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15 Reasons why we overeat
By: Jimi Mcdonald

Statistics show that Australia’s rising obesity rate is not due to lack of activity, but more due to overeating. Here are 15 reasons as to why we overeat, and some tips on how to avoid them.

  1. Boredom – develop a purposeful activity away from the kitchen. Try not to eat in front of a screen if you work from home.

  2. Feeling Deprived – listen to your body and understand you are in no danger of starving if you wait until your next scheduled meal.

  3. Hating Your Body – it’s the greatest thing you’ll ever own, so learn to love it.

  4. Feeling tired/lack of energy – this is a signal to rest, not eat. It’s harder to digest food when tired, and it will lead to worse fatigue if empty carbohydrates are used for a energy boost.

  5. Needing Comfort – while certain foods, usually containing carbohydrates and fats, do release the “feel good” hormones, eating them a little too often can be a trap. Have small amounts, buy the best quality, and eat them slowly.

  6. Feeling Overwhelmed – stress can increase your perception of hunger. This is linked with the release of the hormone ghrelin, which causes you to eat more than required

  7. Lack of Willpower – let’s face it, willpower has a short life. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t have it in the house. Take willpower out of the picture.

  8. Undernourished – eating nutrient poor foods leaves us wanting vitamins and minerals. Ignoring this feedback creates cravings that lead to over consumption if they are not met. width="300" height="212" alt="" src="" title="Help Scales" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1890" />

  9. Mindlessness – eat slowly and without distraction, savour your food, and listen to your body when it is full.

  10. Social obligation – be your own boss here. Choose wisely, don’t stand near food tables, and eat before you drink alcohol so you don’t lose your inhibitions and eat whatever is in front of you.

  11. We aren’t physically fit – being inactive leads to the sympathetic emotions taking over. Being fit gives you greater self-esteem, and allows you recognize your true needs for nourishment.

  12. We think we can “get away with it” – think about how that foods will make you feel in a few hours or days, not a few minutes. Short term joy can lead to longer term pain.

  13. Hunger – seems obvious, but the physical sensation of hunger, or absence of it is tied to the hormones ghrelin (which triggers hunger) and leptin (which reduces hunger).

  14. Satiety – feeling full turns of hunger feelings. Consuming liquid and easily digested calories will take longer to get that full feeling than high volume, low-calorie foods such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

  15. Eating too fast – it takes around 20 minutes for your body to release the hormone that recognizes fullness. Eating your main meal under this leaves you open to feeling stuffed later. Think Sushi Train and you’ll get the picture.

Added: 11-07-2013