My mother had an accident!
My mother recently had an accident where she fell. She had emergency surgery and told that she could not move her arm for one whole month and it will probably take over six months to heal.
My 94-year-old grandmother lives with my mother. Now, my mother could not only take care of herself but she couldn’t take care of my grandmother. My aunt and I took weekly turns of taking care of them. I drove the 3 1/2 hour drive and stayed the first week.
One of the major things that I did was to cook for them. My grandmother has a strict timeline for eating her meals. Everything must be fixed by 8:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. If you are late she will let you know.
As I was fixing meals and making plates I noticed something. The amount of food each person requested was a small amount. Even my stepfather had smaller portions. What I mean is, I would give them the small amount of each food they wanted to eat and they would come away saying they were so full. What? Wait a minute! I had my plate loaded with a lot more food and sometimes I had seconds.
I eat more than everyone else!
I realized something about myself. My portions were almost restaurant size. Texas-size portions! I had no idea. I was eating way too much food. What seemed normal to me was actually not normal or healthy. Overeating leads to being overweight. I am now way more overweight than my mother. Back in the day, we were about the same size. I am now double my size since then.
According to Psychology Today, The amount of food we eat now for our own single meal used to feed a family of four. We now eat foods stuffed with other foods and food sitting on top of other foods. We eat more than we need and yet we still don’t feel full.
Do you overeat?
There doesn’t seem to be only one answer on why anyone overeats. It could be a habit or it could be stress or it could be leptin resistance just to name a few.
So what happens to your stomach when you overeat? According to M.D. Anderson:
- Overeating causes the stomach to expand beyond its normal size to adjust to the large amount of food. The expanded stomach pushes against other organs, making you uncomfortable. This discomfort can take the form of feeling tired, sluggish or drowsy. Your clothes also may feel tight, too.
- Eating too much food requires your organs to work harder. They secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break the food down.
- To break down food, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid. If you overeat, this acid may back up into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. Consuming too much food that is high in fat, like pizza and cheeseburgers, may make you more susceptible to heartburn.
- Your stomach may also produce gas, leaving you with an uncomfortable full feeling.
- Your metabolism may speed up as it tries to burn off those extra calories. You may experience a temporary feeling of being hot, sweaty or even dizzy.
Overeating makes you fat! Your body only needs so much food for energy. If that energy is not used then the rest is used for fat storage.
I overeat, my stomach expands and extra calories are stored as fat. How do I stop doing this?
Psychology Today states you should only eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
This is great information but reading it and doing it are two different things. What if I eat smaller portions and I am still hungry? Do I just eat another small portion? That would take me right back to the one big portion that I had to begin with.
One of the reasons we eat so much is the type of food we are eating. If you are eating a lot of carbs or are craving foods then that is what you want. I crave chocolate, not a salad. The thing is, a salad will make you fuller and stay satiated longer than say, rice.
Here are the four ways for getting your portions back under control.
1. Figure out why you are overeating.
Are you overeating because you are stressed? Are you not getting enough sleep? Is it because you are already obese? Is it just a habit and would seem weird not to fill your plate up? Remember, only eat when you are hungry. I know this can be tough when you have a whole family to feed but give it a try. You might end up not feeling so miserable.
2. Choose foods that are healthy.
Your stomach might need to shrink from being over-expanded, so you will want to eat more. Eat more vegetables. Find snacks that can substitute what you are craving until the craving is over. You can’t binge on salad and asparagus.
3. Make your portions smaller.
Use a smaller plate. Weigh your food if needed. Fix your plate like you usually do and then remove half of the food.
4. After you eat, WAIT!
It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. Eat slower. Take smaller bites. Drink more water. Go for a walk or find something to keep you busy.
What I learned and what I am going to do.
I was shocked to find that I was overeating. What I am not going to do is give you all this information and not do it myself. I have tried diets and failed and I tried portion control and failed. This time I am going to slowly pull back the amount of my portions so that I don’t feel hungry and fail again. Baby steps folks!!
Download our three printables to help you start to get back on track.
Until next time,