymes that are so satisfying and revitalizing to the body. Herb teas are a delicious, soothing and refreshing way to provide our bodies with supportive minerals, vitamins and healing compounds. When you include these essential beverages to your diet, they help to arrest the constant desire for food.
View Food in its Proper Context
Rising above corporate enticements equating overeating with the “good life”, will guide us to view food in its proper context. Eating is definitely enjoyable and one of our favorite past times, but it is meant to nourish us and uplift us, not to make us sick. Food does comfort us when we are lonely and satisfy us when we are yearning. Yet and still, when we have had our fill of food, and some, reality remains intact. So, it is best to find a more lasting solution for securing comfort and satisfaction in our lives; one that doesn’t cause us to be ill.
Dietary satisfaction can be found in a balanced diet full of many flavors and nutrients that boost our energy and stamina while strengthening and calming our nerves. Simple yet positive lifestyle adjustments, like increased water intake and exclusion of processed, foods, can help prevent overeating and help to safeguard our health.
Andrea Phillips writes on an array of topics like Health and Nutrition, Organic Agriculture, and Relationships, to name a few. She has also written for a publishing company in Washington, DC, and an organic agricultural newsletter in Israel.