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Eating habits

Weight Problems Influenced by How We Eat

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by: Lynn Berry
Tags: eating habits, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Being overweight or obese can be influenced by how we eat as opposed to what we eat. These are the findings of recent research into eating habits.

Many of us eat with other things going on at the same time, for example, working or playing on the computer, or watching TV. This typically means we are concentrating on something else and we tend to eat fast. When we eat fast, we often don't feel satisfied and tend to eat more.

When we eat fast, we don't give our brain enough time to notify our body when we've had enough. Research in Japan (published in the British Medical Journal Online) found that fast eaters were three times more likely to be overweight especially when they ate until they were full.

This research was conducted with 3,200 Japanese men and women aged 30-69 years between 2003 and 2006 by Professor Hiroyasu Iso and colleagues from Osaka University, Japan.

Clearly we need to be mindful about what we are eating, as well as how we are eating. Our behaviour is a determining factor in weight gain. Another factor in overeating is related to our emotions. Often we eat when we feel down, and we need to be aware of this behavioural pattern if we are to improve our eating habits.

For some people other behavioural factors may influence overeating. For example, after a certain time of overeating, the body is unable to send messages about having eaten enough. People report that because of this they can eat and eat, and never feel full.

Some cultures emphasize the importance of eating and urge you to concentrate on the way you are eating, including chewing the food well and enjoying the food. They also believe it is important to be grateful for the food and to appreciate everything that is involved in putting that food in front of you. Here you are being mindful on one thing.

Eating Tips
(1) Have a break between courses: this is because it takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to register being full.
(2) Chew your food really well: this gets digestion going and helps give you the feeling of being full
(3) Concentrate on eating without the TV, or talking, etc, until you have finished: this helps your brain register you are eating and helps digestion
(4) Avoid eating if you are stressed or very emotional about something: this avoids overeating and problems with digestion

For people who have overeating problems, support can be found with Overeaters Anonymous (OA). The group started in California in 1960, and there are now groups meeting in over 65 countries. Members range in weight with some having moderate control over overeating and others with no control at all.
Overeaters Awareness Week is from November 9-15. OA is free and welcomes anyone needing help with eating problems including overeating, binge eating, as well as anorexia.

Source: "Eat less and enjoy more", by Paula Goodyer, Sydney Morning Herald November 6, 2008

OA links:
USA: www.oa.org
UK: www.oagb.org.uk
Melbourne www.oa.org.au
Sydney: www.oasydney.org

About the author

Lynn Berry is passionate about personal development, natural health care, justice and spirituality. She has a website at www.lynn-berry.com.

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