Constant overeating can wreck your health and life – here’s two scary facts

Sometimes even small and underestimated amounts can cause long term health issues.

I believe that people look forward to Christmas and NY to have a big feast. It’s a great excuse to use every year. On Christmas day, I met a friend during our afternoon walk. Walking past a friends home on Christmas morning, she stopped to say hello and wish her a lovely day. Whilst talking to her, she noticed prawns in her hands and mouth! She was snacking on prawns at 10 am. To some people, that might be normal, but as she made a distasteful facial expression telling me the story, I was so pleased because I’m sure my face looked very similar! If you like eating prawns at 10 am, I do apologise; that’s just a little too early for me in particular. I don’t particularly like prawns anyway. I’d much rather eat a little — plant-based yumminess and spend the day being active and enjoying the sun and beach. Being sprawled on a couch, nursing a swollen belly isn’t that appealing to me. I have done this too many times and have always regretted it afterwards. One day of overeating isn’t going to hurt — but it can become a hindrance. Overeating is not only a problem during the festive season; it’s happening in many households 365 days per year. I thought it would be best to highlight the dangers of overeating excessively — because this shit is real.


Scary issue one: It disrupts your hunger signals

The two hormones that affect your appetite are Ghrelin and Leptin. Both have separate jobs to do. One stimulates your appetite (Ghrelin), while the other suppresses it (leptin). Although you might not know they are constantly working to either bring on hunger or encourage satiety, they do so quietly in the background. Continually overeating may stop the signalling of these hormones. If you constantly eat foods high in fat, sugar & salt, dopamine may become activated in your brain’s pleasure centre. As a habit, the body may recognise the pleasure associated with foods that aren’t good for you — but make you feel good. So eventually, you may fall into the habit of eating for pleasure rather than hunger. This is one of the hardest circles of overeating that you can overcome. But you can do so with a bit of patience and practice. I probably don’t need to tell you that overeating leads to fat gain and a cascade of health problems like diabetes and obesity.


How to start getting your appetite & satiety signals to work again

The trick is to portion out your food throughout the day whilst spending a reasonable amount of time chewing the foods. This helps to regulate your bodies natural fullness signal. Portion size guide by Energy Balance Nutrition Consulting

Scary issue one: Can decline your brain function

Studies confirm that those who overeat (compared to those who do not) show a mental decline. High-fat foods like fish, avocado, nuts and olive oil can prevent mental decline. That makes sense, given our brain consists of about 60% fat. Fat helps us keep our brain healthy and our mind functioning well into old age.


How do we overcome the need to overeat?

I have two simple and effective solution’s for you in which I have written a couple of blog posts. Don’t discard them because they seem somewhat silly — they work! The best tip I have to stop overeating is to drink 2–3 glasses of water before you eat. 

This will allow your stomach to expand, and hunger should diminish.

Most of the time, we forget that hunger can be dehydration. One added benefit of this is you will be less inclined to overeat if you drink a lot of water. So, put your spoon down and reach for the glass of water instead. Then, watch how quickly your hunger subsides. Keeping yourself hydrated is an essential step towards better health and staying lean.

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