Do you have the impression that you eat too large portions lately, or do not refuse to make additions, and breaks between meals are filled with crunchy salty snacks or savoring sweet delicacies? If such a disturbing symptom has evolved into a habit, it is time to act. The unhealthy habit of overeating contributes heavily to the development of overweight and obesity, and also leads to the development of civilization diseases, developing on the basis of excessive body weight.
Very often excessive overeating is a way to relieve emotional problems and the associated stress. The problem of chronic overeating, however, is not a problem you can not get rid of. However, solving this problem requires working on yourself, patience and perseverance. It’s very easy to form unhealthy eating habits. It is much harder to find motivation to change them. Many people struggle with the problem of chronic overeating, which is treated in terms of eating disorders, which also include bulimia, anorexia and compulsive overeating. Eating larger portions than usual does not indicate compulsive overeating, but can lead to the development of this disease.
Emotions and excessive overeating
Emotional problems can be a source of excessive overeating. In the majority of cases, the consumption of drinks and food may result not from the need to nourish the body and satisfy hunger, but to be the result of experienced emotions. It needs to be emphasized that overeating can result from both negative emotions and from positive or neutral feelings (eg as a desire to adapt to the requirements of a social label). Excessive overeating on the emotional side is manifested by eating excessive portions because of a happy or sad event. The problem of chronic overeating may be accompanied by feelings of disappointment and depression. Sometimes it occurs in the course of depression.
Overeating resulting from positive emotions is related to the so-called rewarding yourself for achieving success or completing a difficult task. This bad habit often originates from childhood, when the parents were rewarded with sweets for good behavior, or because of holidays or other celebrations. Excessive overeating can also result from neutral emotions that are associated with a pattern of behavior – for example, eating chips in the evening, or overeating popcorn and drinking cola drinks during the film screening. If it happens only once in a while, there is no need to worry. The problem occurs when the pattern repeats several times a week.
Psychological and physiological sphere of hunger
People who have a problem with distinguishing physiological hunger from the psychological sphere and the impulse to reach for a specific product should start to change the diet from learning to recognize physiological hunger. Hence, sometimes the help of a dietitian and psychotherapist may be necessary. Emotions and the desire to enjoy the pleasure of eating in excessively overfeeding people obscure the real need to satisfy hunger.
Appetite regulated by hormones
The increased appetite is largely due to hormones, but not only. The blood glucose level – simple sugar used as the main source of energy in the body is also important. The increase in glucose levels suppresses hunger and the need to eat food. The decrease in the sugar level leads to a renewed increase in appetite.
Fatty cells (adipocytes), pancreas and liver as well as intestines play an important role in regulating the sense of hunger and inhibiting. These organs release hormonal impulses that affect the amount of food consumed.
Senses, such as eyesight and smell, also have an effect on hunger. Under the influence of watching your favorite meals and feeling pleasant smells, it leads to the secretion of saliva and digestive juices.
The above indicates that an increased appetite is not necessarily a symptom of not coping with stress in every case. Frequent hunger and the appearance of a so-called wolf appetite may result from an unbalanced diet or unstable blood glucose.
The unstable blood glucose level
Fluctuations in blood glucose levels may be associated with the intake of foods with a high glycemic index. After their consumption, a large amount of insulin comes out of the pancreas. By way of example, you can point to sweets, sweet, dried fruit and ready-made snacks.
Not eating breakfast can also contribute to fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Avoiding breakfast is initially not felt as a negative habit. However, in the afternoon and evening hours, there is an increased appetite and overeating in the evening.
The source of appetite disorders may also be the failure to provide the body with an adequate amount of nutritional value and calories. It is worth calculating your total metabolism, which consists of the basic metabolism (energy consumed for the basic metabolic processes) and over-basic metabolism (energy consumed for activities and other forms of activity). Consuming the right amount of calories and nutrients in the form of meals distributed throughout the day will help avoid excessive appetite, and thus uncontrollable overeating in the evening.
Diseases causing overeating
Overeating is a direct result of excessive appetite and uncontrollable hunger pangs. These types of symptoms accompany certain diseases, including but not limited to
– thyroid disease,
– the destruction of the body,
Diabetes is a disease that is accompanied by impaired insulin secretion, or even total insensitivity of tissues to insulin. This leads to dysregulation of the sugar management system in the blood. Untreated diabetes leads to hunger pangs. Other symptoms of diabetes include feeling of excessive thirst and frequent urination, frequent hunger attacks, and frequent occurrence of inflammations on the skin. Hyperthyroidism, like hypothyroidism, also manifested in excessive appetite.
In the case of depression and eating disorders, the somatic causes of excessive, uncontrolled appetite may be related to mental causes. In this case, the pharmacological treatment should be accompanied by psychotherapy.
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