dishes of food

Stop Eating So Much: Even if it’s Healthy Food

I eat only plant-based foods which contain lots of protein, vitamins and minerals.  My food is high in fiber and rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.  My diet is healthy and nutritious therefore I can eat as much as I want without any problem.

Whoa!  Hold it. Something sounds very wrong.  Eat as much as I want … as in overeat… without any problem? I don’t think so. We need to stop eating so much, even if it is healthy food.

lots of food

Overeating: It’s more common than you think

The sad truth is that so many persons who have embraced the idea of a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet fall woefully short in the area of overeating. There is a common misconception that if we are eating good, healthy food, we don’t need to pay so much attention to the quantity we eat.  That is so, so wrong.

We get it that if we eat a lot of red meat and foods high in saturated fat, we increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. We know to hold off on eating lots of sugary and salty foods especially if you are high risk for high blood pressure or diabetes.  But what could possibly be wrong with bingeing on plant-based foods?  After all, aren’t they healthy and full of the necessary nutrients our bodies need to function?

True … plant-based diet is the healthier choice but overeating … definitely not.

What are the effects of overeating?

To put it bluntly, overeating taxes the system and can make you sick. Anything that is overly taxed will eventually break down, won’t it?

A lot of work goes into the digestion process.  From the mouth all the way to the intestines, the body works hard to process the food that enters it. Surplus food becomes a burden to the system and  over time will have detrimental effects.

My mind just went to those little plastic lawn chairs which obviously were designed to accommodate persons under 200 pounds.  Do you know what happens when someone weighing 400 pounds sits in one of those chairs?  The chair is severely taxed and this results in a crash.

plastic chair

Don’t let this happen to your body.  Don’t overtax it by overeating.

Those Dinner Parties

Be it Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other celebration or get together, those dinner parties that you host are usually quite an event, aren’t they?  But there are two words that I bet will describe the outcome for most of those dinners.

“Overwork” and “overeat”

Did I hit the nail on the head?  What do you say, “guilty” or “not guilty”?

It’s not that the dinner party was not a success.  Oh no.  Not at all. I am sure you all had a good time and great food. But the preparation that went into making it a success…phew!

And if you put so much hard work into the preparation, you are going to ensure that you enjoy that food to the max. You definitely don’t want any to go to waste. The result is that you eat much more than you need or than your body can handle effectively.

Here is another situation that can arise at some dinner parties….

Five course meals. What really is going to happen?

Have you ever been to a dinner party or maybe just a restaurant that serves a five course meal? (Or a four course …or a ten course for that matter.)  What happens?

Maybe your experience has been similar to mine.

First of all, you probably didn’t even know it was a five course meal.  But out came the servers with some hor d’oeuvres.  Of course you had to try the bread cups and spinach quiche.  They looked so good.  Not to mention the salt fish fritters.

Then you were called in to sit at the table and soup and rolls came next.  You might have been a bit hungry and because you did not know what was coming next, you took two rolls.  After that came the salad;  lots of vegetables filled with vitamins and minerals and rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. No problem there.  We are encouraged to have 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Next comes the main course and what a spread.  You start to regret taking that second roll.  As a matter of fact, you probably should have skipped the hor d’oeuvres altogether.  But you eat because the food is so good and who knows when next you are going to have such fantastic food.

Well, you made it.  You are now quite full and you lean back in your chair, trying to get in a little stretch because the stomach is just a bit uncomfortable.

But wait! Here comes the server again.  What now!  Well it’s dessert time; cheese cake, chocolate cake, pies, ice-cream.  It might  even be vegan cheese cake and soy-cream.

Whatever the dessert is, you can’t resist.  You yield to temptation and indulge once more.

It might have been all healthy, plant-based food at that dinner party but do you think your stomach was happy?  I think not.

 

Eating for health

Your body is a fantastic machine.  Feed it well.

Go ahead and eat up your whole grains, your tubers and legumes. Enjoy your fruits and vegetables; 5 to 8 servings per day.  Don’t forget to drink lots of water.  Two glasses per day is really not enough.  Aim for about 8 glasses each day.   Schedule regular meal times and ensure that they are 4 to 5 hours apart so the digestive organs can get some rest.

You certainly won’t have to starve yourself; you just need to eat only what the body needs.  Remember that taxing you body by gorging on delicious, healthy, nutritious plant-based foods will end up being not so healthy after all.

Have you ever succumbed to the temptation of overeating?  Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

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