While the trigger that causes us to eat excessively may be unique to each of us, there are some underlying common causes, which when addressed, can greatly impact our health.
In the late 1960s to early 1970s, cigarette manufacturers added more nicotine to cigarettes in order to make them addictive. Certain foods today are addictive in much the same way – people know why they shouldn't eat them, but then have no idea why they can't stop eating them. Addictive food agents include:
- Sugar: Many products advertised as "Fat Free" or “Low Fat” tend to be loaded with sugar. The fact that once we eat the sugar-filled product, it turns to fat in the body, unsurprisingly does not appear on the label.
- Food Additives: While food additives and preservatives undergo a required series of pre-market testing, often involving lab animals being fed these additives, there are fewer tests on what happens when all the different additives break down and interact within our body.
- Caffeine: While there may be zero calories in diet soda, a recent study showed that a combination of caffeine and aspartame kill off brain cells, but before they die, they trigger a chemical reaction in the brain that creates a momentary buzz, making us crave more. Migraines, visual problems, brain damage, breathing problems, concentration issues and many other severe health conditions have been linked to two harmful ingredients: caffeine and aspartame.
2. Emotional Eating
Another common cause of excessive eating is when we use eating as a way to cope with negative emotions. Unfortunately, it wasn't hunger that caused the pain, so how can eating ever take it away?
When it comes to dealing with negative emotions effectively, facing them head on and uncovering their lessons works. It really helps to find someone experienced to guide you with this. Someone who can help you release these negative emotions for good, rather than simply analyze them for many lengthy and expensive sessions.
Sometimes, the cause of excessive eating is simply related to eating habits we learn from a very young age. We might have been promised a special meal for good behavior or a reward if we accomplished something, or food was a way for our parents to give affection and those patterns became ingrained in us over time.
One of the primary ways we experience the world is through what we eat, drink and think.
If you want to live well, eat more living green plant foods. When these are ingested by juicing, the goodness is easily absorbed into the body and also helps for cleaning the body of harmful toxins.
Drinking clean water is vital, as 70 percent of our body is made of the stuff. If you live in a city, it may be necessary to purchase a water filter.
When negative thoughts come (and they will), ignore them like you ignore someone trying to sell you something you don't want. Thanks, but no thanks. They will soon get the message and disappear. Also, remember to check in with yourself to ensure you are focused on what you want and not what you don’t want.
While habits can seem permanent, the good news is that recent research in the field of brain plasticity shows that we can change our habits at any age we choose. It's not always easy, but it is most certainly attainable to replace unhealthy habits with constructive ones.
What tips do you have to share with others beginning their healthy living journey?
Christopher Drummond is the editor of a Natural Health website and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. For more simple, natural ways to live a healthy life, visit: www.real-wellness.net