Eating too much is something that we have all experienced in different forms: snacking in front of the TV, refill his favorite dish, etc. There are, however, cases where overconsumption of food becomes very problematic. Excess food is caused by several factors or reasons that I wanted to develop here.
Please note that the following information is based on my experience, but also, on my years of practice as an Ayurvedic naturopath. I do not pretend to be an expert on eating disorders, but simply to provide tools so that everyone can understand the mechanism that pushes them towards these bad eating habits.
Many people “inherited” bad eating habits when they were children. Even if what we experience during our childhood has no reason to refer to our “adult” life, there is nevertheless a mechanism which pushes us to continue to reproduce certain family patterns, and sometimes, without question ourselves.
Difficulties: It is easier to keep a habit that is several years old than to create a new one!
Habit ⟶ Mental is conditioned ⟶ Snacking is a habit
Because we are humans made up of a complex hormonal system, we are subject to a multitude of emotions every day. For several reasons, we sometimes avoid living some emotions that exist in us. It may happen that we experience emotions such as anger, frustration, envy, but instead of recognizing them, we ignore them by occupying our thoughts or by anesthetizing ourselves with food, for example.
Difficulties: We struggle with emotions coming from two sources: those before excess food, then those after excess food.
Emotions ⟶ Do not accept the emotions ⟶ Food rage
If I find myself in an oppressive environment, new, foreign or simply that does not suit me, it is very likely that my desire for comfort or to feel good will be increased. As a result, I will be more likely to snack on foods that comfort me emotionally in order to alleviate discomfort or a new situation.
Difficulties: It is sometimes difficult to notice that we eat more when we are in a new environment or when changes take place around us.
Environment ⟶ Need stability ⟶ Increased snacking
One of the primary reflexes that a human has is to eat. Eating is normal! Sometimes when we’re bored, we eat to pass the time. And when we love to eat, we wake up in the morning and think about the meal we are going to prepare. This same meal can turn to a buffet all you can eat!
Difficulties: When I start to associate food intake with « boredom,” it can be difficult to break this mechanism.
Boredom, feeling of emptiness ⟶ Need to fill up ⟶ Snacking
As much in pets as in children, we are unfortunately programmed in a “Pleasure / Reward” world. This is what we do awkwardly with pets and sometimes even with children. If the reward is food, this system programs the brain to associate food as a reward and will be used for any reason other than hunger.
Difficulties: It is important to find a different alternative to the food reward especially if it is associated with eating disorders.
Good news ⟶ Conclusion of deserving a good meal ⟶ Meal composed of foods that are sometimes forbidden
How to get out of these patterns? How to stop snacking? How to rest the fork when you reach satiety? These are questions that I will answer in a future article. Again, I only want to bring my experience and understanding here.