How many of us have powered down dessert when we really didn’t want or need it? We’ve all done it. We’ve let our eyes be bigger than our stomachs: we ate every bite of a filling meal, then compounded the problem by ordering a huge sundae, using the excuse that everyone else is ordering dessert, so we follow suit and then finish it all.
We then covertly unbutton the top of our jeans, back of our skirt, or adjust our clothing that has suddenly become very, very uncomfortable because we just ate way too much.
Unfortunately the uncomfortably full, bloated feeling isn’t the only discomfort we have caused our body when we consume too much food in a single sitting:
- Your body has to work overtime to digest all of the (often) high fat food you’ve just consumed, causing you to feel tired and sluggish;
- You’ll feel gassy and look bloated as your digestive process goes to work;
- You may experience acid reflux;
- You could (and probably will) gain weight;
- You can then increase bad fat around your organs and create other health issues.
Tips to avoid overeating:
- Use a smaller plate.
- Slow down and enjoy your meal. Taste what you’re eating and really appreciate your food.
- Drink water while you eat. It will help fill you up and slow you down so you give your brain time to respond to the sated hunger signals from the food you’ve already eaten.
- Portion your plate using the 25-25-50 rule: 1/4 of your meal should be lean protein, 1/4 whole grains and 1/2 filling fiber like grilled vegetables.
- If you order a meal that is large, immediately request a to-go box and place at least half of the meal inside.
- Make it a habit to move around, even just take a leisurely walk, after your biggest meal of the day, so that your digestion process can get underway and you can begin to burn off a few of the calories you’ve just consumed.
It’s not the end of the world if, occasionally, you eat a larger meal than you intend to. It only becomes a problem if it happens frequently and you fail to take steps to recognize a bigger, perhaps psychological, issue that could be leading you down the unhealthy road to obesity.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010
- More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
We talk about mouth watering recipes here, God knows I love to eat, but, as the sobering statistics from 2010 show, overeating and eating disorders are a serious problem in the United States. I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t occasionally reach out to those who may need a little push to get healthy.
If you are there, you feel like your over or undereating isn’t an occasional issue, and you think you may have an unhealthy relationship with food, there are resources available to you:
- FoodAddicts.Org : For the overweight, underweight, food, weight or dieting obsessed.
- If you’re a Binge Eater, not comfortable in a group setting and have a good home support system HelpGuide.org lays out a recovery plan that may be for you.
- NationalEatingDisorders.org: a national database of resources and tools
Reach out and get help today. If you aren’t ready to talk to a professional, talk to a friend, a co-worker or even your priest or other religious counselor. There are people willing to help you on the road to better health. Search the internet – there are free resources. They won’t shame or out you, they are professionals who want to help you on the road to recovering your health.
If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood