We often ask the question of ourselves “why do I binge eat?” Or “why do I find it such a struggle NOT to binge eat?”
Whether you have strict control over your daily diet or if sometimes you just can’t help yourself there are many theories about why we do regularly overeat.
There is the so called ‘Fat Gene’ whereby we take on the charectoristics of our parents and close family members. There is the ‘Caveman Diet’ or more commonly known ‘Paleo Diet’ which mainly consists of nuts, seeds, berries, fruits vegetables and meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Then we have ‘Emotional Eating’ to contend with where we can’t seem to get any satisfaction out of our lives apart from when we are over consuming foods. And along with general ignorance and economic reasons, being overweight can also be attributed to not knowing what we should eat or not being able to afford to eat well.
Coupled with tradition, culture and family unit eating patterns there could be many, many reasons to being overweight. Being overweight is a complex issue and usually not down to just one of the above.
The Caveman / Paleo Diet is essentially a really healthy diet and certainly one that would be more easily digestible from our normal daily barrage of crap, nutritionally devoid food such as bread, chocolate, crisps, sweets, cakes, pastries and all the other stodge that we’re tempted to eat on a regular basis.
However, having worked at with many Paleo Diet clients before if you happen to be intolerant to eggs, nuts or fish (which is more common than you may think) this diet wouldn’t be for you initially. It could certainly be tweaked to fit your personal food intolerances and dietary requirements to provide you the right levels of what you do need for every day life. So don’t discount it without further research.
You have to be able to understand what your particular, individual body requires from your daily diet. We are all unique and therefore what works for one person won’t work for another person. This is why we struggle so much with fad diets that tell us we should only eat this or only eat that. These diets are not tailored to YOU.
There are many diet programs out there and for a lot of people these work very effectively. And there are many theories as to why we often eat till we’re fit to burst.
Gong back to human evolution humans, Homo-Sapiens, have been around for 200 thousand years. Over this time we mainly consumed the Paleo Diet and when we came across an abundance of one particular item, such as a grove of fruit trees we would gorge on them, not knowing where our next meal was coming from. Until around 10,000 years ago we were mainly nomadic people living off the land and moving to wherever the seasonal food was. Animal protein may not have been a daily food item but when something was hunted down then no doubt a feast would ensue, making sure nothing went to waste. Again, possible over eating of one particular food item.
Overeating aside, it’s this diversity that our digestive system requires of us. Having a diet rich in fruits vegetables, nuts and seeds with the occasional bit of lean animal protein is what our bodies over 200 million years have been accustomed to.
Taking into account that we have been settlement farmers for only the past 10,000 years and that evolution takes a lot longer than that to make substantial changes to evolve with the environment, it’s no wonder that so many people struggle to digest certain foods. Grains and Dairy being the most common of these. Our digestive system simply hasn’t caught up to the change of diet.
Grains have only been harvested and introduced as food for the past 10,000 years. These are relatively nutrition-less when compared with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean, active, animal proteins. Since this Agricultural Revolution grains have become more of a staple food item, with people often going days without any other nutritional intake.
Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, milk chocolate, cream, ice-cream, yoghurt are all fairly indigestible. This can be argued that it is due to the Lactose content within these items as we normally stop producing LACTASE, which is the specific digestive enzyme required to break down lactose, in our digestive system when we are weaned, at usually between 2 – 5 years of age.
We are the only other mammal on the planet who regularly abuses another mammal to get to their breast milk. Animal milks are available to feed their young. And we must also bear in mind that a calf has 4 stomachs in which to break down its mothers milk. When you then take into account that 99% of the dairy consumed is pasteurised (heated up to destroy bacteria) this also breaks down the very structure of the dairy which would’ve eased the digestive processes somewhat being a whole food item in its raw state.
It is no wonder that so many people are struggling with Grains (mainly gluten) and Dairy foods items. Around 70% of our clients suffer with both Gluten and Dairy intolerance. Long term consumption of the wrong types of food usually has the effects of making the stomach very sensitive to other foods that would normally be OK. It can also lead to malnourishment as over consumption of grains and dairy means that we are consuming less nutritious foods such as plant based foods, fruit and vegetables which tend to go out the window when faced with a grain and dairy heavy diet.
Being constantly hungry and wanting to gorge on cakes, crisps, bread and other junk can also mean another thing. That your body is continually hungry for nutrients that it isn’t receiving from your food. Therefore, you are craving food that isn’t satisfying you will need to eat a LOT of it before your body gets what it needs.
Eating a diet rich in nutrients, full of fibre, wth some protein and starchy carbohydrates and lots of fresh natural water to rehydrate you is the simplest way to getting enough of what you need to feel satisfied, to feed your body and brain, to strengthen your digestive system, to provide you with energy, clarity and focus which will enable you to live a long and healthy life. Keeping disease at bay.
For further information please get in touch or to book your Free Consultation use this link
Helen Mileham, The IBS Specialist, Nutritional Health & Wellness Coach