20130327we-food-consumption-factors-rfl

Transcending the “Eat Less” Mentality. Simply put, ongoing weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than one is burning. For this reason, it’s common for doctors and well meaning family or friends to advise obese people to “just eat less.”

However, this advise is of little use to a person who feels very hungry all day long. To such a person, depriving oneself of food results in feeling even more tired and hungry. When cravings and the urge to eat something is strong, it’s hard to focus and work efficiently.

The real emphasis of a weight loss strategy should be to look more holistically at the problem, and “go upstream” to find causes and meaningful solutions.

Rather than focusing on “not eating so much,” one should focus on reducing their hunger and subsequently any unnecessary food consumption.

The chart above indicates the many reasons why a person may become hungry or eat excessively. We see a full array of practical starting points for a person wanting to reduce their food intake. Rather than focusing one’s concentration on “eating less” and continually depriving oneself, one can directly overcome the factors that cause overeating.

Many of the categories presented in the chart can be overcome through mindfulness and a conscientious change in thinking (social eating, desire to clean the plate, and eating from boredom or habit). Other categories can be addressed individually:

  • Feeling Sleepy or Low Energy. Pursuing more and better sleep is possibly one of the most important aspects of weight management since insufficient sleep results in a person eating for energy and being too tired to exercise. Some herbal teas can help sooth and relax a person before sleep. Make sure that you have environment that is entirely conducive for quality sleep — including proper temperature, a supportive mattress, low light, and minimal noise.
  • Emotional Eating of Comfort Foods. Finding other methods of relaxation and stress reduction, such as exercise, meditation, or a walk in nature can help bring comfort without calories.
  • Mentally Foggy. Similar to feelings of sleepiness or low energy, mental fogginess can be a result of having to little sleep, but it can also be caused by other factors. Mental clarity can be improved through sleep, proper hydration, and natural supplements that help the mind.
  • Nutritional Deficiency. Natural nutritional supplements can help a person fulfill all their body’s vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional needs. This will send signals to the brain to diminish hunger (since the brain will
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