“I have no willpower around carbs.”
“It’s sweets! I absolutely cannot have them in the house or I’ll eat the whole thing!”
“I was good all week and then I just went crazy this weekend at a friend’s BBQ.”
I can’t tell you how many times I hear one of these when talking to a client or a member of my online community.
Again and again I see people making this same fundamental mistake – they assume that their overeating is about some combination of irresistible food and their chronic lack of willpower. They believe that when you combine the carbs, sugar, French fries or cheeseburgers with their own personal lack of strength, disaster ensues.
But the truth is that overeating is almost never about either food or willpower. It’s about something else that’s causing us to feel uncomfortable. And since our brains are designed to want to move from pain towards pleasure, when we feel pain in some area of our lives, we are naturally drawn to food (especially sugar and fat) because it is an easy and predictable source of pleasure.
So, if overeating isn’t about food or willpower, how do we stop it?
Well, since the overeating is just a symptom of a bigger issue, we turn our attention to figuring out what the underlying issue is and we work to address that. And once that root cause has been addressed, the symptom of overeating will be dramatically reduced.
Here are just a few of the bigger issues that your brain might be trying to use food to address (unsuccessfully):
1. You’re not eating mindfully
If you’re multitasking and not paying attention while you’re eating, your brain will have a hard time properly digesting and assimilating the nutrients you ingested. As a result, it will continue to send out hunger signals, even after you’ve eaten enough. Further, when we are eating without paying attention, we miss the subtle signals from our body that tell us when we’ve eaten enough. Thus, it’s not until we’ve either eating everything on the plate, or we’re uncomfortably full, that we stop.
Dieting almost always leads to overeating. Your body loves you and wants to keep you alive at all costs. So, when you start drastically restricting calories, it responds by increasing its hunger response in an attempt to try to get you to eat more. The more you restrict, the hungrier you get until eventually you crack and overeat.
3. Poor nutrient balance
If you’re not getting enough macro nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate, water, fiber) or micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), your body will often respond by making you hungry. Its hope here is that, if it can get you to eat more food, you will ingest more of the nutrients it requires.
4. Not enough sleep
Your body requires sleep for hundreds of different reasons, but one of them is to properly balance the levels of leptin and ghrelin. Leptin and ghrelin are hormones in your body that regulate appetite. If they are out of whack (a common symptom of lack of sleep), your appetite will be artificially increased and you may overeat as a result.
5. Too much stress
When we’re under chronic stress (as almost all of us are in our busy modern world), our bodies are constantly in a “fight or flight” state. When we’re in this state, blood and energy rushes to our limbs to allow us to hit or run, and to our brains to allow us to make quick, life-saving decisions. In this state, digestion shuts down because it is not deemed necessary to our immediate survival. As a result, when we’re chronically stressed, it becomes very difficult for our bodies to properly digest the food we eat and absorb and assimilate its nutrients. When our bodies aren’t getting the nutrients they need, they signal hunger to make us eat more in an attempt to seek out those nutrients.
6. Feeling unsatisfied
As humans we have a tendency seek out “symbolic substitutes.” Symbolic substitutes are things or actions that we use to fill a void that we don’t know how to fill in a more meaningful way. For example, substituting the love of an animal for human love for, or substituting adventure thrill seeking for meaningful work, or substituting social media for intimate connection with real people. Food is one of the most common symbolic substitutes we use because it’s readily available everywhere and it has a dramatic and almost instant chemical effect on the brain. We use food to substitute love, connection, companionship, appreciation, respect and so much more.
These are just a few of the underlying issues that can lie at the root of our overeating. Take some time to get curious and figure out which of these might be at play for you.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
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Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.