Do you claim that you are a foodie? Does your mouth start to water on seeing your favorite food & you can’t stop yourself from having it even if your stomach is full? Do you find it difficult to do anything without having something to eat? Do your hands just perfectly fit into anything edible and dump it onto your mouth without even you being aware of it? Do you love having snacks all through the day? Are you one of those for whom food is everything? If anyone of this holds true for you, then either you already are a compulsive eater or you are in the process of becoming that.
Food is one of the important aspects of our life, there is no doubt about it. We all are alive primarily because of the food which we consume on a daily basis. In fact what you call as your body is nothing but the heap of accumulated food which you have eaten over so many years. Just the way your car needs fuel to run; our body needs food to keep it going. So let’s agree to the fact that food is one of the most important and essential ingredients for our survival.
But does that imply that we should keep on eating all the time? Does that also mean that we can eat anything we want? The answer to both is No. Certainly, we should eat only that much which is required by the body to keep it fit and well. Depending upon the type of activity you do on a daily basis, you can decide the appropriate amount and kind of food. What kind of food you are having plays a significant role in creating your health. I have already covered a detailed article on what kind of food we should eat in one of my previous articles entitled ‘Yoga and food: Your ticket to perfect health’.
We need to look into the fact that why is it, people can’t just stop eating, once they have had enough. The very simple and scientific reason is that people have given up for one of their survival instrument which is the tongue (Experience of taste). They have become slaves of it. Otherwise, you would never go for anything once your stomach is full. The second reason is ‘Unconscious choices’. People just forget that something which they are consuming can even harm their body after a certain amount. So the moment you enslave yourself to your taste, naturally you lose the ability to make conscious choices & you go by tendencies and temptations. Let’s take an example here, many times we eat just because we couldn’t control ourselves & immediately after that our body starts to tell us that we shouldn’t have consumed it. So whenever you make your choices compulsively, there is more likely that your stomach will get into trouble more often.
Those people who just keep on eating all the time, there is no wonder that problems like acidity, indigestion, constipation, frequent bowel movement etc. are a part of their day to day life, which is actually alarming as far as health is concerned. But this thing is largely neglected in the modern societies because of unhealthy lifestyles.
So here are 6 practical ways you can overcome the problem of Compulsive eating:
1) Be aware: If you eat compulsively, the very first thing you need to do is ‘Be Aware of this condition’. Which means you should know that you are a compulsive eater. Many times people just don’t realize that they are eating compulsively and the moment something goes wrong, then suddenly they start to skip their heartbeat and start worrying. So before it’s too late, just be aware of what you are eating, when you are eating and how much you are eating. If you pay attention to these three aspects, you can totally eradicate compulsive eating from your life.
2) Stop before you start eating: Whenever food plate arrives in front of you, don’t just plunge into it. Take a pause and ask yourself within ‘Am I really hungry or not?, If the answer is yes, then without hesitation go for it. However, if the answer is No, then be aware that you don’t need it. By doing this simple activity you will see that you will reduce a reasonable amount of food which you could have accidentally put into your stomach.
3) Analyze: When you eat anything which involves human interventions & a lot for processing and you find it very enticing, there is more likely that you will start to have it frequently. So consciously avoid consumption of those things which involves human interventions in making it more attractive and tasty. I am not saying you shouldn’t have it at all, I am only suggesting just be cautious that you should not get trapped into that taste. On the other hand, if something which is naturally edible without any processing or human intervention (for e.g seasonal fruits of any kind) then without any doubt you can have it whenever your body needs it or you feel hungry.
4) Feel the sensations in your body: If you are sensitive enough you immediately start getting signals from the sensations which happen in the body while or after having your food. Let’s say because of your lifestyles this simple sensitivity has gone, then here is the way you can know whether the food you have consumed is good for you or not. After eating if you feel fresh, light and rejuvenated, that means your food is awesome, however, if you feel lazy, heavy, sleepy etc, for sure the food is not the suitable one and you might get into the trap of compulsive eating by consuming such kind of food.
5) Don’t watch television while eating: There was a research conducted in the US by researchers at Harvard and they found out a direct link between watching television and increased risk of obesity in children and adults. If you eat while watching television, that further worsens the situation. Secondly when we watch TV, our Main attention shifts from food to the programme being watched and unknowingly we end up eating more amount of food than required by the body. This is also one of the contributing factors in compulsive eating. Hence do not watch TV at all while you eat food. Your full attention should be on food only without any distraction.
6) Do Yoga and Meditation: When you practice different aspects of yoga, it naturally takes your life from ‘compulsive way of being to a conscious way of being. The essential goal of yoga is to bring you out from all kinds of compulsions whether it is related to body, mind, emotions or energies. If you make yoga as your integral part, then you will get rid of the word compulsion itself. Once you live a life full of conscious choices, all kinds of compulsions will silently walk out of your life.
I don’t want you to just read & believe whatever I have suggested. I want you to experiment with it and see if it works for you. If it does, that’s great, if it doesn’t then forget about it and look for something else that might work for you. Afterall life is all about series of experiments and progressive realizations.
Happy Reading 🙂