Why we eat too much and how to get control

why we eat too much and how to get control

The Single Best Way to Stop Eating Too Much

Here is the problem: we Homo sapiens evolved to cope with conditions that predominated during the Paleolithic period, when humans hunted and gathered, and fat, salt, and sugar were in short supply. To ensure that we ate adequate supplies of each, we evolved a craving for them. Jun 02, How to get control: When were exhausted, we hunger for just about everything in sight, especially if its sugary or high in carbs. That may be because these foods give us both an energy boost and.

We all know we're supposed to eat healthy portions. So why is it that a rough day at the office or even just the smell of chocolate-chip cookies can cause us to throw our best intentions out the window? We tapped the nation's leading experts for the unexpected reasons why so many of us overdo it -- so you can break the cycle and prevent an unwanted pile-on of pounds. Missing out on your zzz's not only puts you in a mental fog, it also triggers a constellation of actual metabolic changes that may lead to weight gain.

A lack of shut-eye harms your waistline because it affects two important hormones that control appetite and satiety--leptin and ghrelin--says Kristen L. Knutson, Ph. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, controo who slept only four hours a night for two nights had an 18 percent decrease in leptin a hormone that signals the brain that the body has had enough to eat and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin a hormone that triggers hungercompared with those who got more rest.

The result: Sleep-deprived study volunteers reported gget 24 percent boost in appetite. Short sleep can also impair glucose metabolism and over time set the stage for type 2 diabetes, Knutson notes. When we're exhausted, we hunger for just about everything in sight, especially if it's sugary or high in carbs. That may be because these foods give us both an energy boost and comfort since lack of sleep is a stressorKnutson says.

To quell the urge for fattening foods and still get the energy kick you need, reach for a combination of complex carbs and protein. But go for high-fiber carbs for long-lasting energy," says Keri Gans, R.

At breakfast, have whole-wheat toast with egg whites or a high-fiber cereal anv fruit and a yogurt. And for how to decode a vauxhall car radio food-free way to perk up during the day, take a minute walk outside.

You also can prevent uncontrollable cravings in the why we eat too much and how to get control place by prioritizing a good night's sleep -- get seven to nine hours a night in a slumber-friendly bedroom one that's as dark and quiet as controo and reserved for shut-eye and sex only.

A final tip: If you're plagued by sleep problems, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist. Constant stress causes your body to pump how to hang curtain rod from ceiling high doses of hormones, like cortisol, that over time can bet your appetite and lead you to overeat. Why you may feel it in your gut. Fat cells also produce cortisol, so if you're overweight and stressed, you're getting a double-whammy in terms of exposure.

Overweight women gained weight when faced with common stressors such as job demands, having a tough time paying bills, and family-relationship strains, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Cortisol, together with insulin, also causes your body to store more visceral fat, which is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke, Epel notes.

What's more, stress makes it harder to stick with a healthy eating plan. Folks who normally restrict their eating, tend to overeat in response to stress. Sure, real-life pressures can put you in nonstop-nibble mode. But working stress-reduction techniques into your busy days can really help. Yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises are powerful tools that ho tension in check. And spending 20 minutes doing progressive muscle relaxation--alternately tensing and relaxing muscle groups--significantly lessens stress, anxiety, and cortisol, according annd a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders.

Exercise will also do the trick. If you're feeling completely overwhelmed by stress, talk to a counselor who specializes in stress management. We're hardwired to hunger for fatty, sugary, gdt foods because, back when our how to tie wreath bow were foraging for every meal, palatable eats meant extra energy and a leg-up on survival, says Dr.

David A. So it's why we eat too much and how to get control just a lack of willpower that's tripping you up, but rather your outdated why we eat too much and how to get control mode. In fact, when you eat fat-rich foods, your brain not only gets a signal that your body is satisfied but also forms long-term memories of the experience, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What once helped early humans survive is now giving us ever-expanding waistlines. Adding to the challenge to control overeating, the mere sight of food can cue up a craving. Avoid eating your favorite treat if you're in a particular mood, if it's ww certain time of day, or if you're in a specific place; this will prevent you from creating a triggering link between those feelings or locations and that treat, Kessler says.

And since the smell and sight of fatty, how to develop a database system foods is pure temptation, try to keep yourself from passing the bakery or ice cream shop you can't resist. Also, pay attention to what you're thinking when temptation strikes. Instead, focus on something you want more than that slice of cheesecake--from being healthier for your kids to feeling less winded when you walk to work--to help override the urge.

If logic is out the window, indulge in healthier versions of your favorites such as low-fat frozen yogurt with almonds when you crave a sundae or a calcium-rich glass of nonfat chocolate milk when you need a chocolate fix. Immediately start with lean protein, veggies, whole grains, and fruit, and drink plenty of water, Zied suggests.

Think about what triggered your overindulgence--not to punish yourself, but to choose smarter next time. To feel in gey again, simply tack on a few extra minutes to your why we eat too much and how to get control walk, gym routine, etc. At the nuch time, "try not to think of exercise as a punishment for overindulging," Zied says. Copyright Health Magazine Share this on:.

Story Highlights Lack of sleep affects hormones that control appetite and satiety: leptin and ghrelin For a food-free way to perk up during the day, take a minute walk outside. Cortisol, together with insulin, causes your body to store more visceral fat Your brain forms long-term memories of the experience of fat-rich foods. Next Article in Health . By Rachel Grumman. If you overeat, think about what triggered your overindulgence so you can do better next time. Health Library MayoClinic.

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Nov 13, A dietitian reveals the painless way to avoid overeating. Doesnt matter what eating plan you use and what your schedule is like, theres one reliable thing you can do to painlessly cut. Oct 30, For this reason, you may eat too much (or overdo it when it comes to alcohol or sex) in an unconscious attempt to boost your brain levels of dopamine and feel a sense of pleasure. Jun 24, Genes contribute to the causes of obesity in many ways, by affecting appetite, satiety (the sense of fullness), metabolism, food cravings, body-fat distribution, and the tendency to use eating as a way to cope with stress. The strength of the genetic influence on weight disorders varies quite a bit from person to person.

Everyone knows some people who can eat ice cream, cake, and whatever else they want and still not gain weight. At the other extreme are people who seem to gain weight no matter how little they eat. What are the causes of obesity?

What allows one person to remain thin without effort but demands that another struggle to avoid gaining weight or regaining the pounds he or she has lost previously? On a very simple level, your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn up. But each of these factors is influenced by a combination of genes and environment. Both can affect your physiology such as how fast you burn calories as well as your behavior the types of foods you choose to eat, for instance.

The interplay between all these factors begins at the moment of your conception and continues throughout your life. The balance of calories stored and burned depends on your genetic makeup, your level of physical activity, and your resting energy expenditure the number of calories your body burns while at rest.

If you consistently burn all of the calories that you consume in the course of a day, you will maintain your weight. If you consume more energy calories than you expend, you will gain weight. Excess calories are stored throughout your body as fat. Your body stores this fat within specialized fat cells adipose tissue either by enlarging fat cells, which are always present in the body, or by creating more of them. If you decrease your food intake and consume fewer calories than you burn up, or if you exercise more and burn up more calories, your body will reduce some of your fat stores.

When this happens, fat cells shrink, along with your waistline. To date, more than different genes have been implicated in the causes of overweight or obesity, although only a handful appear to be major players. Genes contribute to the causes of obesity in many ways, by affecting appetite, satiety the sense of fullness , metabolism, food cravings, body-fat distribution, and the tendency to use eating as a way to cope with stress.

The strength of the genetic influence on weight disorders varies quite a bit from person to person. Having a rough idea of how large a role genes play in your weight may be helpful in terms of treating your weight problems.

Genes are probably a significant contributor to your obesity if you have most or all of the following characteristics:. Genes are probably a lower contributor for you if you have most or all of the following characteristics:. These circumstances suggest that you have a genetic predisposition to be heavy, but it's not so great that you can't overcome it with some effort.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can assume that your genetic predisposition to obesity is modest if your weight is normal and doesn't increase even when you regularly indulge in high-calorie foods and rarely exercise. People with only a moderate genetic predisposition to be overweight have a good chance of losing weight on their own by eating fewer calories and getting more vigorous exercise more often.

These people are more likely to be able to maintain this lower weight. When the prey escaped or the crops failed, how did our ancestors survive? Those who could store body fat to live off during the lean times lived, and those who couldn't, perished.

Today, of course, these thrifty genes are a curse rather than a blessing. Not only is food readily available to us nearly around the clock, we don't even have to hunt or harvest it! In contrast, people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity may not be able to lose weight with the usual forms of diet and exercise therapy.

Even if they lose weight, they are less likely to maintain the weight loss. For people with a very strong genetic predisposition, sheer willpower is ineffective in counteracting their tendency to be overweight.

Typically, these people can maintain weight loss only under a doctor's guidance. They are also the most likely to require weight-loss drugs or surgery. The prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States has been rising since the s. Genes alone cannot possibly explain such a rapid rise. Although the genetic predisposition to be overweight varies widely from person to person, the rise in body mass index appears to be nearly universal, cutting across all demographic groups.

These findings underscore the importance of changes in our environment that contribute to the epidemic of overweight and obesity. Genetic factors are the forces inside you that help you gain weight and stay overweight; environmental factors are the outside forces that contribute to these problems.

They encompass anything in our environment that makes us more likely to eat too much or exercise too little. Taken together, experts think that environmental factors are the driving force for the causes of obesity and its dramatic rise. Environmental influences come into play very early, even before you're born. Researchers sometimes call these in-utero exposures "fetal programming. The same is true for babies born to mothers who had diabetes.

Researchers believe these conditions may somehow alter the growing baby's metabolism in ways that show up later in life. After birth, babies who are breast-fed for more than three months are less likely to have obesity as adolescents compared with infants who are breast-fed for less than three months.

Childhood habits often stick with people for the rest of their lives. Kids who drink sugary sodas and eat high-calorie, processed foods develop a taste for these products and continue eating them as adults, which tends to promote weight gain.

Likewise, kids who watch television and play video games instead of being active may be programming themselves for a sedentary future. Many features of modern life promote weight gain. In short, today's "obesogenic" environment encourages us to eat more and exercise less. And there's growing evidence that broader aspects of the way we live such as how much we sleep, our stress levels, and other psychological factors can affect weight as well.

Between and , the average man added calories to his daily fare, while the average woman added calories a day. What's driving this trend? Experts say it's a combination of increased availability, bigger portions, and more high-calorie foods. Practically everywhere we go shopping centers, sports stadiums, movie theaters food is readily available. You can buy snacks or meals at roadside rest stops, hour convenience stores, even gyms and health clubs.

In the s, fast-food restaurants offered one portion size. Today, portion sizes have ballooned, a trend that has spilled over into many other foods, from cookies and popcorn to sandwiches and steaks. A typical serving of French fries from McDonald's contains three times more calories than when the franchise began. A single "super-sized" meal may contain 1,2, calories all the calories that most people need for an entire day.

And research shows that people will often eat what's in front of them, even if they're already full. Not surprisingly, we're also eating more high-calorie foods especially salty snacks, soft drinks, and pizza , which are much more readily available than lower-calorie choices like salads and whole fruits.

Fat isn't necessarily the problem; in fact, research shows that the fat content of our diet has actually gone down since the early s. But many low-fat foods are very high in calories because they contain large amounts of sugar to improve their taste and palatability.

In fact, many low-fat foods are actually higher in calories than foods that are not low fat. The government's current recommendations for exercise call for an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day.

Our daily lives don't offer many opportunities for activity. Children don't exercise as much in school, often because of cutbacks in physical education classes. Many people drive to work and spend much of the day sitting at a computer terminal. Because we work long hours, we have trouble finding the time to go to the gym, play a sport, or exercise in other ways. Instead of walking to local shops and toting shopping bags, we drive to one-stop megastores, where we park close to the entrance, wheel our purchases in a shopping cart, and drive home.

The widespread use of vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, leaf blowers, and a host of other appliances takes nearly all the physical effort out of daily chores and can contribute as one of the causes of obesity. The average American watches about four hours of television per day, a habit that's been linked to overweight or obesity in a number of studies.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a long-term study monitoring the health of American adults, revealed that people with overweight and obesity spend more time watching television and playing video games than people of normal weight.

Watching television more than two hours a day also raises the risk of overweight in children, even in those as young as three years old. Part of the problem may be that people are watching television instead of exercising or doing other activities that burn more calories watching TV burns only slightly more calories than sleeping, and less than other sedentary pursuits such as sewing or reading.

But food advertisements also may play a significant role. The average hour-long TV show features about 11 food and beverage commercials, which encourage people to eat.

And studies show that eating food in front of the TV stimulates people to eat more calories, and particularly more calories from fat. In fact, a study that limited the amount of TV kids watched demonstrated that this practice helped them lose weight but not because they became more active when they weren't watching TV. The difference was that the children ate more snacks when they were watching television than when doing other activities, even sedentary ones.

Obesity experts now believe that a number of different aspects of American society may conspire to promote weight gain. Stress is a common thread intertwining these factors. For example, these days it's commonplace to work long hours and take shorter or less frequent vacations.

In many families, both parents work, which makes it harder to find time for families to shop, prepare, and eat healthy foods together. Round-the-clock TV news means we hear more frequent reports of child abductions and random violent acts. This does more than increase stress levels; it also makes parents more reluctant to allow children to ride their bikes to the park to play.

Parents end up driving kids to play dates and structured activities, which means less activity for the kids and more stress for parents. Time pressures whether for school, work, or family obligations often lead people to eat on the run and to sacrifice sleep, both of which can contribute to weight gain. Some researchers also think that the very act of eating irregularly and on the run may be another one of the causes of obesity.

Neurological evidence indicates that the brain's biological clock the pacemaker that controls numerous other daily rhythms in our bodies may also help to regulate hunger and satiety signals. Ideally, these signals should keep our weight steady. They should prompt us to eat when our body fat falls below a certain level or when we need more body fat during pregnancy, for example , and they should tell us when we feel satiated and should stop eating.

Close connections between the brain's pacemaker and the appetite control center in the hypothalamus suggest that hunger and satiety are affected by temporal cues. Irregular eating patterns may disrupt the effectiveness of these cues in a way that promotes obesity.

Similarly, research shows that the less you sleep, the more likely you are to gain weight. Lack of sufficient sleep tends to disrupt hormones that control hunger and appetite and could be another one of the causes of obesity.

In a study of more than 1, volunteers, researchers found that people who slept less than eight hours a night had higher levels of body fat than those who slept more, and the people who slept the fewest hours weighed the most.

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