Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Convince Your Brain to Stop Overeating

This is my biggest problem: Overeating. Especially when my boyfriend is in town and we go out for dinner -- I feel like I must subconsciously be trying to keep up with him or compete with him for portion sizes consumed.

Think about it ... our stomachs are supposedly only the size of one of our fists. Can you imagine how far those suckers have to stretch out to be able to hold all of the food that is given to us at dinner restaurants? It seems to me that we weren't meant to have that much food at once ... so I did some research.

According to How Life Works that's the way our brains are programmed. Throughout our evolutionary history, food has been scarce, so in order to ensure survival, humans have been conditioned to eat as much as they can whenever food is available. Unfortunately, when food is abundant and rich in calories, as it is today, the results can be ugly.

Well, again according to How Life Works, Dr. Alan Hirsch did a study and noticed that many patients who had lost their sense of smell and taste due to illness or accident experienced rapid weight gain. Certain smells and tastes seemed to be acting on the brain to control the appetite. Could it be that the smells in processed food are tricking our brains to consume more of them? Well, I believe it may have something to do with it ... maybe a similar affect to how sugar makes us crave more sugar once the high has died down.

So how do you convince your brain to stop overeating? Well, you have to get serious and know that you're just trying to help your body and your health. You have to think ... am I really hungry, or is it just my mind playing tricks on me? When you think you're hungry try drinking a huge glass or two of water first. Maybe you were just thirsty and now you will have saved yourself some calories. Also ... when you're craving that big slice of pumpkin pie during Christmas dinner you can ask yourself ... how will I feel after I eat that? Does it really taste that good or is it the cravings doing all the talking? Is that pie something my body needs?

Toni told it to me this way:
Would you buy motor oil to put in your car if you heard it might break the engine? Would you clean your clothes with soap that warned it could cause sickness? Would you brush your teeth with toothpaste that was said to possibly put holes in your teeth? NO! So why would you put sugar and processed foods into your body when it has been PROVEN to do harm? Well obviously we're all human and I, myself, am ADDICTED to sweets ... but with everything there HAS to be some moderation. We can even overeat fruits and vegetables if we aren't careful!

So lets all do our best, perhaps not to go on any crazy diets at the first of the year, but to just be more careful. Measure your food, be careful, and just eat what your body requires. Remember, whatever your body doesn't need it gets rid of, but some it saves as fat on your bootie! With 4 months until the Miss USA Pagant and 5 months until Summer, I think it's time to get serious!!



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