Unfortunately, almost every one of us is guilty of overeating. It may be eating too much during our meals, or it may be overly snacking throughout the day. Either way, these bad habits can have a detrimental impact on our energy levels, mood, weight and overall health. We all know we shouldn’t do it, but the cold hard truth is most of us do—at least from time to time. So why do we?Here are seven of the top reasons we overeat and why.
7. NOT MANAGING STRESS
When you are under stressful situations, in the short term you may have a decrease in appetite (release of adrenaline, corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), but in the longer term, cortisol (another stress hormone) causes you to try to replenish your body, increasing your appetite.
In the event of a stressful situation, adding in a workout routine or attending a yoga class can help with the managing of stress.
6. FOOD ADDICTION
A study published in the March 2010 Journal of Nature Neuroscience, high fat, high sugar or high carbohydrate diets in both rats and humans have somehow rewired the brain to believe that is what is best for the body. Junk foods cause the body to release dopamine, which is a similar response to drug addiction, and bombards dopamine receptors (the brains pleasure and pain receptors). So as with drug addiction, eventually the body needs more and more to illicit the same response.
Rather than taking a dive into the junk food isle, try eating more healthy fruits and vegetables and lower calorie deserts and snacks.
5. NOT ENOUGH WATER
It is estimated as much as 75% of Americans are dehydrated. Water helps to suppress our appetite and helps our skin and other organs function properly. Dehydration causes a person to become hungrier, resulting in higher calorie consumption throughout the day.
The general rule-of-thumb is divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces of water.
4. SKIPPING BREAKFAST
There is significant data/research indicating that individuals who consume the bulk of their calories later in the day burn fewer of those calories and generally carry more weight than those who eat a more balanced caloric consumption throughout the day.
A good practice is before going to bed in the evening, make a fruit bowl for breakfast or set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to make sure you wake up with enough time for a bowl of cereal or a cup of yogurt.
3. EATING FREQUENCY
Eating frequency is greater in individuals currently losing weight and those already at a healthy level in comparison to people currently overweight. (J Am Diet Assn., 2011 Nov: 111(11):1730-4). By having several small, healthy snacks throughout the day, your metabolism will stay higher and you will burn more calories as opposed to eating one or two large meals during the day and getting your entire caloric intake at one time.
2. LACK OF SLEEP
According to the American Thoracic Society International Conference 16 year study–women who slept 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain and 15% more likely to become obese compared to those who slept 7 hours or more a night.
Ensuring at least 7 hours of sleep a night will help with the burning of calories each day.
The Nurses’ Health Project analyzed the sedentary behavior of 50,000 women 30 to 55 years old. According to their study, every two hours a day spent watching TV, increased risk of becoming obese by 23 percent.
Your metabolism slows down while you watch TV. In fact, research suggests watching TV burns fewer calories than lying in bed and doing nothing. Research has shown that we eat more (mindless eating) when sitting in front of TV.
As a good practice, exercising 45-60 minutes per day will help you burn more calories, get more sleep, curb that late night snack craving and have more of an appetite in the morning.
The addition of dietary supplements into your daily routine will ensure that your body is maintaining the nutrients it needs as well as help break down the harmful toxins taken in throughout the day. For more information on how you can maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, please visit Dr. Tuggle’s Nutrition Page.