The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Overconsumption  
 
Search treatments and conditions
Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Recommendations

 

Any health, emotional or personality problems that compound the overeating tendency should be investigated and dealt with to the best of one's ability. Although some contributing factors are discussed elsewhere, the real key to success comes from being motivated. Rather than outward dietary restrictions, the key for personal success in many areas needs to come from within. It would be nice if there was a magic pill to make our problems go away. Many people think there is, and turn to recreational and/or prescription drugs.

When someone makes a poor choice, it is easy for them to feel bad about themselves, and make additional poor choices. Failure begets failure -- but this principle works both ways. Success begets success. Making a good choice, even when it is hard, makes the next good choice easier. You've heard the expressions "Nothing succeeds like success" and "It takes money to make money." Well, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step, each step becoming easier.

Whether or not others think you are successful, how do you feel about yourself? Do you feel that you are a success or a failure? If you are unhappy with your answer, you need to stop and seriously ask yourself whether you want to move in the direction of success. The answer to that question depends on no one else: only you can answer that question, and you can answer it whichever way you like. You CAN be successful, even if you have failed dozens of times. The only real loser is the one who quits trying. Frequently the winner just happens to be the 'last man standing', so don't give up. It may be that the key to your success just requires a little more investigation or effort.

When you are adequately motivated, the impossible becomes possible and the improbable becomes a given. For some of us, even the smallest obstacle stops us in our tracks because we are poorly motivated. A freight train doesn't care that there is a little wooden barricade across the tracks that says stop. Only the engineer (you) and massive obstacles are going to slow or stop that train. Just as the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step, a freight train gathers speed a little bit at a time, until it is very powerful. Get a vision of how things should be or how you want them to be, not how they are. Focus on your desired goal. If you see it as reality, it can become reality.

Here are two keys to help you change the way things are and make them the way they should be. Don't quickly read these and move on. They may make the difference between your success and failure.

  • Spend 10 percent of your time on the problem, and 90 percent on the solution.
  • ANALYZE the problem, PLAN a course of action, then TAKE ACTION.
Here are some tips to assist in weight loss.
  • Don't weigh yourself daily - once a week is fine. Aim for slow and steady weight loss. The habits you develop to produce this gradual weight loss will enable you to keep the weight off also. A weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week is a good goal.
  • Make exercising a priority. It doesn't matter if it rains, someone calls, or you have 101 things to do. When you find an exercise you enjoy and look forward to, it becomes a priority. Only a little willpower is required to keep it a priority.
  • Drink at least half a gallon of water each day. Don't eat dinner until you've finished drinking your daily water requirement.
  • Pick one place at home and work that you will do all your eating. Be sure you are seated. Don't eat anywhere else. No counter eating, couch eating, car eating, etc.
  • Eat only if hungry. Keep healthy foods handy like fruit or vegetables in the fridge. A hard boiled egg, kept in the fridge, can be taken with you, if you have to leave suddenly or unexpectedly.
  • Soups are a great meal, they are filling, tasty, and healthy.
  • If you are going to a restaurant, decide ahead of time what you will be eating. Stick to it.
  • Set up a schedule for when you will eat your food and snacks.
  • Watch food labels. Foods with a high percentage of fat (or carbohydrates that are sugars) will slow down your weight loss program. Don't just count grams, but instead percentage of total calories that are fat or sugars. Insulin-producing rapidly absorbed carbohydrates may be your worst enemy.
  • Keep all food in the kitchen or pantry, not in any other places.
  • Never starve yourself, especially before going out to eat, or you will binge. Never skip meals as you must have some kind of nourishment regularly or your body's starvation defenses will kick in, lower your metabolism, and store fat. Use nutritional meal replacements instead of skipping or eating very low calorie meals.
  • Have the rest of your family or live-ins make their own snacks.
  • Trim all fats from meats, remove skin from chicken.
  • Don't put extra food in bowls and jars on the kitchen table. Keep it in the kitchen or put it away.
  • Make your shopping lists in advance and, as we all know, don't shop when you are hungry!
Gaining insights into compulsive eating is an important step in resolving this problem. Additional help can be found from books such as Eating in Freedom by Tom McGregor or Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating by Geneen Roth, both inexpensive and easy to read.
 

 
 

Conditions that suggest Overconsumption:
 
 
Digestion  Heartburn / GERD
 Overeating is the most common cause of heartburn. People who suffer from gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) are often warned against fatty food, which is thought to exacerbate heartburn symptoms. After a review of several studies on the subject, an Italian researcher has concluded that too many calories, not too much fat, is the reason why certain meals upset the stomach. [European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2000;12: pp.1343-1345 ]

Metabolic

  Problem Caused By Being Overweight
 High glycemic index foods are linked to overeating and obesity. In a study of adolescents, avoiding high glycemic index foods allowed them to eat all they desired but actually resulted in less calories consumed daily, indicating less of a tendency to overeat. [Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000:154: pp.947-951] High glycemic index foods are linked to overeating and obesity. A sample list of these foods can be found on our web site.
 
 

Risk factors for Overconsumption:
 
 
Symptoms - Food - Intake  Excess calorific intake

Counter-indicators:
  Insufficient calorific intake

Symptoms - Metabolic

  Recent unexplained weight gain
 
 

Recommendations for Overconsumption:
 
 
Diet  Reduced Calorie Consumption
 High glycemic index foods are linked to overeating and obesity. Eating low glycemic index foods results in naturally desiring less calories and encourages weight loss. A sample list of these foods can be found on our web site.

  Smaller, More Frequent Meals
  Increased Water Consumption
 Often overlooked, consumption of water often contributes to weight loss. Drink water when you are hungry, or at least a glass of water half an hour before a meal. Water will begin to fill you up and your meal will satisfy you more easily. If your digestion is strong, drinking water with a meal can help also.

Often people mistake thirst for hunger. If you need to lose weight, assume that you make this mistake and drink more water when you feel hungry. Drinking a glass of water before consuming other beverages can reduce calories also, as you will be satisfied with less.

Habits

  Aerobic Exercise
 Vigorous aerobic exercise suppresses appetite by triggering the release of the appetite suppressing hormone peptide YY and lowering levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin. [Exercise Suppresses Appetite by Affecting Appetite Hormones. American Physiological Society. December 11th 2008]
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Carbohydrates:  The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.

Gastric Reflux Disease:  Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). A common relapsing condition affecting approximately 10% of the U.S. population and caused by an abnormal exposure of the lower esophagus to refluxed gastric contents, causing irritation and injury to the esophageal tissues. GERD develops as a result of relaxations of the transient lower esophageal sphincter. Typical presenting symptoms are heartburn, an epigastric burning sensation and acid regurgitation. However, some patients may present with atypical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.

Gram:  (gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.

Metabolism:  The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Pound:  454 grams, or about half a kilogram.

Stomach:  A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.