Why do We Overeat and How Can We Stop?

Big woman eating fast food and watching TV. Isolated.

Photo credit: bigstock

In case you haven’t heard lately, there is an obesity epidemic running rampant throughout our country. This has been attributed to so many things; it’s hard to know where to start. Some of it is due to our technology. We use computers to do almost everything. When we used to go to the library (we might have even walked there!) to get information, we just google it. When we used to walk to the grocery store and carry the bags home, now we simply place our order online and they are delivered to us. In the past we used to play tennis, football, baseball, or perhaps walk our baby in his stroller, we now play these games while sitting on the sofa and our baby is entertained by a video.

In fact, compared to 1960, Americans now eat almost 400 more calories every day than previously. Are we eating more or are we exercising less? Perhaps both?

Research will tell you that what you choose to eat will have a big impact on how much you eat. One study shows that when obese participants ate 81 more calories after eating two meals that contained instant oatmeal than when they ate two meals of a vegetable omelet with fruit.

Calories that come from processed foods such as refined sugar and white bread will encourage overeating. Calories that come from lean protein, fiber, and whole vegetables actually decrease hunger. That old saying of “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie” is just plain wrong. All calories are not equal.  Your metabolic rate will change dramatically because different nutrients will cause your body to create different hormonal responses and it’s your hormones that ultimately determine how much fat your body will store as well as hold on to. Read more why you can’t lose weight.

This is why, for many people, telling them that they can lose weight simply by counting calories just doesn’t work; especially if those calories come from refined sugar, fructose, and refined grains. These foods are the most consumed foods in America and they only bring about chronic diseases as well as weight gain.

Science has shown us that, in order for humans to gain large amounts of weight, you must have two things working. First, you must impair your body’s natural sense of fullness when eating and in addition, you must impair the natural ability of your body to burn fat by regulating the hormones that are responsible for burning fat. Find out things women who want to lose weight should know.

So to become very overweight, your body has to experience a resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that tells your body when to stop eating because it’s had enough. High fructose corn syrup (HFC) and other types of refined sugars are very good at causing leptin resistance in animal studies and it’s extremely effective in blocking your body from burning fat.

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Fat Woman At The Table

Photo credit: bigstock

Want to regain a naturally lean body? The one you were born with?  There are really only two dietary recommendations that, if you stick to them, will give you back your lean silhouette. Eating this type of diet will cause your body to naturally turn itself from a sugar burning machine into a fat burning machine, so you can’t help but lose weight.

First, you must avoid sugar, in all its forms, especially HFC. You also need to avoid processed grains, such as white bread, and processed foods.

Second, begin eating a diet of whole, organic foods with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eat a low to moderate amount of lean, high quality protein such as organically raised chicken or beef. Fill your plate with vegetables first, then protein, and think of fresh fruit as dessert. Read more about sources of clean protein.

Contrary to popular advice, you should eat as much of the healthy fats as you want; this includes monosaturated and saturated fats. Good, healthy fats would include coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats.

Another thing you might consider trying that works extremely well with this type of diet is occasional fasting. Perhaps a better term for this would be “controlled eating” or even “scheduled eating”.  This is a fantastic way to drop pounds that is so simple to do. It really gives your body a kick start on burning fat instead of sugar.

Scheduled eating works like this: Plan all your meals into a narrow window of time every day. This means, for example, you need to eat all your meals between 10AM and 6PM. whatever hours you actually plan to fast will depend on your schedule, of course, but plan to go 16 hours every day without food. This is twice the minimum amount of time needed to completely deplete your body’s stored glycogen source. This means your body has no choice but to burn fat because it has no sugar left to use as energy.

Fasting in this way will also increase your insulin sensitivity and will help keep your from developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Many people discover that when they do this intermittent fasting, they find they have no junk food or sugar cravings.  It might take your body a few weeks or even a few months, to relearn how to burn fat but it will happen. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t lose weight right away. Some people just take a little more time than others.

You really can stop dieting and still get rid of that excess weight. Make your own home cooked meals to avoid using processed foods. Replace those grains with vegetables and practice intermittent fasting and you will find that the weight falls off you without you really trying.