I love shopping for food, cooking, and eating. Haha. I openly admit to going a little overboard in the market sometimes! I can hardly resist filling my cart with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, whole grains, etc. and it’s such a great feeling having a well-stocked fridge and pantry!
When we grab something to eat, the quality of food is a huge factor. And typically, binging on a bag of baby carrots won’t be bad at all. But, how does quantity play a role in the usual meal size or the constant snacking through the day?
Some of us can open the bag of chips and eat just a handful, a “serving size”, and some of us can’t. Often times, we tend to eat whatever is in front of us and in most cases “clean our plate” at dinner.
With so much advertisements about food and the new understanding in regards to Leptin (the hormone that signals you to stop eating) release inhibited by large consumption of high fructose foods, it has become almost normal in our society to over-eat.
Eating too much food in one sitting can be hard on your body.
Food is used as energy and in order for the body to process and utilize the nutrients, it needs time of fasting between. Overdosing on too much food at one time creates any number of issues such as stomach pain, distress, bloating and sluggish digestion.
When we eat, a surge of glucose is released into your blood. If there is excess glucose, your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb it all. Excess glucose is then stored in the body, in the liver and fat cells, for later use.
This can in turn, make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or experience headaches.
The adrenal glands think there is some type of emergency, and enter into “fight or flight” mode, releasing adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.
Because the spike in glucose was so high, when blood sugar levels do finally plummet, the cravings for more food can hit hard—specifically for simple carbs or sweets.
Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates. This means that overeating, especially that of high sugar and processed foods on a consistent basis, can have a negative impact on your immune system’s ability to fight infection and disease.
An article published by the British Journal of Nutrition shows the connection between increased obesity simultaneously growing with the increase in the consumption of large portion sizes. In a diet formulated by Dr. Oz, he recommends being conscious of portions sizes and switching to smaller, 9-inch plates to automatically reduce your servings. Even in the traditional Buddhist Diet, followed primarily in East Asia and consisting of mostly vegetarian foods, it is recommended that food is chewed thoroughly and portions are moderate in size.
In 2011, with the help from then First Lady Michelle Obama, the USDA replaced MyPyramid with MyPlate. Mrs. Obama stated that “The new design is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods we’re eating”.
These guidelines, intended for the general public, emphasize a well-rounded diet.
The MyPlate icon contains five sections represented on a plate: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy. The icon displays these sections to indicate that a proper meal should consist of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% grains, and 25% protein. It also suggests that a small portion of dairy should be included each day. This suggestion may or may not be suitable for all people, so you can see there’s still room for improvement. However, this change is a small positive step towards educating and remodeling the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Today’s Effort – Eat for Energy
Here’s a few tips to help cut the habit of over-eating and find the right balance for you.
Get enough water! Often thirst is mistaken for hunger.
Chew well! Chewing is so important for enzyme production and to aid digestion. This also gives your brain time to register you’re full before you overeat.
Choose high-fiber! Foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains will keep you feeling full and energized.
Order less! When you are out for lunch, go for salads, soups, and wholesome appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized.
Pack your snacks! Bring your own healthy snacks, like veggie sticks and humus, nuts, and organic jerky meats to curb sugar cravings and power through between meals.
All these studies and diets can get to be confusing, and for most of us, we just want to eat well and feel full and satisfied. Keep in mind, eliminating sugar and high fructose corn syrup from your diet is a great first step in alleviating leptin resistance. Knowing your portion size all comes down to listening to your body and it’s natural signals for feeling full. This can also vary depending on activity level throughout the day.
We need to remember – food is fuel! The quantity and quality are both important.
Be proud of yourself!
Join us every Sunday for the next edition of Starting Your Week Strong.
Learn about the body’s response to sugar in last weeks’ blog Craving what causes harm
Are you curious about how to harmonize your health goals and fit wellness into your busy schedule? Contact me today for more information about Today’s Effort Health Coaching.
British Journal of Nutrition
Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet www.doctoroz.com
Choose MyPlate www.choosemyplate.gov
The information shared in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any form of illness or disease. The opinions are the author’s alone and are not to be used as a guide to follow for any health related conditions, but rather a sharing of perspective.
Today’s Effort, and it’s authors, take no responsibility for the choices of individuals and encourages you to work alongside a trusted physician and or doctor with any health related issues.