HCG Diet Blog

OverEating and Weight Gain

January 3, 2018
You can gain CONTROL over what you put in your mouth. You may need to ask for help!  However, with dedication and some time you will be in full control!
You can gain CONTROL over what you put in your mouth. You may need to ask for help! However, with dedication and some time you will be in full control!

Understanding The Great Problem of Overeating


We have all over ate at one point in our lives and I think that most would agree that over-eating does not feel good!  In my office, I help patients deal with weight gain that is often due to the behavior of overeating. This drive for some to eat is a blurry gray area that lives somewhere between the conscious and the subconscious. It is hard to pin down and change on the dime.  However, with mindfulness, practice and our old friend time it is 100% possible to change these patterns. Many of the patients that come to me for the HCG Diet have issues within the realm of overeating and I am happy to say that they leave our program with control!


How the APPETITE Works

Hunger is defined as the NEED to to eat as your body is in need of some calories for fuel in order to function. Appetite is the DESIRE to have that piece of cake or that bag of chips that you really do not NEED and will actually provide you with a host of things that create inflammation in the body. Indulging in food is a favorite past time of Americans.  Food can be nostalgic, delicious and addictive.  SO, why do we keep overeating???? Why do we say YES to these foods that create inflammation in the body?  We know it is not a good choice yet, we do it anyway and then cry about it later. This is the story I hear all too often in my practice.
Way back when in our old hunter/gatherer days, sweet, rich foods were hard to come across and very desired.  Now, in modern day, we have access to these foods 24/7 and we still find them constantly desirable.  As we consistently give into our cravings for sugary junk food, we throw off the system in our bodies that regulates hunger/sataity.  Two hormones play a major role in this regulation system ... leptin and grehlin.  We release leptin to signal to our brain that we are hungry and grehlin rises in response to being full.
Sugar is totally addictive!   Guess what ... give it 30 days and it is truly an easy habit to break and so worth those first few days of cravings and discomfort.  
I notice that our HCG Diet patients come into the program with a high carb diet and leave with a desire to keep carbs low after feeling the effects of a lower carb diet and obtaining the knowledge of how sugar affects us physiologically.

Do YOU EAT for Hunger (Function) or Pleasure


In the past few years, I choose to eat for function and from my hunger cues 90% of the time. Occasionally, I will go for a little indulgence! . This works really well for me!  It keeps my body strong, healthy and lean and my mind sharp.  I do not have inflammation and I still enjoy the pleasures of those decadent desserts here and there.  It has been found that those who eat for pleasure often lose control and will overeat with frequency.


You would think it would be so easy!  We all know what is good for us and what is not.  At first thought, it seems like putting an end to overeating is simply a matter of telling your brain to stop consuming food. It's obviously not that easy or we would not live in a country where 2/3rds of the population were over weight.


The following factors also have an impact on the amount and the frequency of the food that we consume!


1. Genetic Factors


Our gastro intestinal system, brain and hormones work together to establish our appetite and hunge levels and our genetics can play a role too. Studies are beginning to show that genes can impact the length of eating epsiodes and the types of food that we crave.l

2. Environmental Influences

Food psychology shows that when people are around us are eating and the armosphere is festive we tend to over indulge!

The way our parents presented us with food in our first few years of childhood tends to impact one’s eating behavior later in life. It has been shown that children with restricted food practices in early years tend to have poor self regulation with food later in life.


3. Psychological Influences


Sleep deprivation and stress are 2 factors that can have a strong impact on eating when we are not really hungry!  Evidence from longitudinal studies shows that stress can be linked to weight gain.  Studies have also shown that lack of sleep creates cravings for sugar and makes it harder to practice mindful eating.

Whether it’s stress or social pressure that’s driving you to overeat, we all know how frustrating it is to realize that you gave in to your cravings (again!). The good news is you can do something the next time you’re about to open your third bag of chips.


For a start, consider the following easy yet sustainable solutions to put an end to overeating, minus the horrible feeling of self-deprivation.


Making an Action Plan to Stop Overeating (without depriving)

1. Learn to recognize the difference between psychological and physiological hunger

Due to the rediculous amounts of food available these days to most humans, we find ourselves eating mostly NOT because we want to curb hunger.  Most of the time, we eat for any reason ... happiness, saddness, joy, celebration, stress, entertainment ... you name it and we will eat for it.

It takes some degree of mindfulness to recognize the difference between psychological and physiological hunger.  

Ask yourself these questions before you put the food to your mouth:


  • Am I really hungry?
  • What is my motivation for eating? Am I anxious, bored or stressed? If the answer is yes, to any of them ... explore other ways to check in with the feeling such as journaling or talking to a friend.
Before eating .... be mindful:
  • Notice what is on your plate; how big are the portions?
  • Notice the point at which become comfortably full
  • Press pause on what you are doing so that you can eat with mindfulness and presence. It's hard to notice sateity when we are doing other things.
  • Eat until you are 80% full. This is a practice of the Owakinawans in Japan and called Hara Hachi Bu.  This is the culture with the longest iving life expectancy, They also eat what we would consider a calorie restricted diet
  • EAT SLOWly
  • Surround yourself with those who eat for health


A NOTE ABOUT FOOD ADDICTION: many of us can relate to overeating however, food addiciton is a different story.  Food addiction often takes help from a skilled counselor or therapist. 


Here is the take home message: Mindful Eating is good for your Body!  Recognizing what makes us eat is a good place to start. For most of us, the reason that we eat is really not because we are hungry!


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