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Too Much Eating - Health or Hardship?

Too Much Eating - Health or Hardship?

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2021-10-28

Ever opened a bag of chips planning to have a small snack, only to find yourself peeping into an empty bag just a few moments later? It is no secret that obesity rates have rose in India and more than 13.5 crore individuals are affected by obesity. Even the healthiest people go through phases where tog much work, too many parties leading them to overindulge on sweets, greasy burgers, or office snacks. When you associate foods with events and occasions, you begin to adopt those emotional links every time you are triggered. For example, every time you feel stressed or tired, you reach for ice, cream out of comfort. Why are we eating so much food? Why is it so hard to stop? The answer lies in our brain.

Too Much Eating - Health or Hardship?

Why Do We Eat?
Basically, we eat for 2 reasons; First, when we require energy for our body needs and to keep our biological system balanced. Second, when we eat for pleasure or to manage our emotions. Talking scientifically, the first one is "Homeostatic Eating, and the second one is "Hedonic Eating." The hunger hormone, Ghrelin rises our appetite, it peaks just before meals and falls during and immediately after eating. But ghrelin is not the only factor or the decision maker to eat food. Hunger and eating is shaped by many factors, including our genes, social cues, learned behavior, environmental factors, hormones, etc.

Our body has a system for managing the long-term energy and nutrient needs called the "Leptin Feedback Loop. Leptin is a hormone, released by fat tissue which tells the brain about the energy consumption and how much excess energy has been stored up (as fat). If the stored energy and leptin levels remain stable over time then the metabolic rate stays high and if stored energy and leptin drop over time, it sends a message to the brain that we need to start preventing starvation.

Now, if the stored energy and leptin go up over time, you will want to eat less..right? Unfortunately, you cannot always count on that response. How much leptin will rise when you start eating more and how your brain responds to the increased levels of leptin also varies from person to person. Hence, it is complicated and science still does not have "the secret" to hunger and over-eating yet.

Tasty + Fun - Dangerous Combination
Make something salty, sweet, starchy, and fatty, then add in some extra flavors, scents, appealing colors and a pleasing mouth-feel for good measure, and it eventually leads us to over-eat. These type of foods have a winning combination for keeping us interested and bingeing:

-A lot of calories in a small package
-High fat content
-High refined starch and/or sugar content
-Pleasing texture such as creamy or crunchy
Other flavor enhancers, additives to satisfy the taste buds Drugs, such as caffeine or alcohol All these qualities taken in excess has a negative impact on our body. But our brain loves processed foods and we never feel full or satiated when we eat them! Also, our brain forgets about its natural stop signals in favor of getting more of that delicious "hit" from food reward. Our hedonic pleasure system starts bullying our homeostatic energy-balancing system. Overeating can lead to unwanted weight gain, which increases many risks. But it is not just about the unwanted calories.

This is how the body responds when you overeat
- Esophagus Fills with extra acid from the stomach resulting in heart burn
- Heart Speeds up as the metabolism increases to digest extra food
- Stomach Expands beyond its normal size to adjust the large amount of food, which pushes on other organs and make us feel uncomfortable
- liver and Pancreas Works harder to secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break down food
-Intestines Absorb macronutrients, vitamins and minerals for energy or fat

Recovering from Overeating
Resetting mindset by eating healthy food can habituate the brain to eat healthy and avoid overeating. Take things one day at a time and in small sets every day.
There is a reason why you never feel completely satisfied after eating sugary and fatty foods. Those foods lack fiber and protein which keeps the blood-sugar blood-sugar levels stabilized and hunger at bay. So fill up your plates with fiber-rich foods.
-Make a weekly and monthly healthy meal plan in order to resist the urge of overeating
- Last but not the least, exercise! Nutrition and fitness go hand in hand and no one can have good health without both which is why incorporating exercise in your routine is important! Even right amount of routine exercise helps to control hunger or appetite by curbing ghrelin.
Therefore, being aware of your relationship with your food is the most important thing to know how to get back on track after a period of overindulgence. When you embrace your imperfect eating habits, you learn what your challenges and temptations are, and then anyone can create strategies to fight overeating!


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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
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