You know that feeling…After you have eaten and your pants are super tight and you are sleepy, bloated, uncomfortable and you can barely move? Of course you know this feeling! It is It is the feeling you get after overeating or eating too much of what you shouldn’t…AKA “Food Coma”. For me, it is a truly awful feeling that also involves nausea and headache and takes hours to pass! Sometimes it will even last a day or two! That could possibly be due to my Celiac and Lyme Disease or maybe that is just how my body responds to being treated badly. Yes, Badly. Remember, your stomach is about the size of your fist. Look at how much you eat when out to dinner: drinks, appetizer, main course, dessert, coffee. The amount of food on a plate in a restaurant is much larger than a fist. When you overeat, your stomach needs to expand to make more room. This then pushes your stomach against the other surrounding organs, squishing them and forcing them to work harder to do their jobs! For example, your gallbladder will need to work harder to squeeze out more bile to help you digest the extra fats you have eaten. And you know how sometimes you get so full even taking a deep breath is a struggle? Well, your stomach is probably pushing on your lungs!
Once eaten, food immediately begins to be broken down into energy, resulting in gas in the intestines an stomach. So now you have an over-expanded stomach plus added gas from the extra food, creating pain, more bloating, possible heart burn, acid reflux, indigestion and, well, gas. Overeat often enough and you can also develop bad skin, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, irritability, exhaustion and bad body and breath odors! , So knowing all this information and having experienced the feelings of overeaten, why continue to overeat? Here are my top 7 reasons for overeating:
1-PARTY!!! You are at a celebration and there is a ton of food and drink you love! Hey, it’s a special occasion right? but think about it, how many special occasions, holidays and celebrations in a month? In my own life It seems there is at least a weekly occurrence! Does this mean skip the parties? Hell no! Just make better choices. Add a glass of water an hour to fill you up. Choose the veggie platter over the fried calamari. Choose the protein over the pasta.
2-Boredom. Sitting in front of the TV can cause many to snack mindlessly. Being at a job that is unfulfilling can lead to noshing all day long to simply to pass time or fill a void. Boredom is a big cause of overeating, just think about how many times you open and close the refrigerator when you are bored! How do you fix this? Get busy. Exercise, read, knit, draw, garden, paint, clean, etc.
3-You are drunk. Does this reason really need an explanation?
4- You cheated on your “diet”. Lets say you are on the road to health or on a plan to lose a few pounds. One freshly baked cookie, one tiny weak moment, leads to complete disaster. You feel disappointed in yourself for giving into the cookie, so you can now justify the remainder of the days over indulgence of pizza, ice cream, chips, french fries and skittles using the phrase or (something similar), “well, I already ruined my day with that cookie so whats the big deal?” The big deal is the cookie was probably 150 calories and the rest of the days cheats are 2500 calories plus. Accept the fact that you ate the cookie. Enjoy the cookie. Then get back on track. In reality, that one cookie won’t dent your progress.
5- Rewarding Yourself. This drives me nuts. When training a dog, trainers mostly use food. Treats. Snacks. You are not a dog!!! Do not constantly reward yourself with food. At the very least, do not reward yourselves with a ton of food. You deserve to be rewarded for reaching your goals, a job well done, etc, but don’t always do it with food.
6-You are Sluggish. A cafe mocha latte around 3 pm with, perhaps, with a donut? The sugar and carbs will absolutely (yet temporarily) give you the burst of energy you are looking for! But why are you crashing at 3 pm? What is your body trying to tell you? Are you sugar levels off? Are you eating a big breakfast, snack and a good lunch? Are you hydrated? Did you overeat the night before? Get to the root of the crashing and you won’t be in need of the sugar/carb boost.
7-Stress. Ugh. Whats your vice? Smoking? Drinking? Eating? All of the above? We all encounter stressful situations. Some people handle stress better than others. Some don’t have the proper tools to deal with stress. Some just like to have a drink and chill out when stressed. Whatever the reasons are, some people just “stress” or “emotional” eat. And eat. And eat. It is a vicious path and it is not easy to stop. It requires help, time and effort. If you find yourself emotionally or stress eating more often than not, I suggest reaching out for help. There are many people who can assist and ways to start including counselors, books, churches, coaches and trainers.
Also remember that overeating often enough will become a habit, just like anything else you do often. If you have trouble breaking the cycle on your own I highly suggest getting some help. You can contact local support groups such as overeating anonymous, go to your place of faith, join a gym, get a trainer, see a counselor or even find self help books. You can also contact me for more information