Overeating is one of the two main causes of obesity, the other being inactivity. In most cases people cannot control over eating because they get addicted to food. "Addiction" may seem a bit over-dramatic in this context, but really, there is no difference, except for the fact that the item that is ingested in this case causes harm because of its quantity, and not because it's meant to. Here we have a line-up of some important tips that will help you put a check to overeating habits and maintain weight.
Overeating is as much an evil of the mind as it is of the body. Therefore the first line of defense must be a strong resolve to restrain oneself. Keeping away from your beloved food will definitely be suffocating (understatement of the century), but the need to put an end to it must come from sincere realization of it as your own need, and not because weight loss is the "in" thing, or because someone called you a fatso. However, we have a few tips to help you with it.
- Consistency in meal timing
This is a big factor when it comes to avoiding weight gain. When you do not have a set schedule for your daily meals, the glucose levels in the blood will start spiking, causing the body to release more insulin, which is responsible for sending these excess sugars (glucose) into the fat cells. Following a regular meals routine will help to maintain steady, and thus healthy, glucose level in blood, which in turns facilitates burning fat rather than storing it away. Further, cholesterol levels remain in check and hunger remains at bay, as your body knows that it will get food at the set time.
- Split your meals
Instead of eating three heavy meals a day, it would be advisable to reduce the amount eaten per meal. Don't panic, we are not telling you to give up half of your daily intake. We suggest decreasing the size of the meals you take and in turn introduce light snacks in between every two meals. In effect, your total intake for the day will be more-or-less the same, but you will feel satiated throughout the day. This will cause the body think that it has access to food at any time and hence won't consider it necessary to store away fat. Also since you'll almost never feel starved, there will be no question of overeating.
- Never forget breakfast
Many wise-guys make the disastrous mistake of avoiding breakfast altogether, thinking that it will get them a head start in their race against calories. They couldn't have chosen a worse time!
Breakfast is the first meal for the day ahead, and will decide whether it will be active or drowsy. Avoiding it will cause weakness, lack of concentration and creativity, and overall sleepiness. Remember, you have not eaten anything since last night, and further denying yourselves your food will only increase the urge to eat more, and finally you'll end up overeating. All of this can be avoided if you have something for breakfast.
- Eat Slowly
Not only would you not be able to savor the taste of the food you eat, considering we are all very choosey about the taste of the food we eat, you would also not be able to tell when you are full. Doctors say that it takes several minutes (up to 20) for the stomach to inform the brain that it is full. It is said that one should always get up from the dining table feeling that there is still space for more. However, if you eat like it will be your last meal, you will be well past the upper limit by the time you realize it.
- Eat when you're eating
What does that mean? Exactly what it says. If you have the habit of multi-tasking while you're eating, you're overeating without even being aware of it. The same applies for the snacks, or anything for that matter, you eat while you're talking to someone on the phone, watching television or surfing the net. If you read the previous point, you would know that the stomach sends very belated status updates to the brain. How more wonderful would the situation be if the brain isn't even paying attention?!
- Sugary Drinks are not good
How is it related to overeating? Well, apart from sneaking in those extra calories into the body, it does not register as consumed. Just remember the last time you had a soda or packaged juice, after the thirst fades, did you feel any less hungry? As a matter of fact, research suggests that in cases of drinkinllg sugary drinks closely followed by solid meal, the drink will make you feel hungry faster and eventuay end up making you eat more than you would otherwise have eaten.
The threats that overeating poses, other than making your beloved wardrobe useless, ranges from the least potent to severe heart diseases and increases risk of cardiac arrests. Let's face it, if you plan to continue with the "just-one-more-I promise" thing with food, there will be a time when it'll be too late to stop. The path will not be easy, it never is, but you'll enjoy a longer and healthier life. But if that is your priority or not, is up to you to choose.