NITA BHASIN analyses why you overeat and what you can do to avoid falling ill due to overeating
Strangely enough, we have reached a point where we are celebrating ‘Illness and Disease’ days such as Cancer and Diabetes day, Mental health day and Infertility day. And to think that not so long ago, we would enjoy and celebrate birthdays, apart from, wedding anniversaries, holidays and festivals.
Par aaj yeh naubat aa gayi hai that our fast lifestyle has led us to the point that we have to celebrate illness. Anything to do with illness is a big business. To inaugurate a hospital, a celebrity is invited and guess what?
Sab dua kar rahe hain ki hospital khoob taraki kare.
Everyone, it seems, is praying that the hospital should do very well.
Once, massive billboards were put up by a hospital. It tracked the number of successful surgeries done. It recorded 120,000 knee surgeries, and 70.000 heart surgeries! It also advertised the hospital’s excellent patient care facilities. The point I am trying to make is that ‘illness wale apna kaam ache se kar rahen hain,but what are we doing for ourselves to prevent falling ill? Ownership for our health falls on us, not on hospitals. No docs, no surgery, no medicine – that is what we must strive towards.
The common man struggles to make ends meet, juggling between family and work, and now, illness has become a reason to be celebrated. What gets attention is what gets magnified. The more sensible thing to do will be to focus more on ‘Prevention’. Let us be proactive towards wellness.
We are paying a lot of attention to food and everyday, we read a number of articles and read WhatsApp posts on what to eat.
We also read about all kinds of diets. New ones are out all the time.
Have we all lost control?
Have these new diets resulted in anything beneficial? Is the result effective? Or are you still:
4 Still on pills?
5 Battling with the side-effects of pills?
6 Still, confused?
Take Control Now
Go Back To The Basics
Often, in our obsession with food, we forget to focus on the real thing: You are what you eat. What you are not eating is what creates the nutritional gap in your food. It is the missing link.
There is a famous saying in Ayurveda: Jaisa ann, waisa mann
Walk across to your kitchen shelves and throw out:
1 Junk foods
2 Synthetic food colours
3 Whatever is causing environmental and home pollution
4 Aluminium utensils for cooking
5 Teflon utensils for cooking
Stay away from quick and easy meals at takeaway joints.
Focus on clean, green raw foods, eating seasonal fruits and vegetables and on your gut health.
Do not spend time dealing with life’s urgent issues, which are out of your control. Those only cause further stress and require you to be on lifelong medicines as they cause blood pressure and eventually diabetes or other psychosomatic illnesses.
Instead, focus on improving and maintaining balance in all spheres of your life and on:
1 Daily Physical Exercise
2 Positive Mental Attitude
3 Adequate Rest
4 Nutritious Diet
5 Quality Sleep
Cultivate a routine that is simple, easy, doable, learnable and duplicatable.
Take these baby steps and before you know it, you will be well into the Wellness Zone.
Common Reasons for Overeating
In our life, we all eat and sometimes overeat in different stages of our lives. See which reason is true for you and work on that:
1 Boredom, anxiety, depression.
2 Eating as a reward, such as when you finish a project or when children finish the exam. Celebrations are always associated with eating and freaking out.
3 You eat at odd hours because your favourite chosen programme on TV comes at odd hours and you have to stay awake, so you eat.
4 Your most favourite dish is cooked and because it is irresistible, you overeat.
5 To fulfil an emotional need. Many times, you eat because you can’t say no to Dadi, Nani, Chachi, or Mummy. Bahut pyaar se apne hatho se banaya hai khana. You just cannot say no.
6 It is your favourite dish and even if you are already full, you are still tempted to eat.
7 This is a family favourite and you won’t get it again for a while.
8 When food smells aromatic and is well-presented.
9 Anger and frustration lead to overeating.
10 You are tired of home cooking, so you order regularly from restaurants. Apps have made it even more easy to order food. Restrict this to once a week.
1 At weddings, parties, family and alumni get-togethers.
2 Peer pressure.
3 It is always somebody’s birthday or anniversary.
4 On a vacation.
1 Nibbling in-between meals.
2 You overeat because you don’t want to waste food.
3 Overeating when happy or unhappy.
4 Mistaking thirst for hunger.
5 Your plate size is big.
6 When you go in for seconds.
7 Food is your obsession.
8 When you are bored and idle.
9 You want variety.
10 When you are alone and have nothing to do.
11 Guilt also makes you overeat.
12 When you can’t sleep, you tend to overeat.
13 Your fridge is always loaded with ice creams, chocolate, kheer, and mithai. Hang your swimsuit in the fridge as a gentle reminder not to overeat.
14 When you start to exercise daily, and feel you are entitled to eat more because you are exercising anyway.
1 You are always hungry when you lack protein, micronutrients, or have been on a low-calorie diet.
2 When you have a nutritional deficiency.
1 Eating while watching movies, TV, or while WhatsApping.
2 Food apps makes food readily accessible and reasonably priced.
3 After retirement.
4 While cooking, you tend to taste the food.
5 When drinking with friends.
6 When it’s free.
7 Food advertisements are a big reason for overeating. They make food look overly attractive.
8 Shift duties.
Whatever the reason, overeating is only adding to your weight and leading you towards ill health. The attitude that we only live once leads only to illness.
Dis-ease comes only once, as does weight gain. Then, it just decides to stay.
Tips to Avoid Overeating
1 Sit in silence and observe your thoughts. Ask yourself, am I really hungry? Look at the food for five minutes before you decide to eat.
2 Do some urgent work.
3 Stop hanging out with your foodie friends.
4 Once we become observers, temptations don’t hold much power.
5 Don’t use your stomach as a wastebasket.
This is an excerpt from the book, ‘And Now Commonsense in Holistic Wellness’ by Nita Bhasin. The author is passionate about fitness and health. As she says in her book: “I have a story to tell and share the experiences based on simple logical issues of health on a daily basis. I am passionate about getting my message across believing that it can help lots of my friends to take charge of their own health and feel a sense of security and happiness and abundance of energy.”
For reviews on Nita Bhasin’s book, And Now Commonsense in Holistic Wellness, click on the link below: