Have you ever thought why on some days you just want to binge and sometimes you just don’t want to taste even a bite? I am more of the former kind, I never refuse food. It is just not in my system to say “NO” to anything edible. To be honest, many of us find solace in foods that comfort us emotionally. Moreover, people who are depressed about extra weight tend to eat more. I am also a little curious about cuisines from all over the world because I was brought up like that. I was not supposed to judge food by the way it looks or anticipate how it would taste. I think that is the case for most of us but I see more kids these days, being extremely picky about food items and fitness because social media has caused a sense of insecurity.
It’s not surprising that over eating is one of the most common issues discussed in urban or semi- urban areas. Rarely there would be a case of an over eating human (not generalising here, but I see lesser or no obese people in rural areas) and then the gossips would multiply about the prospects of marriage, the presence of any sickness or maybe continuous discussions about the extra pounds. Did it ever occur to you that over eating probably is an issue that can be afforded by the rich and wealthy? If you can afford good food, more food and extra food you will eat more. Apart from this, over eating is also something that has a lot to do with your mind. I am saying this because I have been through the process of controlling my mind and eating lesser than I normally would.
Let me make myself clear, I do not have a single problem with over weight people. I am still trying to be fitter and it is okay to add some weight because bodies are supposed to change or not change and it is a matter of time. At various stages of your life, there is a different kind of metabolism working which can either lead to rapid weight gain or weight remaining the same. I can, however, tell you something that can help you to control the amount of food you are consuming. I would again remind you that this is a suggestion for those who want to control their mouths and focus on eating well rather than reckless consumption of junk or fast foods.
How do you identify if you are eating more than you are required to? See, basic common sense can tell you, if your stomach feels fuller more than usual then you have over eaten. However, there are times when you have just finished your meal and you still feel hungry after an hour or so and want to eat again. Sometimes these pangs maybe called cravings or PMSing (for the women) or even the overwhelming desire to eat that piece of cake or burger.
This century has seen a boom in food chains and fortunately or unfortunately rapid globalisation has made every item accessible in just a click. In addition to this, there has been a tendency of school going kids and college goers to pick up anything from fast food outlets because there is less time and one might miss a class (I am doubtful if there is any regret if the otherwise happens). Parents must be the supportive of their children while they are trying to lose weight. They must encourage their kids to opt for healthy foods rather than junk. I know it is very difficult because kids do what they want and they would ape their classmates and end up eating junk. Parents must be able to communicate about such topics. Some level of patience is required. I have seen people during my college days who were so particular with food and how they managed to stay fit even if they missed out on gym or sports or any athletic activity. Eating clean is a habit. if you cultivate good eating habits, you will never get attracted to foods that will serve no purpose to your body, rather ruin your digestive system and give you bad metabolism, acne, oily skin and brittle hair. If you are a parent and you are worried about your child’s apathy towards good food, you have to be patient with him or her. You cannot just shout or humiliate the child because that would cause a tendency to rebel and might turn him or her against you. You will never be able to bridge that gap of communication thereafter. Try reverse psychology, for instance. Like, if he or she refuses to eat that apple, here’s what you can do. Calmly tell the child, ” Alright, don’t have the apple. Everyone else will be having a strong set of teeth because they eat apples. It is okay if you don’t. When you go out to play, if you fall, you will have broken teeth but it is okay. I am going to give these apples to the other kids so that their teeth are strong and sparkling white.” This always works. Kids are very competitive. They might not use a particular item but they won’t give it to anyone else either. Another important tip for parents who deal with obese kids: Please be patient with your child when he or she demands food. Do not injure them emotionally. No amount of beating or raised voices will help. Also encourage them to take part in some sports, have a conversation with the teachers about their class activities and set aside time to make healthy and tasty lunch box. If you are handing out cash to your kid and tell him to grab lunch from outside, there are little or no chances of him buying some healthy stuffs for himself/ herself.
If you are an adult and you think you cannot control over eating, you are your best friend. You can listen to your body and act accordingly. Your body sends you signals. For instance, if you gorge on that packet of chips and watch a movie at night you will get pimples the next day. Pimples are signs of inflammation and indicate that there is something in your body that should not be there in the first place. It is going to be tough, I am aware. But I assure you, if you try to make minor changes here and there, this should not be a problem.
Here’s what you can do:
- Drink water- Check if the hunger is actually a consequence of an empty stomach or you are thirsty.
- If you are working on your computer or making an assignment, chances are your stomach will rumble because that happens always. You cannot help it. this is how many people gain weight because they grab anything they can and have no idea of the amount of calories they juts consumed. You can push yourself for some movement every half an hour and eat a fruit or a small bowl of berries/ nuts. When you engage yourself in some movement, even if it is some casual strolling inside your room, you will be able to distract yourself and the loading of empty carbs can be averted.
- When you are outside with friends and you plan to eat outside at a fancy restaurant, choose foods that are filling instead of those that are good to taste. I know it is difficult and perhaps illogical because it could be a party atmosphere plus everyone will be eating till their soul is sated. Like for example, if you have decided to throw a party for your birthday, you always have the option of choosing a place that offers healthier food. It is your day and you get to decide. If they do not like it, well, what kind of friends are they if they do not appreciate your choices? However, if you really want to binge eat that day, you can help yourself to a healthier dish and let the others eat what they want to. They will laugh, they will call you out, maybe poke fun and tease you. You must remember, your body needs your attention. All these comments can jump in the fire. If you do not pay attention to what your body needs, be prepared to listen to unwanted comments while undergoing blood tests or discovering there is a serious problem in your system. Look, I am not saying run away when you see junk food. You just need to remind yourself that whatever you eat, that must not be some insane amount of food that can make you struggle while you walk or climb up the stairs.
- If you are unable to cope with depression and want to eat an entire bowl of ice-cream or maybe, three to four cones because you just cannot control your tears, I will tell you an easier way. Take that ice-cream and walk in your room. No one is going to see you cry or howling or screaming. It is always better to opt for the ones that aren’t the cone ones. For one night you are allowed to gorge on your favourite icecream because someone broke your heart. But that must not make you lose your mind. Keep a calendar with you. Tick those days/nights you eat an ice-cream. The days/nights you consume ice- cream must be followed by the next day with a warm glass of water instead of a cold one. Trust me, it helps. You can fill a bottle with warm water and drink it throughout the day. You have anyway taken out your energy crying your heart out. Be a little kind to yourself.
- An effective way to stop over eating is to practise self-control (something that I strongly believe in) by keeping a food journal. I write down everything I eat and then make of a list of those items that I will not be eating if they were laden with calories. It is very easy to keep a food journal. We all have smart phones. An awesome app in the Store called My Fitness Pal can help you check the amount of calories you have consumed throughout the day. It will help you achieve your target weight easily. If you do not have a smart phone : before you go to bed, make a list of the foods that you have eaten and you think they could have added some extra pounds in your body. You have to keep track of the foods, that’s it. I shall be putting up some nutritional facts of common junk foods in another post where you can easily check for yourself.
It is in your mind, dear friend. Not your stomach, no! Your mind can control your mouth, your habits, your choices and make you feel better about yourself. You do not have to get those six-pack abs. You might not have a waistline that people might get envious of. You can only eat healthier, for yourself. Everyone has a body type and it is more than just fine if you are broad, skinny, short or chubby. What goes inside your stomach is going to show on your face and hair as well. Indulge if you want to, but in moderation.