How to Get out of the Bad Habit of Overeating – Part II

Man eating a sandwichDisrupting your regular diet and going overboard with overeating is pretty easy. However, its implications can be far-reaching. For instance, it can waste all the progress you made through exercise. Moreover, it can make you more vulnerable to many unwanted health conditions.

In Part 1, we discussed different steps you can take to stop yourself from overeating. Here, we will extend our discussion to more measures that one can help in cutting the excessive part of your dietary intake.

Keep Stress Out of Your Eating Routine

Chronic stress leads to several unwanted health conditions and behaviors and one of them is overeating. It has been scientifically proven that cortisol–the stress hormone–also catalyzes our appetite. So, a person suffering from chronic stress will also experience frequent spurts of overeating. Relieving stress, in general, requires many different measures. You can increase physical activity, practice yoga, and meditation, and add more outdoor expeditions to your daily routine to suppress chronic stress.

Dealing with Emotional Eating

Stress and emotional eating/overeating can be dealt by employing several measures. First, accept that you are eating under the influence of certain psychological distress. This will help you to address the issue directly. Stress eating is often highlighted with hasty wolfing down food. The affected person is eating just for the sake of it. So, try to enjoy and feel every bit of what you are eating. This might take you out from the spell of stress eating.

Also, try to identify the triggers of your stress eating. Some people overeat when they feel lonely. Some overeat when they are angry and agitated. Whenever you experience these triggers, try to neutralize them with non-dietary measures. You can talk to friends or go for rounds on a punching bag to sublimate your anger and stress.

Refrain from Distracted Eating

All of us are guilty of distracted eating behavior. We have eaten on our workstations and have had eaten meals while enjoying our favorite TV shows. Some of us even scroll through our social media feeds during meals. Eating while performing other chores is considered multitasking and required in today’s hectic schedules.

But it has also been noticed and formally studied that distracted eating mostly leads to overeating. If you can avoid and afford it, refrain from distracted eating particularly if you are already suffering from weight issues. Try to focus on your meal and you will eventually reduce your calorie intake without putting in any concentrated effort.

Eat from Servings Instead of Containers and Packets

Eating directly from packaging is yet another seemingly harmless habit that can actually develop a strong overheating problem. For instance, if you are eating directly from the ice cream bowl, bag of chips or any other container, then you will most certainly eat more than what you have planned.

Make a serving size for yourself depending on the items you are going to eat. By making portions, you can cut down the size of your calorie intake that will eventually help you in shedding the extra pounds as well.

Don’t Complement Your Food with Soda

Many people have the habit of sipping sodas with their regular meals. The decades of aggressive marketing from cola giants (you know their names) have played an integral part in the development of this habit. Apart from giving a sharp, satisfying fizz, soda drinks also add lots of sugar to our systems.

Moreover, a study has found out that people who eat their meals with sugary carbonated drinks eat 8% more than those who take water with their meals. If you have a well-developed habit of eating your daily meals with soda beverages, then we don’t recommend you to cut off your entire consumption all of a sudden as this can also lead to a harmful relapse.

Replace your sweet sodas with seltzers. The latter is simply carbonated water with no artificial flavors and sweeteners. Later on, you can move to water to make your meals completely free of artificial drinks.

Increase Healthy Fat Content in Your Diet

Fats are generally considered bad for health and responsible for obesity. However, a significant body of research has debunked this alleged characteristic of fats. Not all fats are bad for health. In fact, their smart consumption can also help in reducing weight and getting rid of the habit of overeating.

It has been studied that people who regularly eat high-fat and low-carb foods experience fewer cravings, which protects them from overeating. In the long run, this strategy can turn out more effective in shedding weight than any episodic diet plan.

However, make sure you don’t consume fatty foods comprised of bad fats. Nutritionists across the board consider Trans fats and unsaturated fats bad variants of this macronutrient. To keep bad fats away from your diet, avoid hydrogenated oils, margarine, and meat fat. You can consume more healthy fats by adding nuts, avocados, butternut and olive oil to your daily diet.

Feast on Proteins

Increased intake of protein is also considered good to deal with the instances of overeating. It has been studied that people who eat protein-rich breakfasts feel more satisfied and satiated throughout the day. It has also been studied that protein-rich foods lower the level of the hormone ghrelin in the blood, which is responsible for revving up a hunger. Greek Yogurt is a dairy product that has become quite popular among diet-conscious people lately. It is rich in proteins and can be added as a dessert to your daily diet.

Overcoming the habit of overeating is possible by making little changes in your daily dietary regimen, as evident by the detailed discussion in these two articles. Nevertheless, you might find it hard to adopt these changes especially if you have a well-developed habit of overeating.

If you can’t get out of the habit of overeating after exercising self-help techniques, then it will be suitable to consult professional nutritionists, physicians, and even psychological experts. These professionals will help you in dealing with this detrimental habit that eventually leads to obesity.

How to Get Out of the Bad Habit of Overeating—Part 1

An overweight man devouring a sandwich while sitting on the sofa and watching TV
Photo by tomwang –

Note: Article updated: 120620

Obesity has aggravated into an epidemic in the last couple of decades.

In the US, more than one-third of the adult population are suffering from this condition. Besides its social and mental repercussions, being obese makes one vulnerable to a range of diseases and medical conditions and now with the COVID pandemic, the situation worsens for those with eating disorders.

Apart from falling food quality and modified dietary choices, the majority of overweight people are lacking the necessary discipline to control their diets. It’s not due to poor metabolisms or genetics for most people, although this is a factor for some, but because they often indulge in overeating.

From the outside, it looks rather easy that one can deal with this obesity-causing habit by restricting the amount of food intake.  But it is actually easier said than done. Altering overeating behavior can be quite challenging and not an easy task at all.

In this two-part article series, we will share with you a list of some simple steps* that can be taken to get rid of this seemingly harmless but eventually detrimental habit.

Stop Stashing Your Favorite Snacks

We love snacks and go overboard with our consumption if they are readily available. People love to stash their favorite snacks for untimely cravings. Having multiple bowls of your ice cream in the fridge and loads of cookies and chips in the pantry is surely a convenient way to deal with late-night food cravings. It simply becomes quite difficult to keep your hands off when you are devouring your favorite dietary item. Cutting down on these high sugary items is an essential first step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Put together a plan where you can gradually weed yourself off of them. In the beginning, it will definitely irritate you when you can’t get these snacks while badly craving for them. But eventually, you should get used to it.

Try to Maintain the Feeling of Satiation

Apart from our taste buds, overeating is strongly connected with the psychological and physiological feeling of satiation. It entails the state when we nutritionally feel satisfied and full. A satiated person is less likely to overeat. To develop this feeling within your body, there are some recommended foods you can choose from. Here is a list of some of the most satiating ones:

Batch of Eggs

  • Boiled Potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Fish
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Cottage Cheese

Don’t Skip Regular Meals

Some diet plans, such as intermittent fasting, calls for dropping the number of regular meals. Skipping a meal every day can have beneficial implications for weight management for some people but largely, it’s the precursor of overeating.  Research studies also advocate for keeping the routine of regular meals for a better dietary regimen.

One research shows that eating prescribed portions throughout the day has an overall good effect on our health. It also decreases cumulative food intake. In contrast, skipping a meal increases the chances of overeating in the subsequent meal.  

Add More Fiber-Rich Items to Your Diet

Gluten Free Breakfast

Fiber-rich foods are good for gut health. Moreover, they have a good value of satiation that helps in protecting oneself from overeating.

Whole wheat, vegetables, fruits, beans and oats are low-calorie and fiber-rich that can help you a lot in dealing with overeating.

A study has concluded that people who eat oat-based cereals in breakfast eat less at lunch as compared to those who eat cornflakes in the morning. Ensure that vegetables make up a large portion of your meals. Also, add fruits and nuts in the place of carb-based desserts. With these small changes, you can get rid of the bad habit of overeating. Moreover, it will also help you to fight obesity through other means like lower calorie count and increased anti-oxidant intake.  

Be Aware of the Choices of Your Dining Partners

Whether it’s friends or family, the people with whom you choose to eat with also affect what and how much you consume. You tend to overeat with those who overeat. Similarly, you are more likely to order unhealthy options if other people at the table are doing it.

In short, the habits of your dining companions can impact your own dieting routine. So, make sure the entire family is on the same page when they come to the dining table. Moreover, try to eat out with friends who have the same attitude as you when it comes to the perils of overeating.

Become a Sloth While Eating

Sloth is one of the deadly sins, but so is gluttony. However, it’s not a transgression to deliberately slow down while eating. Take your time to thoroughly chew each and every bite of your meal. It has been studied that quick eating also leads to overeating. In contrast, people who eat at a slow pace tend to eat less and develop a feeling of satiation more quickly.   

Overeating and Binge Eating Disorder

Woman eating unhealthy
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Binge Eating Disorder is a severe but treatable eating ailment where the affected person starts devouring exceptionally large quantities of food with an involuntary urge and subsequently, they start feeling guilty and distressed.  

It is important to mention that Binge Eating Disorder is not an episode of overeating. So, it is strongly recommended to get professional help if you are affected by this disorder.

Bottom line – Diligence and common sense is a good start to losing weight. Of course, there are people who cannot lose by just watching what they eat, such as Binge Eating Disorder and there are others who may require a medical resolution such as laparoscopy and bariatric surgery, but if you are overweight and have not pursued a healthier alternative yet, why not start here? You never know what your mind and body can do!

* Note: You should always confer with a health professional prior to beginning any weight loss program!

Prevailing Reasons for Obesity in the Female Population After 40

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Although there are a variety of reasons why a person may be overweight, a decline in physical activity and unhealthy dietary habits have contributed a great deal in turning obesity into an epidemic.  According to recent statistics, more than 150 million US citizens are suffering from the issue of weight gain.

If we particularly talk about the female population, it has been found that more than 60% of the adult women in the country are suffering from obesity. Despite the increasing public awareness of obesity, a large number of women are still dealing with this health issue.

40 and Obesity

40 is generally considered an important milestone in one’s life. Some people find a new meaning of life at this point of age. On the other hand, a midlife crisis is also typically experienced after 40. And interestingly, it has also been found that women are more likely to gain weight after 40 years.  Medical scientists and nutritionists have deduced multiple reasons behind obesity in the female population, particularly after 40. Let’s have a look.

Before we move on to discuss those reasons in detail, it is imperative to clarify that the intent of sharing this information is just to spread awareness regarding the unhealthy repercussions of obesity. We don’t approve of the socially construct taboo of obesity particularly for women by any means.

Hormonal Imbalance

Stating the obvious, the most prevalent reason for weight gain after 40 is the hormonal imbalance within the female body. The time between ages 40 and 48, also known as pre-menopause phase, is highlighted by the reduced production of estrogen from ovaries. With reduced estrogen levels, the body starts to retain more fat than before, thereby leading to weight gain.

On the other hand, reduced levels of progesterone also contribute to gaining weight. Reduced progesterone levels don’t have any effect on the fat retention characteristics of the body. However, its reduced production can set off bloating, which actually adds up to the net weight of the affected person.

Slower Metabolic Rate

Irrespective of gender, age most definitely plays a key part in obesity. However, women bear the greater brunt of aging because of the natural phenomenon of menopause. Due to menopause, the metabolism of females turning 40 becomes slower than the men of the same age. A slower metabolic rate slows the rate at which the body burns calories. As a result, all the excessive and leftover calories show up in the form of weight gain.  

Increased Stress Levels

Women aged 40 and above also become more vulnerable to higher levels of stress. Balancing professional and personal life, taking care of children while worrying about finances and jobs at the same time— all of it can take a great toll on their mental health.  

The coping mechanism of the body to deal with stress is to release the cortisol hormone. The constant proliferation of this hormone within the body affects its natural capability to lose weight. So, chronic stress, among many another issues can also result in excessive weight gain.     

Loss of Muscle Mass

Many people might not be aware of this but a body with more muscle mass actually has a better metabolic rate. Even though the reduction of muscle mass is one of the unwanted consequences of the natural process of aging, women are likely to be more severely affected by this phenomenon because of menopause.

It has been observed that after turning 40, women start to lose their muscle mass more rapidly as compared to men. As a result, the basal metabolic rate of the body significantly drops. Slowed metabolism, reduced muscle mass with more fat retention can only mean one thing – increased weight.

Apart from these internal and natural reasons behind the obesity after 40, some external factors can also contribute to weight gain among women. Let’s take a brief look at them.

Lack of Physical Activity

As mentioned earlier, our modern lifestyle has already cut down our physical activity to a great extent. Many women become negligent of this aspect after crossing 40. There is so much going on in life during this phase of age that women can’t focus on their bodies when it comes to maintaining an active physical lifestyle. The importance of physical activity increases when age starts to take its toll on the body.

So, women should proactively manage a better routine of physical activities to counterbalance the detrimental side effects that happen as they grow old.

Unhealthy Dietary Habit

This is another harmful factor that develops as one ages. Due to their hectic and multifaceted professional and personal life, some women do not pay attention to what they eat. Untimely eating, not taking into account the total calorie count of the daily diet and feasting on bad carbs and unhealthy fats—all these things are a recipe for obesity particularly if a woman has crossed 40. Women who are near menopause must take extra care of what they eat. Eating carelessly and unhealthy will not help the already ailing body and mind.  Of course, there are loads of diet plans that you can follow and after 40 is highly recommended.

Way Forward

Apart from taking care of one’s diet and physical activity, meditation can also help to deal with obesity by relieving stress and balancing hormones. There are many ways in which one can meditate. Try different methods and stick to the one that suits you the most. In addition, it is imperative to frequently visit your physician just to get better guidance on maintaining the wellbeing of your mind and body.


Ketosis and Ketogenic Diets – How To!

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The human body uses carbohydrates as the primary source of energy and uses glucose to fulfill the levels of energy needed for its everyday functioning. However, it doesn’t mean other macronutrients such as proteins and fats can’t be used to realize this energy that the body needs.

In the case of glucose (produced when carbohydrates are digested in the body) deprivation, the body will resort to consuming fat as the main energy source. This metabolic process burns fat and results in the accumulation of carbonyl group organic compounds in the body called ketones.  

Even though ketosis is a regular metabolic process within the human body, it has become popular among people in recent years due to a weight loss diet that is based on the natural feature of human metabolism.

What is Ketogenic Diet? 

More commonly known as the keto diet or low carb diet, is the one in which a person intentionally limits his or her’s consumption of carbohydrate-based foods to very minimal levels and replaces them with fat-based meals. This change in the dieting pattern directs the body in the metabolic state of ketosis. When the body is only available with fats to burn to get adequate energy, it becomes significantly efficient in burning fat. This change in the metabolic process can result in various health implications that are most beneficial in nature.  In other words, by reducing carbohydrate intake, more fat will be converted into energy.

Classifications of Ketogenic Diets

Balance chart for Ketogenic Diet

Not all individuals should partake in a Ketogenic Diet, but if you decide to, speak to your doctor first. Then if you are given the green light, determine which category of these diets would be best for you.

There are several variants of the ketogenic diet adopted by people according to the result they want from. The classifications are based on the proportion of intake of three major macronutrients.

Standard Ketogenic Diet

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) is the most prevalent version and most of the people who go with this diet follow SKD to lose weight. SKD diet plans are rich in fats, with moderate consumption of proteins and very low carbohydrate intake. The proportion usually goes as:

  • 75% fats
  • 20% proteins
  • 5% carbohydrates

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

As its name suggests, this diet has cyclic patterns where the number of carbs in the diet is increased temporarily in a periodic manner. Usually, a week is divided into five ketogenic days and two high carb days.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet

In this pattern, carbs are usually consumed around workout sessions. People who are involved in bodybuilding exercises usually follow this diet.

High-Protein Ketogenic Diet

It is the same as the standard ketogenic diet, but with more portions of protein-based foods in the plan. The amount of protein intake goes to 30% in this keto diet.

Ketogenic Diets: How Healthy are They?

Ketogenic diets have several proven health benefits. We all know it is popular for its ability to bring on a significant weight loss in a person. For instance, it has proven to have better weight loss results than a low-fat diet. It is also effective because unlike calorie-restricted diets, you don’t have to exhaust yourself in counting the calories of consumed foods all the time.

A Simple Design

The weight-loss method is very simple in ketogenic diets. The body becomes efficient in burning and consuming fats which helps in reducing the weight by burning up the excessive adipose tissues. Decreased glucose levels in the blood due to decreased consumption of carbs and decreased insulin resistance also assist the weight loss process.

Beneficial for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Type 2 diabetes entails changes in metabolism where body sugar levels always remain high with declined insulin activity. A research study has found out that only adopting a ketogenic diet by type 2 diabetic patients can reduce their medication intake. Out of 21 participants in the study, 7 were succeeded in controlling their blood glucose level without the help of any diabetes prescription.

May Help with Bipolar Disorder

A preliminary study suggests that a low-carb diet may be advantageous to persons suffering from bipolar disorder, as they maintain higher sodium inside their bodies than people who do not have this illness. One of the functions of the medications used to maintain mood stabilization is to lower the individual’s sodium levels. By default, ketogenic diets also lower sodium levels.

Additional studies performed also suggest that people with epilepsy may benefit from this diet.

Possible Side Effects

Due to a radical change in the eating pattern, one might experience an upset digestive system through diarrhea, constipation, nausea or vomiting.

Ketogenic diets can also result in temporary fatigue in the transition period during which the body is setting and adjusting itself in a newly developed ketosis-influenced environment.   

In addition, ketogenic diets are very particular and consequently, deficiencies of vitamins B, C, and D, as well as calcium, magnesium and iron could result. These deficiencies may continue the cycle of the digestive issues mentioned above. Sometimes, but rarely, abnormal heart rhythms, pancreatitis, weakened bones and kidney stones may develop.

Be sure to speak to a medical professional before starting any diets!

How Do I Start?

Provided you got the proper clearance from your doctor or medical professional, you can start here. Another method would be to contact a nutritionist or other expert in dieting and begin with them.


Five Health Risks of Being Overweight

Obsese Man
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America is blessed with about 324 million individuals of different races, religions and cultures. About one-third of these or 118 million Americans suffer from a serious health disorder that makes them susceptible to several diseases.

One of these health problems is on the increase every single passing day. Yes, we are talking about obesity that is a growing concern in the US. Being obese or overweight is not just a cosmetic problem. If left unaddressed, it can lead to the development of many serious health disorders, some of which will be the subject matter of this article.

The Dangers of Obesity

Food is sometimes rightfully compared to a childhood friend. When treated well, you can experience great joy and delight. However, when abused, you should expect retribution that is anything but sweet. Overeating is nothing more than abusing the food due to which it literally turns into a silent killer.

Here are five deadly risks of obesity that will make you consider taking action to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Risk of a Heart Attack

Simply stated, the heavier you are, the more your heart has to work to perform its daily tasks. When you add more weight, your heart has to increase the blood flow in your body more than it had to do previously. One would think that this would equate to a faster beating heart, but instead, the heart enlarges slightly so it can pump the increased blood flow with each beat; however, this increased blood flow leads to high blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart disease.

Obesity also raises the chances of gaining the bad cholesterol levels (also known as low-density lipoprotein (LPL) that stick to the walls of arteries. 

Bottom line – Being overweight results in a heavier workload for the heart.


Being overweight raises the risks of several types of cancer including colon, breast, kidney, uterine, and stomach cancers. Studies have also shown that obesity increases the risk of ovaries, gallbladder, and pancreatic cancers.

It has been found that overweight people many times have chronic low-level inflammation, which can potentially cause DNA damage. This damage may then result in certain types of cancer. Obese people have a higher chance to acquire health disorders which are linked to chronic local inflammation, which subsequently increases the risk of getting cancer.


Excess body weight also results in increased risk of diabetes. This is usually caused by the excessive level of blood sugar in the body. The pancreas is the body produce a large amount of insulin to control the high blood sugar levels. Ultimately, the body organ fails to function properly due to which the individual becomes dependent on insulin medication.


Osteoarthritis is another common health disorder of the hips, knees and the lower back. The condition happens when excess weight puts pressure on the joints due to which the tissues that protect the joints wear away causing great pain.

Sleep Apnea

Obese individuals are at an increased risk of developing a sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. The individual suffering from the condition experiences shallow breathing when asleep. As a result, the person is not able to achieve normal sleep at night. The condition develops when the excess fat around the neck constricts the airways making it hard for the individual to breathe. 

Sleep Apnea can lead to other issues as well, such as, feeling tired during the day and a greater risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

The above are just some of the serious health complications that result from being overweight. You can greatly reduce the risk of developing these disorders by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

A good way to start is to check you Body Mass Index (BMI), which is BMI is a screening mechanism that will tell you if you are underweight, overweight, obese or normal for your height and weight. It is a pretty good indicator of how much weight you need to lose (if any). Simply check any BMI calculator table and you can quickly determine where you are as far as body weight is concerned.

Eating a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise routine can go a long way towards a healthy weight, but for those that need some extra support, there are many diet programs available. With that said, it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor who can direct you to the right diet plan.

Howard Fensterman is a managing partner of the New York-based law firm – Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP. and has gained a reputation due to high-quality legal services as well as contributions to different charitable organizations in the United States.

Treating Obesity Can Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Obesitiy Comparisions
Photo by adrenalina –

Obesity is a growing concern in the  world. Different factors can contribute to obesity such as hormonal, genetics, emotional and cultural factors or just not watching what you eat and/or lack of exercise. However, the chief reason for the increased incidence of obesity is the sedentary lifestyle that many of us are so accustomed to.

Overweight individuals have an increased risk of developing serious health complications such as diabetes, coronary disorders, and liver and kidney problems. Being obese is also linked to an increased risk of cancer.

So how do we overcome this? In this article, we will discuss the link between obesity and cancer as well as some of the steps that individuals can take to maintain a healthy weight.

The Link between Obesity and Cancer Explored

Man Eating a Biscut
Maintain a healthier lifestyle by being vigilant as to what are processed foods and what are not

Obesity is a health condition that refers to abnormally high levels of body fat, particularly around the belly. A study that had examined about 74,000 individuals found that for every decade that the individual is overweight, the risk of developing cancer increases by about 7 percent.

Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine claimed that being overweight increases the risk of at least 13 types of cancer. Conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as part of an initiative of the World Health Organization, the study found strong evidence of the link between obesity and colorectal cancer, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, breast cancer, kidney and uterine cancers.

What is the Link Between Obesity and Disease?

Several factors have been suggested that help to explain the link between obesity and cancer. The fat tissue produces a high level of estrogen hormone that has been linked to endometrial, breast and other types of cancers.

Obese individuals also have increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in their blood. Also known as hyperinsulinemia, this condition can promote certain types of tumors in the body. The fat cells also affect tumor growth regulators. Both these factors greatly increase the risk of cancer in the individuals.

How Obese Individuals Can Shed Weight Effectively?

Checking WaistlineThere is no one effective formula that can help in reducing weight quickly. Individuals have to take a number of measures to avoid accumulation of excess body fat. For many, a healthy diet plan coupled with aerobic exercise is the most effective way to combat obesity.

In addition, people that want to shed weight fast can take Xenical (Orlistat) pills. The tablet is one of the few medications that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity. Instead of suppressing the hunger, this medication works by slowing down the fat absorption capacity of the body.

If you are at present overweight, you should start by taking small steps to lose weight. Aim to shed about five percent of your body fat at the start. Research studies have shown that shedding even five percent to ten percent of the body fat can offer great health benefits. The important thing is that you stick to your commitment.

The little effort on your part today can greatly increase the odds of living a life free of cancer, heart, kidney, or any other serious disorders. But speak to your doctor first! He/She will know best how you should lift those unwanted pounds off.