Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Can't Stop Eating (fill in the blank). Why?

I have accepted that I'm a recovering over eater and I've made a change in my life to become healthy. Nearly a month has gone by and I'm on track and doing great. But sometimes I still feel like I have this ability to eat foods without stopping. I know I can consume an entire box of Wheat Thins or Oreos because I've done it on several occasions. A few months ago I could eat 1/2 of a pizza without a problem. My stomach has probably shrunk but somehow I think I would be able to squeeze at least 3 slices in. OK you get the picture.

There are some foods I just can't stop eating. Take swiss cheese for example. I could eat swiss cheese from sun up to sundown. Same thing with pizza, cookies, Capt N' Crunch cereal, pistachios, raisins, hot dogs.. OK most foods.

I know your asking what I'm getting at. Well, I'm trying to get to the bottom of why my brain works this way. Why do certain foods flip a switch in my head that says "eat it all"?

I know there is something in my mental make up that can trigger this behavior. I'm learning how to control it and the urges are happening less often but I know it's still there. I just want to know why. Why did I have this "eat it all" relationship with food?

Maybe it's just an unexplainable addiction that is better left unknown? Could be! But I'm a curious guy.. I like to know these things. Maybe in another month when I've release more fat I won't care why and just be content with the result. However, I feel in order to not repeat the same mistake it may be helpful to know why I behaved this way. I will be searching for the answer the next few weeks and will let you know what I come up with.

To Be Continued...




  1. Emotional eating, the catch is to try to pinpoint how you are feeling when you decide to over eat! I'm not looking forward to the challenge, but I have been present *in the now" at times when going for that cookie etc., it isn't hunger, sure it tastes delish but I find lonliness isn't my friend. I

  2. Ok, so first you got your processed foods (hot dogs, cap'n crunch, cookies, etc.). Most processed foods have taste enhancers such as MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetener...even ordinary table salt is chemically altered. Many chemicals go into these foods that actually trigger hunger, or also your brain doesn't quite know when to say "stop" b/c those processed foods are empty calories and your body never quite gets satisfied from them. Also, there's insulin can leave your body in a state of constantly craving carbs and sugar b/c your body doesn't effectively use insulin to process glucose to energy, therefore leaving your brain to think you need more and more sources of energy (carbs,sugar). Then there are the eating behaviors to go along with all of that. Those are just a few things that I figured out for myself...maybe through my trials this will help you. The eating behaviors are the tricky ones to figure out...I'm on that journey myself. :)

  3. Easiest explanation is that when you were young you wanted to be a good boy and finish off your plate :)

    I've suffered from the same impulse all my life ..

    I think also that some of us can handle fatigue and stress far less well than others. Tired, stressed? Give me a cookie. Now that is something that I'm learning to overcome as my diet progresses. But then again I'm now in a situation where I can manage the stress. Not everyone is so lucky.

  4. I personaly think that once we have become addicted to something, we have a problem with it for the rest of our lives in different variations. And we all have a problem with something. Food, spending, porn etc
    And we've been like this from the beginning.
    It's even in the Bible!
    Romans 7:15-24 (New International Version) Paul writes....
    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

  5. Eating disorders fall into that bracket that calls itself 'obsessive-compulsive' so I guess we need to look obsessive thinking, as the prime mover in that. The thought of the taste? The idea that it will alleviate some emotive thing? something sets off the obsessive thinking, even if its way in the background. Stored memory of past 'success' in changing a situation or feeling with any or all of our 'trigger' foods might be the culprit? RJ Merrimen et al, says "Evidence suggests that memory is a neocortical neuronal network, excitation of which involves the hippocampus, with recall occurring by re-excitement of the same specific network." (I think thats what I said lol) Does more equal better success?
    Its interesting. The thing is though - does seeking and recognising the mode of the trigger, mean we can change it, or do we need to avoid it totally....hmmm!

  6. I am an emotional eater. When I get happy, I eat. When I am sad or stressed, I eat. I am not all that picky what I eat, but of course, if it is tasty... portion control just goes right out the window. If I don't really examine myself, I could easily down the whole box of cookies without thinking, 'hey, I just ate a whole BOX!' I will enjoy reading what you find out.

  7. Geez Louis! A little bit of self-analysis please.

    You're mostly likely using food as medicine to deal with you emotional pains. A good number of us are like that, but not all.

    There are so many things you can do to look into this, like examine the times when you do overeat. What emotions are you feeling? Are yo stressed? Scared? Happy?

    I am an emotional eater. When I started looking at my habits, I was freaked out to find that I was just as likely to binge on sad emotions as good emotions. I would overeat when I got a promotion? What is that all about??

    And then you can bring it back to the beginning. When did you first get overweight? Answer that questions and you're on your way to understanding. For me it was age 4. I've seen the photos. So my habits were ingrained early on.

    Look to yourself for the answers. Just be truthful.


  8. My theory is that it is a combination of things, but first and foremost, I'm so euphoric about eating something I really love the taste of, and it's satisfying the emotional need so much at the time I'm eating it, the last thing that occurs to me is that I shouldn't eat too much and by then I feel so good, I don't want to stop. Like any addict, you want more and more and more until there's none left...and then you still want more. It fulfills all those "needs" at once -- taste & comfort are the biggest ones for me.

  9. The answer to this question is unique for every individual out there. You have to look inside to find the sources of your issues. Habits, emotions, social cultures, genetics; they all play a role in why we overeat (or do anything that's not in our best interest for that matter).

    Over the years I've finally started to learn just how much more this is mental than a physical problem.

    Also note (shameless plug here), I just posted a new article on my blog that is loosely related to this article. It's called ”Will You Be Happy After You Lose Weight?” Check it out if you are so inclined.


  10. Sometimes I think in order to stop eating it is easier to think about the science behind the eating. I am also able to polish off an entire box of Oreos or wheat thins. Its is that once I get in that mindset to eat its all I do. Look up the effects of leptin... it basically is your satiety hormone released by fat cells once you have taken in enough carbohydrate to fuel your body. Once you understand it, it is easier to pay attention to your body satiety signals and stop eating.

  11. I can't really tell you why YOU overeat, just like I can't really tell you why I overeat. I haven't spent the time analyzing it like everyone else has. (What can I say? I'm lazy) What I do know is that I have certain trigger foods that will send me into a spiral if I'm not careful. So I avoid them as much as possible. Most of MY trigger foods are junk foods, this much I have figured out. I never seem to overeat fruits or veggies! So as much as it sucks, I would say try to focus on changing the things you eat, because overtime, you will start to crave those good/healthy foods more than the junk foods that you have a tendency to overeat. So even if you do overeat (your healthy foods), you won't feel as bad and they won't impact you as much as the junk food you're now struggling with. :) I will never be able to cut out junk food entirely, but I really am trying to permanently change my focus on what's healthy and what's not, and that has helped me more than anything else, because I think I will always eat until I'm full. It's just who I am. So yes, you need to know about yourself and what your habits are, so you can figure out how to work with them. Good luck! Can't wait to hear what you discover!

  12. This may seem strange, but for me it wasn't due to emotions or any childhood traumas, but instead simply habit. The movement of hand to mouth and feet to pantry/fridge was purely habit and until I recognised and broke it, I wasn't able to successfully lose weight. Just a thought, noting that everyone's situation and experience is different. :)

  13. I think we all have certain "trigger" foods that we can't eat just a small amt of w/o going overboard. One of mine is Chinese food. Love that stuff more than life itself, lol.

    As far as the overall addiction...I don't know that we'll ever actually beat it...but I think we can get to our goal weights and learn how to manage it. It's a learning process for sure. One thing that I know is that the biggest part of this journey is the mental part. You really have to dig down and find the reasons why you overeat....and work on overcoming them. You can do it...just gonna' take some work. :)

  14. I don't know the answer, but I do know EXACTLY what you mean. And I hate it!!!

  15. Hey, I am a part of your weight loss bloggers website and when I first registered I also registered to have my blog posted there. It hasn't been and I was wondering why. I've e-mailed you with no response and so I thought maybe I could get your attention here. Thanks. Krissy
    my e-mail:

  16. Krissy.. i don't remember receiving your email but I will list your blog within the next few days.


  17. I was just as likely to binge on sad emotions as good emotions. I would overeat when I got a promotion? What is that all about??
    how to grow taller