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6 Reasons Why You're Really Overeating

June 23, 2015





We’ve all done it – eating to the point of discomfort or even pain.  Does the food really taste THAT good?  Are we afraid we may never get to eat another meal again?  Are we just gluttons with no self-control?  Why do we do it?  Maybe we think we just need to exercise more willpower, but there may be some other explanations as to why we sometimes overstuff ourselves that have nothing to do with food.


Below are a few common reasons why we tend to over-indulge and leave our poor stomachs feeling bloated, sick, and stuffed to the gills.


1.     Divine Homesickness.  At times we may feel an emptiness or homesickness that is difficult to explain.  There is within each of us a desire to return to the place we called home before this life; that heavenly home where we were loved, cherished, and protected.  It should help to recognize that this homesickness is a normal part of our journey here on earth.  Developing or deepening a meaningful spiritual practice such as meditation, walking in nature, pondering scripture, or prayer can help us feel more connected to our Creator and alleviate some of those longings for home.


2.     Lack of Self-Love.  Thoughts of inadequacy, self-loathing, shame, and guilt can cause us to feel empty and hollow inside, and we may attempt to fill up that emptiness with the food we eat.  We may need to make an effort to forgive our selves for past mistakes, let go of regret and shame, and move forward with our lives in a spirit of love and understanding.  Realize that no one is perfect, we all mess up sometimes, and it’s okay to be human.


3.     Lack of Sweet Relationships.  Eating a warm, freshly baked cinnamon roll can feel like a sweet embrace from someone we love.  But we often neglect the more complicated human relationships in our lives in favor of the simpler, more direct relationship we have with food.  It can take a lot of energy to maintain loving relationships with our friends and family, but it is well worth the effort.  As we embrace the sweet relationships in our lives, we will be less prone to rely on comfort foods to make us feel good.


4.     Disconnection with Your Body.  Our bodies are constantly sending us signals about what they need in order to feel their best and function at the highest levels.  But if we don’t know how to interpret those signals, we can end up giving them the wrong things.  Strive to learn what your body’s signals are and determine to respond to them in the best possible ways.  A craving for sugar may mean that your body needs more energy in the form of movement or more sleep and other relaxing activities.  A craving for salty foods could mean that your body needs more minerals.  Tune into your body, listen to its messages, and learn to interpret your cravings.


5.     Eating the Wrong Foods.  If you eat and eat but never feel satisfied, you may be eating the wrong kinds of food.  Processed, packaged, and convenience foods are full of preservatives, chemicals, and refined ingredients that our bodies hardly recognize as real food.  Eating these kinds of food will only leave your body wanting more nutrition.  Try to incorporate fresh, whole foods such as colorful fruits, a variety of vegetables, whole grains, nuts and a small amount of organic meats.  When your body is getting plenty of real nutrients, it won’t keep sending you the signal that it needs more.


6.     Dehydration.  Most of us don’t drink enough water on a daily basis.  Diet sodas, coffee, and energy drinks deplete our bodies of minerals and actually stimulate our kidneys to work harder, leaving us even more dehydrated.  There is no substitute for water, so try to get at least half of your body weight in ounces every day.  Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning will rehydrate you after 8 hours of fasting while you slept, and it will send a message to your digestive system that it’s time to start working again.  Drinking another big glass before each meal will ease the digestion process and help you eat less as well.


Here are 3 great rules you can follow at mealtime: 


1. Only eat until you are 80% full.  This will leave you feeling satisfied but not overstuffed or uncomfortable. 


2. Remember that just because the food still tastes good doesn’t mean you have to keep eating it. 


3. Avoid watching TV, playing on the computer, or reading while you eat.  It’s easy to overindulge when there are too many distractions.  Listen to your body and honor it by giving it enough but not too much.

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