Throughout our lives we spend so much time trying to remain in shape and keeping a healthy body.
We are targeted by ads, diets, nutrition advice, and lots of feelings of guilt. We are somewhat being told that if we had some extreme will power or somewhat more restraint we could all look super buff. No one even asks the models on ads how they got their bodies before showing up on set to represent a brand.
Many societies have developed advanced cuisines with huge amount of calories on very small portions. From lattes, to little cocktails, snacks, and desserts. We often eat handful size portions that are way over 1000 calories just in one meal for the day!
As the world is developing more and more and food is less scarce for some, and more of a luxury they can indulge in all the time, we are now facing a completely different challenge!
Very few people talk about the one tiny little tweak that should be step number one when it comes to gaining weight. The majority of us eat way more per day than we should.
1. We are at war with food
Food is something delicious that we crave and eat each and every day. Yet we spend so much time shaming ourselves for eating it. Thinking about what we ate. Honestly food can be on our minds constantly throughout the day! “ I got food on my mind!” Sing it please someone!
But the food we should love, many times in reality we are hating! We hate it because it makes us fat. We hate it because we have to eat things we don’t like in order to be healthy.
We crave it and then hate it right after.
We need to restore the balance and relearn to love food and be grateful because it’s our fuel like gasoline to a car. I meant carbon for those of you who drive an electric car.
It’s like hating a person. Fueling hatred doesn’t make you forget a person. Only think about it more. We then will be triggered by any tiny thing that reminds us of it. It’s like that with food too if we are at war with our thoughts about food.
2. We have messed our natural eating clock
Kids are born with a natural internal clock. An ability to eat when hungry and stop when feeling full.
They say you inherit your abs in the kitchen. But you also inherit your family’s kitchen. Yes a lot of eating habits and patterns are formed in our childhood. Many times they come with misconceptions. Flat out sometimes our parents taught us wrong.
We may not always have had healthy foods in our home. We may not always have had parents that even knew what we needed to eat in order to be healthy. Yet we ate food everyday. And now that we are adults those meals become memories of happy times together often times. As a result we crave them. Our taste buds have adjusted to the foods we have eaten the most and crave them now! There is a reason why in some countries adults crave crickets. It’s their staple food. You can truly train your body to fall in love with anything if exposed to it over and over again.
As kids we often were taught to finish all of our food and eat when food was served on the table to be polite. As a result we slowly started eating when we weren’t hungry or when we were full.
It’s that AHA moment where you realize you can finally tell your mom to stop telling you to finish your dinner plate because kids are starving in other countries. In reality by finishing your plate you won’t feed the starving kids, You will ruin your body’s internal clock. It’s a harsh reality that needs to be taken with the right balance. Don’t start throwing away all of your food now basically! But it’s something worth keeping in mind.
3. Food is a science we aren’t respecting
There is more math behind eating food than we think. We spend so much time cursing at our bodies and blaming them for not looking and functioning the way we would like to.
We often blame skinny people for having a metabolism worth coveting for. Yet society has put very little effort in educating everyone on how much science there is behind food.
Sure it’s because it is such an individual need. Yer we allow everyone on earth without a license or basic public knowledge to preach to everyone how to eat, but we don’t want to spend the time educating people in ways that could really help them on an individual and unique way.
In case you get mad at me for writing this article, I want you to know that I am a licensed EXERCISE TRAINER, and I am currently in college studying nutrition.
What we eat is most often a factor of how our bodies function, our height, age, level of activity. All of these factors need to be taken in consideration when establishing how much we need and what. Certain nutritional deficiencies will affect us all at one point or the other and are to be taken in consideration when deciding what we need to eat more of or less of. There is also a huge difference between what we eat. 1000 calories worth of cookies are going to wear our bodies down a lot faster than 1000 calories in salads.
The basic principle of food still stands. Food is measured in calories. If we eat more than what we consume, the calories get stored. They become FAT!
What is all of this called?
When we eat our emotions away we are emotionally eating.
WE ARE TURNING TO FOOD TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS.
But we aren’t solving them by stuffing cookies or steak in our moths. We are only giving ourselves more problems.
To keep that weight off we now have to work out more, which leads to putting more wear and tear on our bodies. Then we need to diet and sacrifice food for a while in order to create a calorie deficiency in our bodies to lose weight.We don’t like our bodies. Which then also leads us to not feel romantic. It’s the rat race of food!
Ultimately we want to find joy. When we are uncomfortable we often go at any lengths in order to fill that void and find happiness. As kids a child may throw a tantrum to solve its problems. A struggling teen might turn to drugs. A tired mom may swipe a credit card and shop for clothes (I have never done that! Wink wink). And many many people turn to food to cope.
After all we are trying to avoid pain. And often times we don’t want to sit in the discomfort, so we turn to a momentary pleasure.
What are some OVEREATING SYMPTOMS:
- You eat until your stomach hurts
- After you finishing a meal you start feeling super full and the feeling lasts for hours
- You finish your meal and feel lethargic
- You eat too fast. By the time it hits you that you are full you have already eaten more than you should
- You don’t take the time to chew your food properly. We are supposed to chew at least 15-20 times before swallowing.
6. You snack late at night after already eating a satisfying meal.
7.You binge of hundreds of unnecessary calories because it tastes good.
8. You look at the calories you are supposed to eat based on your body composition, but can/t resist food and find yourself eating way more than needed.
9. You eat based out of an emotion you are feeling
10. You eat even when not hungry purely because food it’s at social gatherings
11. You are gaining weight!
Remember I am not a doctor. So these symptoms may have other underlying causes too.
Why moms are affected by OVEREATING the most?
-We spend too much time at home with very little fun outlets. Food becomes our outlet. The pantry is too close within reach. The snacks are too tempting.
-We spend so much time telling the kids to eat their food, sometime we just shove their left overs in our mouths just so we don’t have to throw it away or keep pushing our kids to finish their plate.
-When we overeat we also start not to feel good about the way we look. When we don’t like how we look it’s really hard to feel sexy and romantic. We start to turn our partner away and close off to the idea of anyone seeing us naked. Yet we need that aspect of our lives just as much as we need food. It’s a gift from God. More of this on another blog post coming later.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR MOMS:
Here is something I have learned. Kids are actually better at recognizing their needs than myself. I often need good nourishing food more than my kids. So some days, when I make a meal, I eat it first. Since I am usually the one who is the hungriest. I enjoy it slowly. Nourish myself so I am not grumpy at the dinner table. I also focus on paying attention to when I am full. I take the time to enjoy how warm and comforting the eating process is. Then stop when I am about 90% full.
This next tip has helped me with picky eaters at home.
I call the kids after I am fed. I can then spend 45 minute making sure they eat at least some if possible of the food on their plate one small bite at a time. Because that is how long it can take with my little ones. I can tell when my kids haven’t been eating healthy or eating enough. So I need to make the time to help them make time and effort to eat health foods.
If I am in the right mental space, at least I am not grumpy. Or shoving my mouth with food in between bites. Or choking while trying to talk to the kids to remind them to stay focused on their dinner.
How to stop emotional eating:
1. LOVE YOUR BODY!
The more you dislike food, the more you will struggle to love your body. We need love our body. It’s the instrument that drives us on this earth. And food makes it go!
2. STOP eating your emotions away!
Pay attention to your patterns. Why do you find yourself going to your favorite food spot? Why are you going to the pantry? If it’s not for hunger become aware of it. Find an alternative way that you enjoy to cope with sad emotions.
Detach memories with food. Recognize it was about the people and not just the food. For example I grew up eating a big home made cake made by my mom for every birthday. For many years I still wanted that for my birthday. I also became lactose intolerant. Cake meant stomach cramps all day. I had to learn to treasure those memories and find new way to enjoy my birthday. Now I ask my husband for a luxury designer purse instead! (JK! Or am I?)
3. Make peace with food!
Accept that you love food. Embrace it. Enjoy it when you have it! Savory slowly. Be picky as to what you allow your palate to taste. Learn to stop when you are about 90% full. Eat good food! Find healthy recipes that you can crave as well custom to you! I publish many of my favorite recipes here with tweaks. I reduce the sugar contents. Substitute oils for better ones. Use less additives and more veggies.
If you’d like to read more about. I am going to share a book that is also recommend at colleges for the nutrition program.
Very helpful BOOK I have read for EMOTIONAL EATING:
Another very simple book that explains many good aspects of eating well and breaks down nutrition and how to take care of our body in the simple and funnest of ways is this one below. It was written by Cameron Diaz. It is very entertaining and an easy read too!
4. SEEK THE HELP OF A THERAPIST
If learning to make peace with food, and overcoming emotional eating is too much to do alone. A therapist is the best way. There is no shame in seeking help. It’s a great way to have also someone to report to. They will help you to be accountable .They will also make sure one won’t get off track and forget about their journey to positive eating.