Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle, Restaurants, Water, weight loss | Tags: overeating, portion size, weight gain
The more meals we eat outside of our homes, the more food we’re likely consuming. Why? Because restaurants give us huge servings of food—enough to feed a family of four sometimes. We get so used to these serving sizes that they start to feel normal. That’s when we hit peak “portion distortion,” where we’re only satisfied by eating overly large amounts of food.
The Perils of Supersizing
Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:
- Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
- A surge of glucose is released into your blood. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb all that extra glucose. This can make you feel spacy, weak, irritable, or headachy.
- Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.
- When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience cravings for more food–specifically simple carbs or sweets.
- Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.
6 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion
- Cook and eat at home more. We never serve ourselves the amount of food restaurants do.
- Don’t over-order–go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees.
- Choose high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized.
- Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register you’re full before you overeat.
- Get enough water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
- Carry your own snacks so you’re not tempted to grab pizza or a candy bar when the 4 p.m. munchies hit you. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with baby carrots, popcorn, or nuts.