Why Do I Overeat?

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A lot f us have heard time and again how being overweight is unhealthy, how we should lose more weight and keep a check on what we are eating and how obesity has become an overnight epidemic in the western civilization threatening our health and yet none of us seem to be able to stop ourselves from overeating.

This is not just a lack of will-power but a few innate bodily functions and reflexes at play that we need to understand before accusing our bodies of betraying our goals. For starters the connection between our minds and bodies is lost on so many people that we misinterpret the signals our bodies send us.

Most of us overeat because our bodies are sending signals that it is not being fed and we respond by eating a lot of high-calorie processed or junk food which does nothing to quell that craving. What our body actually needs is a nutrient-packed meal that has all the essential nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and healthy fats that our system needs to function and thrive. But we deny ourselves that form of natural raw food so the signal never stops and we overeat and our body stores fats but we never feel satisfied.

The solution to that is by starting to eat healthy foods and improving diet while slowly transitioning to whole foods. When we eat fruit, green leafy vegetables, lean protein, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats our body naturally our brain sends leptin signals to the body that it is full and you will feel satisfied without the feeling of being overstuffed. If cutting out processed food from the beginning won’t work for you start by adding good food to reduce and eventually eliminate the cravings for processed food.

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Another reason why we won’t stop is because we are all addicted without knowing it. Fats and sugars are highly enticing and the brain releases dopamine that is habit-forming feel-good neurotransmitter upon digestion which is why we are unable to quit sugary treats that are all around us. Understanding this however will help you realize ways to deal with this form of socially acceptable addiction and really help you work with your body and its natural responses to make better decisions for yourself.

One aspect of overeating that is purely circumstantial always gets neglected since we are so forgiving of comfort food. Our bodies have evolved from ancient times and those instincts are still intact in the hypothalamus part of our brains. Eons ago when man had to hunt to stay alive and food was scarce, their bodies produced stress hormones signaling the approaching famine and the need to eat and store fat. Nowadays food is available at every corner and the stress is no longer of famine but of work, money or relationships and the only way we cope is by eating high-calorie food. This ought to change and we need to condition our bodies to react to stress in a more positive manner such as by taking a brief walk, meditation, book-reading, cleaning out the house or even a hot shower. Getting enough sleep is also important to manage stress hormones overnight and doses of body-specific knowledge coupled up with ways to respond will definitely help you stop overeating.

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