Understanding What Drives Your Over Eating is the First Step
Does this sound like you? Even though you feel stuffed, you find yourself reaching for another of your buddy’s specialty burgers or a second helping of Aunt Kathy’s famous casserole. How can you help it? It’s so delicious! This is a rationalization almost everyone has used, especially during the holiday season when we dig into those luscious dishes that only come around once a year. But, really, does this mean that you’re over eating?
Reality check. Yes, it does.
The National Stem Cell Institute, a leading regenerative medicine clinic based in the United States, sees the results of over eating every day: diabetes, back pain, and knee pain to name just a few. If -like the holidays- over eating came just once a year, obesity and the health problems that inevitably come with it would most likely not be the national epidemic that it isFor most of us, struggling with over eating is a daily challenge.
There are times when it is crystal clear to us that we eat too much. But there are other times when we aren’t even conscious of the fact that we’re doing it. You may think the only things driving you are irresistible flavors and textures. But reasons for over eating often go very deep, both physically and mentally, making it feel almost impossible to stop over eating.
If you don’t believe that’s true, walk down any street, shop at any mall, or look around at your office mates. The proof is all around us that “diets” and “good old fashioned will power” are no match for these compelling internal forces.
So what can be done? Can you stop over eating and take back control of your food impulses, so that eating is not just enjoyable but is restored to the healthy act that nature intends it to be?
Reality check. Yes, you can!
Over Eating in America
America in general has a love-hate relationship with over eating. If you’re among the many millions in the U.S. that over eats weekly –if not daily- you likely feel frustrated, depressed, and powerless. You’ve tried all the fad diets, and even enjoyed some success with them. But the success is fleeting, and the weight and associated health problems come back. More layers of guilt, self-criticism, and depression are slathered over the old ones (that had never gone away in the first place). As cruel as society can be with its fat shaming, no one harder on us than ourselves.
Obesity impacts over 1/3 of American adults.
The dangers of obesity go far beyond America’s obsession with cosmetic perfection. Over eating is at the core of a range of life-threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2008 alone, obesity was the reason behind annual medical costs of $147 billion.
But these health problems don’t only impact people that fit the medical description of obesity. The pre-obesity condition of being overweight heightens one’s likelihood of developing problems and illnesses that are weight-related. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the combined percentage of overweight and obese people skyrockets to over 70% of American adults.
There are other reasons why any single person may be too heavy: hormonal imbalances, aging, medications, to name just a few. But without a doubt, the primary cause of excessive weight gain and obesity in America is over eating.
The Reasons Behind Over Eating
It is true that there are several variables to consider when discussing excess weight gain and obesity. Among them are the consumption of too many grams of added sugar and foods that are processed. But, without a doubt, over eating is a key factor.
The solution seems simple, doesn’t it? If you’re eating too much, just practice a little self-discipline and eat less. Right? But think about it. If discipline alone can stop over eating, then why are multi-millions of American struggling with unhealthy weight gain? So many obviously hard working and mentally disciplined people have wrestled with weight problems all their lives. Consider Oprah Winfrey’s past problems with unwanted weight.
So, it is safe to say that the causes of over eating are more complex than a matter of willpower and discipline alone.
What is it, then, that makes us resort to chronic over eating? A primary factor is that most of us are reacting, not out of hunger, but because of habits and outward cues. For example, suppose you usually eat dinner about 6:00 p.m. then get comfy around 9:00 to watch a movie or TV series? Chances are, you bring a bag of chips or your favorite ice cream to the sofa.
But what happens on evenings when supper comes later, but you’re still on the couch and scrolling your DVR queue about the same time as usual? More than likely, even though you’re stomach is full and you aren’t hungry, you’ll “crave” those snacks anyway and grab them out of the pantry. You have unconsciously established a habit. It’s likely one that you’ve been following for years. You’re subconscious is linking food with TV time. Or with FaceBook time, or gaming time, or whatever you have established as your evening relaxation.
Our bodies are still responding to survival queues that were ingrained in us millions of years ago.
Personal habit isn’t the only thing driving us to grabbing a snack during evening commercials or when we take our daily break in the employee lounge. For most of human existence food was most often scarce, and a lot of effort went into foraging. The human body is, in essence, hard-wired to eat whenever we see food.
Over eating wasn’t a problem hundreds of thousands of years ago. But the human body has not changed a lot since then, if at all. So when food is set before us, or even when we just have the awareness that it’s as nearby as the kitchen, the “eat now while you can!” impulse is triggered.
Certain foods can cause you to be hungrier.
That may seem counter intuitive, but it’s a confirmed fact. Food that has little or no nutritional value can cause over eating. Among these are:
- Very sugary foods
- Refined carbs (i.e. white bread or pasta)
- Artificial sweeteners
Foods like these tend to spike blood sugar levels and omit nutrition that helps satisfy appetite. When sugar levels plummet, hunger rebounds because your body sends out signals for more food. And sugar in particular is a major cause of over eating, because it interacts with the brain in such a way that it negatively affects the sense of feeling full.
Other Major Triggers of Over Eating
- “Starvation” Dieting. Regardless of the fact that many effective and healthy diet regimens have been developed over the past few decades, many Americans still resort to the “starvation diet” model that was popular during the late 1960’s and well into the 1970’s. This model had nothing to do with health and everything to do with getting as skinny as you can as fast as possible. For the majority of people, this meant setting unrealistic goals that were based on the “Twiggy effect,” named after the pixie-sized teenaged model who took the fashion world by storm in the ’60’s.
This type of dieting restricts calories so severely that you become perpetually hungry. You are, in very real terms, starving yourself. Most people cannot endure this for very long. After a few weeks to a few months –usually once the weight goal is met or close to being met- the majority of starvation dieters resort to binge eating on whatever the diet can get his or her hands on. This not only leads to over eating (even to the point of making yourself sick) and the guilt associated with it, but can affect your ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight in the long run. Starvation dieting can also lead to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
- Stress eating is something almost everyone is familiar with. Women have a reputation for stress eating than men do. Consider all those romcoms showing women reaching for a pint of ice cream after the break up scene. But the gap between the sexes on this common type of over eating is shrinking.
When you’re stressed -whether physically or mentally- cravings for salty, carb-heavy, or sugary foods can be triggered. Not surprisingly, stress-related over eating is particularly common in those who are following an unhealthy diet plan. People who are stressed reach for “comfort foods.” And that means the temptation is to reach for that aforementioned ice cream or a couple of large helpings of baked mac and cheese instead of an avocado and grilled chicken sandwich.
- Absent-Minded Eating. When we’re scrolling through our newsfeeds, caught up in our favorite TV series, or having lunch at our desks in order to make that deadline, we aren’t paying attention to the cues our bodies give us about satiety. With a little practice, however, observing mindful eating, in these instances can help you avoid over eating.
- Grazing through Your Day. There is a lot of validity regarding the health and weight benefits of eating snacks between meals. The problem is when we use this model to rationalize a grazing mentality that leads to over eating rather than to help regulate cravings and blood sugar spikes. Many people who graze are not keeping track of how much food they’re taking in on a daily basis. Even when most of the foods eaten are healthy, grazing without considering daily food volume frequently can quickly spiral into over eating.
- Outsized Portions. How often have you looked at a plate put in front of you at a restaurant and thought, “What are they thinking! Who can eat this much food in one sitting?” Yet something in you compels you to clean your plate or, at least, give it a good try. The result is that you feel bloated and guilty afterwards instead of sated and content.
If you think the onus of over eating at a restaurant is entirely on you, think again. Since the 1970s, food portions at restaurants have been increasing and haven’t really stopped. This isn’t just true of popular chains and fast food joints. Everywhere you look portions are getting bigger, muffins are larger, and coffee-based beverages are getting taller. It’s a restaurant industry recipe for over eating.
But this doesn’t just happen in public eateries. Many Americans have been taught since we were toddlers to “clean our plates.” It’s a well-meaning but potentially unhealthy child-rearing technique that has been with Americans for generations. When we visit our favorite relatives we often feel compelled to scrape the plate clean no matter how outsized the portions, as a complement to the cook. Sometimes, in order to put a smile on Grandma’s face, we even ask for seconds though we feel stuffed. Habits ingrained in us since childhood can be tough to overcome.
6 Natural Ways to Stop Over Eating
- Consume Nutrient-Dense Foods
Processed foods, refined carbs and sugars, and artificial sweeteners are really so much foods as food-like substances. They have very little nutritional value. That’s why you feel hungry so soon after eating them. The body burns what little energy it can get from them and clamors for more. Empty calories = over eating.
Seek out instead whole foods that are nutrient rich. These include:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Berries, of virtually any variety
- Lean meats, fish, and poultry like wild salmon, grass-fed beef, and free range chicken
- Sweet potatoes
- Legumes like black beans
Nutrient-dense foods help to stop over eating because they are filling and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. When your body is getting enough nutrients, hunger pangs become more regulated and natural. This means that cravings are reduced and far fewer empty calories are consumed.
- Consume More Healthy Fats
Sometime around the 1980’s the concept that losing weight required shunning all fat was adopted by popular American culture. Today low- and no-fat diet regimens have been largely debunked. After decades of trial and error, we now know that low-carbohydrate, high-fat dietary plans such as the ketogenic diet are exceptional in helping people maintain a healthy weight.
Part of the reason why a low carb/high fat is so effective is due to the healthy fats. The fats in foods like avocados, high-quality dairy, heart-healthy oils, and nuts and seeds are not only good for your body, they’re also satiating. This satiety send “I’m full” signals the brain. This, in turn, reduces cravings and urges to keep over eating.
- Reduce Stress
This may seem easier said than done in a culture that prizes relentless achievement at any cost. But stress reduction is a crucial part of adopting habits that stop over eating. When stress becomes chronic, it impacts health in a variety of ways. Developing the discipline to reduce stress will not only help you curb over eating, you’ll also lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can add belly fat as well as negatively affect your overall health in a number of ways.
You’ll become healthier, maintain a healthy weight, and feel better mentally by finding ways to reduce stress. You’ll also become more productive at work and feel more engaged with friends and loved one. Proven ways to help control stress include:
- Use Natural Appetite Suppressors
Skip the shady diet pills and elixirs. Instead, go for natural appetite suppressors such as:
- Foods high in fiber
- Seeds, nuts, and legumes
- Hot spices like cayenne and turmeric
- Grapefruit essential oil
Foods and supplements like these are all-natural, fat-burning nutrition that helps you stop over eating. All without the health hazards and iffy results inherent in the OTC suppressants on the grocery or pharmacy shelf.
- Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is the polar opposite of the type of eating done without much conscious thought or times of stress. It gives you much more power when making decisions about how much and what type of feed you eat. It’s a matter of giving more attention to when you’re truly hungry rather than letting ingrained habits or external cues influence you.
Mindful eating includes giving a meal your full attention. So sit at a real table, step away from the work desk, and keep the TV off. Even if it’s only for a snack. When you do this, you’ll notice the flavors and textures more. You’ll be aware of the signals of satiety your body is sending. You’ll also notice that this discipline not only helps you stop over eating, it helps calm you and reduce stress.
Mindful eating is subtle, but highly effective. Practice it for at least 30 days and see what a difference it can make.
- Keep a Food Journal
Food journaling is a great helper as you embark on a healthy diet regimen. It’s helpful in revealing how much you’re eating, what types of meals you’re consuming, and when you have them. It’s also a valuable aid in logging down what triggers are causing your over eating.
It’s important to be fully and relentlessly honest with yourself when you keep a food journal. Record not just the quantities of food and drink you consume, but types you eat. Remember, too, to jot down over eating triggers as they arise. For example:
- Is your energy lagging in the afternoon? When that happens, do you reach for that break room donut?
- When one of the kids is having a meltdown, do you make a run to the coffee shop for a double frozen latte?
- When you’re at your favorite eatery, do you find it hard to resist the chili nacho appetizer or the molten lava cake dessert?
Note it! As patterns emerge, you’ll notice a natural sense of empowerment that boosts your ability to stop over eating.
About the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI)
The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) believes that all healing begins from within. And nothing is more crucial to healing and better health than good nutrition and diet regimens that empower individuals and help stop over eating.
For some, however, health problems with root causes in over eating have gotten to the point where medical intervention is crucial to restoring good health. For those, regenerative medicine techniques are helping to restore the body’s natural balance, and prevent drastic surgeries and the need for risky drugs.
Regenerative medicine clinics are popularly known as stem cell clinics. As with any medical procedure done in the United States, stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapies must be done by a legitimate facility under the care of a licensed and properly trained physician.
Below, NSI offers tips for ensuring that the stem cell clinic you choose is FDA guidelines compliant and fully licensed to practice regenerative medicine in the United States.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.