Monday, August 3, 2009

How do we break the overeating cycle?

Sorry to have been away from my blog these past weeks. Vacation was wonderful and although I intended to keep up with things, my urges to hike and relax and eat fabulous food were stronger. So now I am back and no more trips are planned for a while. Thank you for your patience and I welcome you back to my weekly posts. Please do be in touch. I would love to hear from you with your questions, concerns or ideas for coming posts.

Millions of people can't stop eating even though they have already eaten more than enough to fuel their bodies. Most of us will do this occasionally. During these times when we overindulge we are likely to feel unhappy, frustrated and discouraged. Our self-esteem level plummets and, even though we may realize that we are damaging our health, we feel helpless to stop. Did you ever wonder why that is? There are many reasons.

We are constantly flooding with emotion and seldom paying attention to what the messages are that our feelings are delivering so faithfully to us. Cues in our environment drive our behavior and when we are faced with variety or excessive portions of foods high in sugar, fat, and salt most of us will overeat. Our desire for our sugar/fat/salt “fix” or reward is so strong that it usually trumps our desire for balance. This is the point where our overeating behavior crosses the “what the hell line” that I talk about in The Taming of the Chew. We then have little or no regard for the consequences of our repeated binging behavior.

Where the numbers on the scale settle is not because of a set point but instead a result of our motivation, how we seek certain foods to soothe our emotions and food's availability and the portion sizes that face us when we are served a meal. So, if cues are constantly surrounding us to eat and the urge for reward gets set in motion then how do we break the cycle of that eventually becoming a habit?

I have a list available of 30 tips to control overeating. If you would like a free copy, just email me at and I will send you a copy. Meanwhile, enjoy the day!
It's good to be back!

Dr. Denise

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