You May Be Eating Too Much

By: Jerome Kellner

That someone might be overweight because they eat too much may sound like a duh, but overeating is so common that it cries out for exposure and discussion.

A scenario I see repeatedly are people who are challenged with a weight problem eating and saying how hard it is to lose weight. They say they watching what they eat and are exercising regularly, going to the gym, walking, jogging, doing aerobics, stair stepping, Spinning, kick boxing, whatever. And still those pesky pounds come off very grudgingly or not at all, or just one or two pounds after weeks of trying, or only for a short time, etc.

While all this is being said, a lot of food is being consumed. Rather mindlessly. Big bites. Big portions. And seconds often included.I blame the whole supersize movement for much of this behavior.

Anyone who is serious about losing fat healthfully and permanently has to take a hard look at how much they are really eating. Just for this discussion, I will assume you are already eating a healthy, plant-based diet of whole, fresh, natural foods, emphasizing vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, the kind of food my book The Maui Diet recommends.

If this is not close to your normal diet, and most of your food intake is meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs and refined carbohydrates, I cannot help you in the area of fat loss. We are what we eat and animals and animal products are loaded with fat, and saturated fat, the worst kind, at that. Eat it and you will be it.

Many of these scenarios I witness have to do with reasonably healthy, lower fat types of food, but still the overweight people are overeating. I know, I am one of them, I tend to overeat. I tend to go for seconds. I tend to exceed the feed limit, and a healthy limit is eating until only about three-quarters full.

I tend to eat too fast, which is dangerous behavior, because it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it is full. I can pack in 300, 400, 500 or more calories than I need at one meal because I do not give my stomach the 20 minutes it needs to tell my brain it is full. How we do that is by slowing down our rate of eating. This is something I have to watch diligently and still I sometimes fail to do it well, by just mindlessly shoveling down the food.

We have to understand some very basic rules of food intake. One is that for many foods, a recommended serving size is one cup. One measly cup. I urge you right now (or as soon as it is possible) to look at a measuring cup that is one cup, or two, and really absorb what that one cup looks like. In my own case, if a recommended serving of pasta is one cup, I have been known to consume four, five, six times that much, and that is just for starters. And I am talking about spaghetti pasta without meat sauce, cheese or any other high fat sauce or additions. Doesn't matter about the lack of meat or other high calorie additions. Four, five, six cups of any kind of pasta is way overkill, over the moon.

Even if the recommended serving size is one and a half cups, or two cups, those are still pretty small portions compared to what I see a lot of people packing in, again, with myself at the top of the overeaters heap, if I am eating and drinking unconsciously, out of old habits.

So watch the serving sizes carefully.
Slow down your rate of eating.
Put only your allotted serving size onto your plate or into your bowl.
Resist the temptation to go for seconds (or, if you're like me, even thirds or fourths!).
Do not shovel food in mindlessly.
Eat consciously.

Remember, if you are like me, you have an overeating challenge. You love food (I sure do). You and I tend to overeat. And eat too fast.

These things do not mean we are bad people. They only mean we have to watch our eating carefully, and obey the feed limit. It is our responsibility to enjoy our meals fully, eating a balanced diet of wonderfully delicious foods in reasonable quantities. And take our time doing so.

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