Can You OVER-Eat Healthy Food?

low-carb & low-fat pizza

This is a LOW-CARB pizza.  Do you overeat on healthy food?  This is something we don’t usually think about much but it has been on my mind a lot lately.  When switching to a “healthy diet” a lot of us make the assumption that it is ok to continually eat tons and tons of it.  For instance, on the “Paleo” trend, there are a lot of websites with people eating “healthy” that mix dozens of foods together including multiple proteins, sauces, flours made from nuts and grains, and who knows what else.  Raw honey, dates, flour, and eggs is still a dessert!  I don’t know as much about the “vegan” community but it seems that most people have these cheat-like foods that we binge on and fancy up.  Maybe we make protein shakes and powders and blended food with everything under the sun.  “JUST BECAUSE things are good for us individually doesn’t mean that they are good all blended together in large amounts.”  It’s like we still can’t get over this instinctual drive to binge on food.  Where does this come from?

Personally, I believe it comes from the culture.  It comes from society.  Food is such a huge part of the culture.  We use food to cover up mental and emotional issues, as distractions, as ways to pass the time.  Often we are so out of tune, that we can’t feel what it is doing to our bodies.  We have forgotten that it really is OK to eat until you are moderately full and then STOP.  Eating to enjoy the experience and receive the nourishment.  Obviously overeating on “healthy” food is better than overeating on junk but it still has its own set of problems.  Overeating is not good for any of us.  So how do we get off of this “health-kick?”  I have a few tips for kicking the habit.

1.  Eat high-quality, living foods:  A lot of us overeat because we are malnourished.  We don’t have adequate stores of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.  Some of us don’t have the good fats to help build hormones.  The more you give your body what it actually WANTS, the less cravings you will have for the fancy foods and overeating.

2.  Utilize “Prana” more:  This is a post in itself, but we often forget that food is a SUPPLEMENT.  Our primary fuel is breathing clean air.  Our secondary fuel is clean water.  Food, sunlight, and grounding are all good too.  Walking around, you would think that people have forgotten about this fact.  Long ago (and probably still today), many people in China, India, and other cultures all had deep breathing practices and knew about this “life force.”  In Chinese tradition it was called “QI” as in “QIGONG.”  Once your body learns it can nourish itself more with these things, your desire for extravagant food will naturally diminish.

3. Resolve any Mental/Emotional Conflicts:  People often eat for emotional or mental reasons.  We don’t like what is happening in our careers, our relationships, our lives, etc.  So what is the answer?  DISTRACTION!  This can be with movies, food, alcohol, whatever.  Sitting down to a movie with a pizza sounds awfully familiar in our country huh?  Food however, is especially sinister.  Bad food, fancy food, heavy food; it all slows down our metabolism, provides extra work for our bodies, and sends tons of blood to our digestive tracts to attempt to process all of it.  This clogs us up, slows down our brains, and stops our energy from being used to FACE UP TO our problems.  I believe this is a big reason a lot of people always find excuses to keep eating junk.  They get started on a good path, but when the health and vitality start coming; so do the emotions.  Having a good spiritual practice, accepting your vulnerabilities, facing all of your problems, acknowledging how you really feel about something, seeing a therapist; these are all good ways to resolve these issues.  Ultimately, a change in our society as a whole needs to happen.  One from stuffing, hiding, and suppressing how we feel; to one of facing, acknowledging, accepting, and MOVING FORWARD.

4.  Allow the Process:  This will not happen overnight.  There will be days when you fall off the wagon.  We are all human.  The goal is to keep evolving to simpler and simpler food choices.  Better quality.  Less quantity.  Animals in the wild don’t eat elaborate food combinations unless WE feed it to them.  Just keep your focus on what your BODY wants.  We really don’t need this exotic food.  Even the healthy stuff.  Cheating and feasting are great sometimes, but we have turned them into an everyday event here.

5.  Don’t eat when: Stressed, tired, emotional, out of a bag, box, or jar, late at night, when you are feeling down, etc.  All of these things signal that we are in a state of “dys-equilibrium”.  Resting, talking with a friend, or prayer may be the best option during these times.  Otherwise, we are just “STUFFING” the problem.

So basically, we just need to follow our bodies.  I think that overeating on health-food is a topic that needs a bit more recognition.  A lot of us have the attitude that we can eat as much as we want as long as it is healthy food.  The body likes it simple and manageable.  Let’s give it what it wants.

-Joe

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