When I first started my raw diet, about 6 years ago, overeating was a daily thing. I just felt hungry all the time.
Looking back, the challenge back then was two fold:
- Physcologically I just was use to my stomach feeling "filled" they way it felt after eating highly processed cooked meals
- Nutritionally my body was building its reserves and detoxing, so it wasn't absorbing as many as vitamins and minerals as it could
Nowadays overeating happens maybe once every 3-5 weeks. Usually when I make a big meal for a party or eat out at a raw restaurant.
One things for sure, the Holiday season also tends to inspire overeating. Luckily, Paul Nison has some good insight on that.
Paul Nison on Overeating
This month my article is about overeating. I chose to write abut this topic because, even though most people overeat all year, they especially overeat around the time of the holidays.
I have found that people do not eat and drink for nourishment only. Most people go way beyond their nourishment needs. Their need for nourishment becomes a pleasure to fulfill their addictions. How many people have heard that too much pleasure can be a bad thing? That is very true, and indulging in the pleasure of eating and drinking too often has left our world full of sick people, crying for help but not willing to give up their pleasers that are causing the problem. Many people do not even know that overeating is the cause. (Drink is not limited to alcohol, today many people consume many different beverages simply for pleasure, coffee, soda, energy drinks, etc.)
People are treating their own body as waste dumps, stuffing as much food and drink in as possible. Overeating might seem harmless, and a person can seem to get away with it for many years, but it is slowly leading to disease inside the body. Nothing takes more energy from the body than dealing with too much food. It drains our energy, creates disease and intoxifies our blood stream, leading to many deadly problems.
My good friend Dr. Fred Bisci has this to say about overeating:
Overeating creates havoc in the body, causing improper digestion and improper elimination. When the large intestine retains food longer than it should, harmful bacterial action occurs. The result is that gases and toxins are formed. They are absorbed by the tiny vessels on the walls of the bowel and poison the entire bloodstream. This is known as auto-intoxication.- Dr. Fred Bisci
It is so sad that people are conditioned to over-consume food. More money is spent on food each year than gas and medical care combined. These people who are overeating are also using more gas driving to and from the doctor and medical facilities, resulting in more money spent on medical care when they overeat.
“Man lives on 1/3 of what he eats. The doctor lives on the other 2/3’s”
Why do people eat so much?
Most people eat for false hunger. It is important to learn the difference between hunger and appetite. Most people have never felt true hunger, but they say all the time, “I’m so hungry.” This is just your programmed appetite kicking in. It usually happens when you see or smell something you like. Many times food was the last thing on your mind until you see a commercial or billboard with an advertisement for food. Once people start, they just can’t seem to stop.
People in most of the civilized world don’t eat out of hunger; they eat for pleasure. There is nothing wrong with a little pleasure. A little pleasure has never hurt anyone. However, a lot of pleasure has killed many. Learn to control your pleasure. You must gain control. It’s fine to experience the pleasure of food, but overdoing it turns into overeating. Learn to insure that all your nutrient needs are met while reducing your caloric intake to the amount needed. The right number of calories is different for everyone, but you can be sure that the higher the quality of the food (the closer it is to nature), the fewer the calories needed.
Boredom is another major reason why people overeat. Keeping busy is a great way to avoid thinking about food. The body can last for weeks without food. It is very rare for anyone to reach the point of true hunger.
If one doesn’t reach true hunger, how does he or she know when it is time to eat?
The answer is to eat when you feel you need food for its value, and not for emotional reasons. And then, when you consume food, limit it only to what you feel your needs are, not your appetite. Most people could reduce their meals to half of the current amount, and their health would improve.
I suggest each person figure out their own nutritional needs not on “how they feel”, but on a simple occasional blood profile. A simple blood test will show any differences if anyone is not getting enough, but just about everyone (who is healthy) can cut down to two high quality meals a day of fruits, vegetables, nuts and/or seeds. Once you figure out what you need, have set meal times to help yourself not eat more than your body needs.
As people consume more and more food, they usually look for more and more stimulants and condiments to relish their food. The best way to get out of this habit is to give your digestive organs a rest and stop consuming all foods for a certain amount of time. This is also known as a fast or fasting.
One of the major health secrets when it comes to eating is moderation and also occasional abstinence. Going one day a week without food is something I recommend to every person. Yes, fasting one day a week to give the body a complete rest is extremely beneficial. This can be done with water or green vegetable juices.
Most people overeat, and once they get started they just can’t seem to stop themselves. Before eating, ask yourself, “Do I need to eat, or do I want to eat?” If the former, enjoy your meal, but be true to yourself. Your wellness will depend on it.