Breaking the habit of overeating is a riddle that has stumped many. Nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar of the Kareena Kapoor fame dispels the myth of overeating and defines it as- “eating more than the body’s ability to digest at that point of time.” Overeating is synonymous with overloading your system with nosh to the extent that it impairs the body’s ability to digest effectively. Sounds simple, right? It is! Overeating translates into rolls of fat around areas you don’t want, a digestive system that is off kilter and sluggish energy levels.
Why We Overeat
As adults we tend to foster an emotional relationship with food rather than a purely biological one. We lose touch with our cues for hunger and satiation. Our body signals go from manically from red to yellow to green. We become bamboozled by what it actually needs and why! Too often when we reach for that fourth helping of French fries, it has less to do with hunger and more to do with some kind of emotional trigger in response to a stressful or significant event that is shaking up our world. So yes, identify what’s brewing beneath the surface in terms of your emotions to alter your relationship with food. As humans we tend to use food as “a comfort, a reward, a revenge, a treat, a habit” as The Health and Beauty Handbook calls it rather than a biological need.
Being stressed, over worked ,over burdened and knackered releases adrenaline and cortisol into your system. Cortisol amps up your appetite and converts food into fat.Foods that are oozing with sugar and fat make it to the top of our must have list.A serene mind means a serene system that works efficiently to digest our food in order to fuel our bodies. Stress makes us reach out for foods that provide emotional comfort rather than foods that are actually good for our health. So stick to a well balanced schedule, meditate and stay calm.
Strategies to Kick Your Overeating Habit to the Curb
Pay Attention to What You Keep in Your Environment
“Out of sight, out of mind,” whoever coined this phrase was on the right kind of drift. “You are what you eat.” However, if the kind of food you stock up your fridge and your pantry with is junk food, you are in for a rough ride. You will overdo it with a deep fried burger patty for dinner along with an ice cream tub for dessert and salty, calorie ridden snacks as your go between choices. All foods that you tend to over or binge eat unfortunately. However, picture this. If junk or unhealthy food is entirely missing from the equation i.e. nothing is available but fruit in your fridge, nuts on the kitchen counter and home cooked meals on your stove, your chance of scoffing down empty calories in excess goes down significantly. You wont make a mad dash to the store just for a jumbo bag of chippies for dinner now, would you? keep the right kind of stash around to ward off unhealthy eating attacks.
Give Your Mindset a Makeover
Spare a thought about the kind of foods that you put in your gut and the effect that your grub exercises on your mind and body. Mind- body balance is not just a buzz word to toss around. Notice how certain foods make you feel. Don’t feel so good after downing an entire ready to eat frozen meal laden with salt, right? Kick out any old, outdated eating approaches, and instead pay attention to your body and what it needs.Try to suss out why you have certain cravings.Grab the bull by the horns. Be brave and address the root cause. Do it because you are in the driving seat on your way to GOOD HEALTH, not because you want to give in to cravings, have a quick pick me up post a negative event or to satisfy that sweet tooth. That should make you hit the brakes on crossing the line when it comes to overeating.
Ditch Your Parents’ Advice to Wipe Your Plate Clean
This is one advice that can land us in a lot of hot water. No, you do not have to please the parental units or your dinner hosts to wipe those last crumbs off your plate. Press full stop when your hunger is satiated and put that spoon down.
Make Mindful Eating Your New Mantra
Bask in the serenity of partaking a wholesome meal minus distractions. No TV, no cell phone in your other hand, no newspaper in front of your eyes to get a quick news round up. Focus your inner lens on the meal in front of you. Slow down your rhythm as you inhale the sweet aroma and imbibe the wonderful flavours. Get an eyeful of the vibrant hues and textures. Your system will be in equilibrium, your digestive juices will flow and you will certainly know when to stop eating.
Kick Off your Meals with Raw Fruit and Vegetables
Get into the habit of consuming clean, wholesome foods to fill up your palate satisfactorily. It keeps you from overloading on greasy nosh. Starting a meal with a well- tossed, colourful salad is yummy for the tummy. It also gets your digestive tract in good order. It gives your bootalicious bod an extra dose of vitamins and minerals and takes up room that otherwise would have been squashed by unhealthy sweets and savouries.