• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

Overeating for Weight Loss: The Opposite View

Updated: Apr 16

What is Overeating?


Overeating is characterized by eating too much and gaining weight by doing it. Overeating, in essence, would be considered the opposite of fasting. Since fasting would be to abstain from food, then it would be accurate to say, overeating would be an abundance of food consumed.


With weight loss always on the mind of the average person, overeating is not something that is thought of often as a technique to get healthy and still lose weight. Yet, having an abundance of food does not necessarily have to be a sentence of sin referred to as gluttony. Sometimes, our bodies are trying to speak to us or alert us that we need something.


Hunger Signals


Our bodies tell us is what it needs. Sometimes it does this by signaling us that we are hungry. [1]. Our stomachs will physically growl or ache. When our bodies think its time to have food, water, or other nutrients, electrical signaling between cells begins to become more apparent and noticeable. [1]. This process is called the gut-brain connection. [1].


When we do not give our bodies what it needs, it continues to signal us in other ways. For example, we can experience signs through physical or emotional states. This reason is that if we are not getting in the right types of food into our bodies when eating, we are not fueling the body with the correct energy it needs. [1].


Because energy, in essence, triggers our metabolic and behavioral responses. [1]. Physical and behavioral disturbances are what I like to describe as symptoms. This our bodies saying that it still more nutrients or it may need less of what we are putting inside it.


Nutrient Deficient Fight or Flight


Since our bodies tell us is what it needs other signals can be the Fight or flight response to physical stress. [3]. This is a physiological reaction that occurs naturally when our minds and bodies feel we are being harmed or are under attack. Our bodies do this to survive, and this is a natural response of signaling from the adrenals (which control stress) and sending signals to the mind. [3].


When our bodies are nutrient deficient or experience an overabundance of nutrient-poor foods, we cause our cells to become stressed. [6]. To survive, our bodies have thought of a way to keep our physiological process going by using nutrients from the other parts of our bodies to keep ourselves working physically. In fight or flight mode, the body only uses specific areas of the brain to maintain survival. [3].


Signs of nutrient deficit flight or flight mode are irrational thinking, irritable behavior, depression, eating disorders, anger, and all-around negative thinking. [4]. This reason is that certain areas need a precise constant flow of specific nutrients to keep them working correctly. [4].


Emotions


When our bodies are signaling us when we are emotionally conflicted, our thinking patterns are off. We are other words mentally unstable. [4]. Sometimes we do not acknowledge this. Our decisions are not as clear and sometimes because of this type of cellular stress. [3]. When people realize it or begin to notice it, people turn to the process of fasting to lose weight or get healthy out of desperation. They feel this way is easier, and this makes them feel better. What they don't know is the body at this time can use fat storage as fuel, for a little while.


As the body burns this new fuel, some cellular processes are able to heal, and people experience clearer thoughts. Nonetheless, if people turn to fast as a way to physically shape their thoughts when conflicted with their emotions, then we could say the same about overeating. An abundance of food, in the same aspect, would help a person phase out their emotional issues. However, it needs to be the right type of food, with the right kinds of nutrients. [2].


Emotional Turnover


'When I first started overeating, I thought the idea was ludicrous. However, I found it to be true. Day after day, I began to feel better emotionally. [2]. It wasn't how much I was eating; it was what I was eating. [2]. Research articles and studies concluded the same results. [2]. Tapsell and colleagues (2014), aimed to show people that by actually eating more, more vegetables, that a person could actually lose weight. [5]. As I ate more, I started to reduce my weight slowly. [5].


Additionally, my emotional status began to calm down. [2]. Interestingly, people experience a more significant state of mental health through the association of fruits and vegetables and a reduction in overall weight. [2;5]. To conclude, overeating does not have to necessarily be a bad thing if we are eating the right foods. [5]. It is the wrong foods that cause fat accumulation as a sign and symptom of illness. Therefore, weight loss can be achieved by overconsumption of proper nutrients. [5].

References

  1. Ahima, R. S., & Antwi, D. A. (2008). Brain regulation of appetite and satiety. Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America, 37(4), 811–823. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2008.08.005

  2. Brookie, K. L., Best, G. I., & Conner, T. S. (2018). Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 487. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00487

  3. Mittal, Rahul et al. “Neurotransmitters: The Critical Modulators Regulating Gut-Brain Axis.” Journal of cellular physiology vol. 232,9 (2017): 2359-2372. doi:10.1002/jcp.25518

  4. Rao, T. S., Asha, M. R., Ramesh, B. N., & Rao, K. S. (2008). Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. Indian journal of psychiatry, 50(2), 77–82. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.42391

  5. Tapsell, L. C., Batterham, M. J., Thorne, R. L., O'Shea, J. E., Grafenauer, S. J., & Probst, Y. C. (2014). Weight loss effects from vegetable intake: a 12-month randomised controlled trial. European journal of clinical nutrition, 68(7), 778–785. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.39

  6. Wellen, K. E., & Thompson, C. B. (2010). Cellular metabolic stress: considering how cells respond to nutrient excess. Molecular cell, 40(2), 323–332. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2010.10.004

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