What is Wrong With Me? Why Can’t I Stop Eating? Where is My Self Control?

by Stephen

Typical Daily Meal PlanIn our 9 to 5 society, millions of people are living this pattern on a daily basis:

  1. You wake up in the morning and have some carbs such as cereal, bread or fruit juice and probably some coffee (caffeine). Perhaps all you have is the caffeine. Then you rush to start your day.
  2. You might get hungry about 10: 00 or 11: 00 am, so you eat more carbs like a bagel and maybe have some more caffeine.
  3. By lunchtime you are starving. You want to eat the easiest source of sugar, fat and salt you can find. You get back to work feeling a bit uncomfortable because you ate a little too much.
  4. About ninety minutes later, you are struggling to stay focused at your desk. You are feeling really tired and would love to take a nap, but you are working so that is not going to happen. You do the next best thing; you get more caffeine or more carbs to wake up so you can get more work done.
  5. This gets you through the end of the day and finally you go home and again you are ravenously hungry.
  6. By dinnertime, you are too tired to cook anything and too hungry to wait, so you go pick something up at your local restaurant and again, you overeat.
  7. Later that evening as you finally get a chance to relax for the day, the sugar cravings kick in. You try to fight it, but the urge is overwhelming. You wander back into the kitchen looking for more food.

How can you be hungry after you just ate that huge dinner?

This is a perplexing question that most people, even doctors for that matter do not understand.

This pattern leads to certain hormonal imbalances that promote weight gain or other symptoms such as fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You know, all the problems of modern day society.

From an evolutionary standpoint we are all designed to overeat and store fat. The more you follow the pattern, the harder it becomes to change and the more weight you gain.

Focusing on calories isn’t going to get you anywhere and will only make the problem worse overtime.

What is your first response to gaining weight?

The first response to weight gain is, let’s go on a diet!

  • You decide to cut back on calories and exercise more.
  • Now you intentionally “starve” yourself by eating very little, if anything, for breakfast, you don’t snack at all and you skip lunch in order to cut calories.
  • After work you go to the gym and practically kill yourself on the elliptical or treadmill.
  • Then you go home and have a small salad.

Initially, you may actually lose weight with this approach.

  • You might lose 10 lbs or more, but within a couple of weeks to a couple months your weight loss plateaus.
  • Your response is to reduce more calories and to exercise longer and more frequent.
  • You are now eating even less food, but expending much more energy.

This approach only exacerbates your appetite and cravings. Eventually you give in and eat something you know you shouldn’t  but it is hard to resist.

Pretty soon, you have gained back all the weight you lost, plus an extra 5 lbs on top. This makes you feel terrible about yourself and the cycle of harsh personal criticism has begun.

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I stop eating? Where is my self control? 



Image/Adaptation: Dr. Robert Maki The Perfect Weight Loss Solution

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