ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Overcoming Compulsive Overeating

Updated on May 4, 2015

68.8% of Americans are overweight; half of which, 34.4%, are considered obese (BMI 30+). Cause of this? Well, overeating of course. Sure, lack of exercise is a critical factor too, but one can maintain a healthy weight without habitual exercise (recall many desk-work people or techies), so it's possible for everyone else too, if they wanted to. What I've come to realize is that it's not really the fact of feeling starved that causes people to eat so much; I mean, most of us regret stuffing ourselves because we feel really sluggish afterward, so the satisfaction isn't exactly linked to fullness.
"The brain receives the signal of fullness and doesn't fully enact it until about 20 minutes later", yes, also true, but you could feel yourself be full much sooner if the transmission wasn't blocked by some other stimulation.

We're told to eat slowly --chew precariously, 60 times a bite or whatever, but do you know why that really is?
As we know, food releases endorphins, stimulations that cause our autonomous bodily functions to concentrate on digestion. Well, when we take that first bite, you know how it feels so amazing? Well, that's because of the unexpected rush of sensation; the brain loves sensation; that's how it learns, grows, and feels alive. With every bite, more and more senses are stimulated, and like the drugs that our endorphins are, we crave more, and more, when honestly, we'll get the same satisfaction had we slowly savored every bite.
So, we either stop eating once we get the message that our stomachs are about to explode, or when we finally realize that we've had enough of a certain food's stimulation.

Sugar, glucose, is crucial for most of our bodily functions: cell respiration, energy expenditure, brain processes; it also gives the most amount of stimulation to our senses, hence why I believe most people are attracted to sweets; not only do they look appetizing, but one touch to the taste buds and we're transported into blissful euphoria!
Imagine a scenario where Person A was given a plain garden salad, and person B given the same but with sweet toppings such as Craisins or raisins, and, given that they're both the average person and have no craisin/raisin addiction, Person B is more likely to finish their salad quicker and chew less times per bite than Person A; why? because of the glucosic stimulation.
Now, this is all theory, of course, so don't hold me 100% to it, but I believe that it's an interesting key to take note of.

So, basically, we eat more because we crave the stimulation; if we take notice to how we're eating food: gobbling it up or treasuring every bite, we'll notice the difference in our portions.
I challenge you to fix a small portion --a serving size for those whom are used to eating full plates, or half a serving size for those whom stick to the label-- of your favorite food, and see how you feel after consumption if you slowly savor each bite. Try to give yourself at least 15 minutes to eat the portion.
You may find yourself satiated quicker and maybe even tired of the stimulation simulated by the food; when you're scarfing down ten huge bites a minute, you're overstimulating yourself to the point where your mind can't keep up and the satiated signal, Leptin, is inhibited.

Also, instead of focusing on finishing your plate to get more, focus on your plate only; like this is the only amount of this meal that you'll receive; because honestly it's as much as you'll probably need. Most of us tend to focus on scarfing down to rush and get more, but why? Why not just get as much of the sensation from what we've already got?

Another thing is, don't trick your mind into believing you're hungry or that you want something. Surrounding yourself with deliciously stimulating junk foods will lead your mind to crave that sensation and link your hypothalamus to tell your good ol' pituitary gland to secrete ghrelin, tricking you into believing that you're hungry enough to eat.

The Japanese say to eat with your eyes, and that is really a great way to control your eating habits. After eating, if you still think you want to eat more, but you know your pant button will pop at any moment, just imagine yourself eating and simulate the sensation of the flavor; it's almost the same as actually consuming and feeling regret afterward. If just the idea of replicating the sensation isn't enough, active your ol'factory senses; smell and indulge the food; you'll be receiving the same stimulation.

Now, many may not agree with what I've hypothesized, but ideas are shared until disproved, so I hope that I've at least sparked some interest.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)