How To Stop Overeating (Naturally and Consistently)
(Below is the transcript from our video, “How to Stop Overeating” click above to see video!)
So today we are going to talk about one one really important tropic,
which is, why is it so difficult to eat less?
Now, here’s a fundamental problem, though I don’t like to use the word “problem” I like to say “reality; In order for someone who needs to lose some weight and lose some body fat, there must be some degree of deficit.
That deficit has to come from one of two places, either metabolically from doing more activity and building more muscle though the process of doing more activity or eating less.
Now, the best results, the most long-term results will always come from a combination of the two. But with a combination of both of them, there is always that one common component that can’t be overstepped, which is that you have to eat less. Now, when we talk about diets, the word diet is essentially, and most people understand, flawed. Because no one wants to really go on a diet. A diet is not something that’s really useful. A diet implies, some temporary change in your eating habits that’s going to, obviously, bring about a temporary change in your physical appearance.
How To Stop Overeating- The Problem With Current Models
So, even in the bodybuilding world, people will diet for a three month period usually, (sometimes a six month period), and to look their best, they’ll reduce their eating, reduce how many calories they take in and increase their activity level to try to get as lean as possible for a competition.
Some people do it because they’re getting ready for films, or photoshoots for projects or for social media. But those are temporary fixes. The problem is that we fixate on people who look fantastic for short periods of time, and get this sense that they always look that way. When the reality is that most fitness personalities don’t.
It’s a temporary thing, it’s a diet that they were on and most of these
people will give dietary advice. You’ll get advice as to what they did,
to look fantastic for a short period of time. The problem is, we think about weight loss, outside of bodybuilding, outside of social media, outside of fitness, stars, and fitness personalities, we come into the reality of weight loss.
Which is; most people don’t want to look good for two weeks out of the year, or for photo shoots or for a competition. They want to look good all the time. And for them, the idea of doing a temporary diet doesn’t really work, in that,
number one, it’s something that’s going to be transient, and any results that you get it’s usually not something that’s going to be sustainable.
Secondly, the problem with sustainability with most diets is, how do you continuously eat less? As far as the activity component, more people can find it in themselves to getting used to exercising on a regular basis. But how to you eat less? And why is it so hard to eat less?
How To Stop Overeating- Why We Can’t Solve The Problem of Eating Less
Is there a trick to eating less?
Is there a hack that you can use to make it such that you can eat less consistently?
Because there are some people, out there, myself hopefully being one of them. (I’m saying hopefully because I’m forty-six turning forty-seven right now and I hope to be as lean as I am, when I’m in my 70s and in my 80s and stick to the program and protocol I’ve been following for the past several decades.)
But most people want to be in that place.
When I say that place, I mean that place where you’re lean all the time
and in order to be lean all the time and to get to a place where you are lean all the time, it means that somewhere along the line to get there, you’re going to have to eat less.
Now when I say less, I mean less in terms of calorie intake. Not necessarily volume per se. But, one of the problems with approaching weight loss is that nutrition today is so focused on Today.
It’s so focused on modern foods.
It’s so focused on trying to figure out a way to help people maintain, and sustain a healthy body weight eating modern foods in modern environments.
And the conversation isn’t really about WHY it’s so difficult for us to eat less.
Why is it almost impossible for people to resist those temptations to eat high calorie foods that they know they shouldn’t eat. And so much of their being is screaming at them not to eat, whereas another part of them is overwhelmingly compelled to eat it.
Why is that? Why is it so hard to eat less?
I think one of the issues is that in order to solve a problem, (we’ll use the word “problem” here), you have to first understand what the problem is.
An Evolutionary Discussion of Why We Instinctively Overeat
I dislike the use of the word “problem” as I said, but what the issue here is,
is that we’re going up against something that’s fundamentally part of what it means to be human.
Actually, fundamentally what it means to be any living organism.
You see, one of the key elements that separates us as human beings from other animals, is the fact that we don’t spend all of our time or most of our time, looking for food.
Most animals, most mammals across the board, spend the majority of their lifetime looking for food. There is some time for sleep. There’s some time for reproduction, and in some higher animals, there is even some time for some play. But all of it is eclipsed by that consistent need to look for food.
That drive to find sustenance. That’s one of the reasons why we as humans,
have a civilization, have art developed the way it is, have technology developed the way it is, is because we are no longer chained
to the need to constantly devote most of our time to simply looking for food and sustaining ourselves.
Now, if want to solve the issue of weight loss, the issue of overeating and how to stop overeating, we have to look at our ancestral past. We have to look at what we all have in common, and what we all have in common is the fact that we all come from the same ancestral environment and we all, somewhere down the line, have the same basic ancestors.
Those ancestors were shaped completely shaped by the environment in which they lived. Now, at this point we should define evolution and a simple overview of it is;
Evolution is how an organism develops in an environment, and adapts to the environment so as to allow the organism to live long enough to be able to reproduce.
Any organism that adapts in a way that allows it to live long enough to be able to continually reproduce in a particular environment will be evolutionarily successful and that species will survive.
Any organism that’s unable to adapt to the environment, will not be able to live long enough to reproduce, or continually do so. And the species will eventually die out and become extinct. That’s the same pressure, (environmental pressure), that our ancestors faced, and obviously, because we are here, they overcame it.
Now, let’s go back to what it means to be alive and to be an animal.
Let’s look at our closest relatives on the evolutionary scale, let’s look at the apes.
Apes spend most of their time eating.
Most of their time eating and looking for food.
Now, the reason they spend so much time looking for food and eating (and not just apes, but most animals) is because in nature there are no dense high calorie foods that you commonly come across, most of the foods in nature are very low in energy.
Extremely high in fiber, sometimes,
and even with animal protein sources,
the fat levels are never really, very high.
So, because there’s never a large amount of calories in one place, every organism in nature that doesn’t have supermarkets, restaurants, and food factories, and food industries to make food for it, it has to keep on looking for food.
So there are two problems there. Number one and
first off, all the food that an animal has to find in the wild,
it has to actually find it. Either hunt it or gather it. And any food it finds is not going to be be really high in calories. And so it has to constantly be looking for food.
Now, somewhere along the line, a primate was able to begin having access to more animal proteins, by the use and development of the use of fire,
which allowed it to eat a lot more and ingest a lot more calories and get a lot more protein than other animals would because fire created access to far more proteins, which then went on to help it build bigger brains, (proportional to the size of its skull), which gave it more intelligence.
That primate, I’m talking about is our common ancestor. Now, those particular early humans were doing their best to try to figure out how they can get
as much food as possible by doing as little work as possible.
Because you can imagine how unstable it would have been then,
and we talk about climate change but at the time in which human beings were
becoming human beings about 200,000 plus years ago,
Earth was very much in upheaval.
There were major shifts in weather patterns,
and climate patterns as we transitioned from an Ice Age.
You know, really major changes going on.
So food wasn’t always
(and then we are talking about 200,000 years since then),
has not always been something that we can easily get.
Today, it’s something we take for granted. Restaurants. supermarkets,
you can go online, order something and food’s at your door
in a couple of minutes, but our ancestors didn’t have any of that.
They had to figure out ways to do their best to try to get as much food as possible,
but they were nonetheless, spending most of their time
as hunter/gatherers, hunting and gathering.
Yes, there was some time
for other things, but most of their time was spent doing hunting and gathering.
Now, at some point agriculture started. And agriculture allowed our ancestors
the ability to stay in one place and have
a stable food supply
that they could rely on. Now they were supplementing, in the beginning,
with some hunting. You do some hunting,
but you also have some backup crops that would supplement your diet.
So you had a fairly stable
food source on regular basis.
As time went on, agriculture became even more dominant.
Hunting became less and less and more of us,
and more of our ancestors relied
almost primarily on agriculture to sustain ourselves and that kept on, up until the Industrial Revolution
when there was a major switch, where most of us didn’t have to be doing agriculture anymore,
very less, and less people could do agriculture
because we were able to, in each phase, create more
condensed foods that are very concentrated in calories.
Things like cakes, things like cookies,
things like breakfast cereals. All those things are really high calorie foods,
even the domesticated animals that we have.
If we think about what it was to consume an animal in the wild
and even today in the wild, animals [there] are nothing
like the domesticated animals we eat today. The animals we eat today are much higher in fat,
in fact, they are fed and bred to be much,
much fatter than what you would find in the wild.
And they also have a far less activity level.
And just like, you can compare someone who’s on the couch all day long
to someone who is out there running track all day long, there is a very big difference in body composition.
And think about domesticated animals as the couch potato and think about wild animals
as the track athletes. Because those animals out there have to constantly
look for food and search for food.
Whereas domesticated animals don’t have to do that,
they’re a little bit like us, in terms of they have a constant food supply that we supply to them,
and as such just like us,
they eat and they eat and they eat
and they eat more than they should. (We are coming right to that point right here.)
How Modern Foods Make Us Overeat
So, it’s important to understand that we had a major shift over the past.
several hundred thousand years from where we started off, to somewhere
a hundred thousand years ago when agriculture started,
to the 1800’s, when we had the Industrial Revolution
and then even more modern foods. We’ve come a long way
and coming so far, we have come further
and further from the shackle of having to spend all our time looking for food.
So we longer have to dedicate our lives to looking for food and less of us on the planet have to do.
So now, if you’re in an undeveloped country,
you still probably do have to spend most of your life looking for food, unfortunately.
But because so many people are able to not have that chain on them,
we have more time to develop the arts, develop technology,
develop, social systems, develop rockets, develop airplanes.
All these things come because we’re not tied to this one activity
of what you need to do to stay alive, which is;
Make sure we have enough food for today
and make sure we have enough food for our young.
We no longer have to do that. Our food stability is much, much better.
But, keep in mind, from an ancestral point of view,
those ancestors, who in that environment,
didn’t have that drive to constantly be seeking food
probably would not have survived. I wouldn’t say “probably” – they would not have survived.
They did not survive.
No organism in that environment,
in a wild environment, that doesn’t have a drive to constantly look for food,
when the food sources are all low calorie,
you know, we look at the movies, in the movies someone goes out, they are hunting
and they kill a wild animal and they have enough food,
and they’re okay. But it’s not very much.
Wild animals, as I said before, are high in protein,
but they’re very low In fact, and the fats are really important.
Your body needs fat, do you need a lot. A lot!
So it’s not like one wild animal will do it for one person and sustain them for a long period of time.
It won’t. And most of the [wild animal] fat, you get in the organ meats.
The muscle [tissue] meats that we are so used to eating today, don’t have much fat at all.
And it’s predominately most of what the animal consists of, and eating it,
without having enough fats, you can still end up being malnourished and eventually you still will die.
You need fats.
And so we have that drive and those who didn’t have that drive,
obviously didn’t make it,
They wouldn’t have survived.
They wouldn’t have reproduced.
Our ancestors did survive and did reproduce.
But here’s the big “but!”
Our bodies are no longer in that environment.
We will longer inhabit an environment where we are terrified of
what we need to do right now to make sure we have enough food for tomorrow.
We’re in a food environment where we have a super abundance of food.
We have more food than we need most of the time.
Really, we do, and we eat more food than our bodies need.
Whereas, if we go back,
not even to a hundred thousand years or
two thousand thousand years ago,
we can even say several hundred years ago in most parts of the world
we still were in a position where
we didn’t have that much food.
It’s not been, for most people on the planet,
a place where food has been abundant for the majority of our time on the planet.
Only fairly recently, in a very small number of developed countries is it
beginning to be in a place where we have that super abundance of food,
which is why we have the obesity problems we have.
And why it’s so hard to lose weight, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The issue is; While we’ve come so far
in terms of our food stability, that drive that we have to keep on and constantly eat,
that drive our primate cousins have to keep on eating.
We still have it. Because we have the same bodies of our ancestors.
It hasn’t changed.
Our bodies don’t know that we can
get food by clicking on a mouse.
You can get food by going to a restaurant. You can get food by going to a supermarket.
You can get food from numerous sources, and the food that we eat is much higher in calories,
than in the food that we were exposed to in the environment that created us.
That made us human today,
and that’s our major problem.
You, see when we talk about food moderation and our ability to regulate food,
humans don’t have one.
We don’t have a built-in sense
of when we’re eating too much. We don’t
and we never did because we never needed it.
For all this time on the planet, the foods that we were eating were, it was plant food and carbohydrates,
if it was plant based carbohydrates
it was high in fiber. It was high in [indigestible] bulk.
If it was a fruit, it was high in seeds,
it was not very sweet
and it didn’t have that much calories in it.
So, you had to eat a lot. A lot!
Quite a lot to keep on getting enough
to sustain the amount of calories
that your body needs to survive.
You have to keep on eating and eating and eating!
Fast forward to today.
You have foods, like I said, cakes, cookies,
chocolate, pizza, fast foods.
Even things like milk,
which was something that came from the agricultural period onwards.
We process forms [of milk) in forms like ice creams and yogurts. We have instead of just fruits
we have fruit juices.
We are [now] able consume a large amount of calories in one short period of time
and our bodies simply aren’t designed to do that.
It doesn’t know what to do.
There is no “stop” for eating for human beings.
We are designed to eat and eat and eat.
By the time you have overeaten,
(and I’m sure everybody at some point has.)
that you’ve overeaten when you pass the point.
You don’t say, “Oh I’m eating and I’m feeling like I’m overeating.”
It’s, you’re eating and you realize,
“Oh wait a minute,
I’ve eaten more than I should.”
That’s because we don’t have that stop gap.
That signal from your brain to your stomach
that says “All right. That’s enough! Stop!”
It’s a slow signal, because in our ancestral environment,
(the environment our bodies are built to live in)
You need to eat a lot.
Your body needs to keep on,
encouraging you to eat to get enough calories in a low-calorie environment.
We come from a predominantly low calorie environment,
That’s part of the problem. Now,
when someone gets lost, when someone is stranded somewhere in the wild,
that need and that drive to keep on eating sustains us. It keeps us alive.
But that’s not our regular environment.
All regular environment is one where there’s a lot of food.
There is more food than you need.
There is always more food than you need.
And so you can eat more fruit, you can always overeat.
If your body needs 2,000 calories a day
to be in homeostasis
To neither gain weight or lose weight,
which is, a fairly adequate number for most people,
you can easily blow that away with
Two servings of a dessert,
or a couple lattes at the coffee shop.
It’s because calories are really,
really easy to come by in this environment.
Which is why it’s important to understand that
moderation is not something that we should be looking at as the solution.
It’s hard to hear because we want to eat everything.
We want to be able to enjoy
“all foods in moderation.”
But the problem is that it’s not possible.
Now, it’s extremely profitable for the food industry,
who tells you, “Oh! You can have those junk foods in moderation,
just moderate yourself.”
But like I said,
there is nothing in us as human beings that can allow us to moderate high calorie foods
especially when they’re hyper palatable meaning that they stimulate our senses
the same way that drugs do.
Drugs like cocaine and opioids.
It’s the same centers of your brain being stimulated when you’re taking them.
So, if you find yourself over eating,
or eating things you shouldn’t be eating on your diet,
and they’re processed foods,
I think it’s important to start with not beating yourself up.
It’s important to have an internal dialogue with yourself
and start talking about the fact that this is part of what it is to be human.
We are designed to eat, eat, eat!
Not eating is not really
a common human attribute.
It’s not and we’re not designed to eat and have a little bit of this,
and a little bit of that. And then stop.
Our bodies are designed to eat and keep on going.
Now, there are few individuals who won the genetic lottery (or behavior lottery),
and they don’t tend to eat that much and they can do really well with regulating.
But they are very tiny percentage of the population,
just like the percentage of the population that wins a lottery,
which is, very tiny.
The type of people who can eat
and moderate what they’re eating [is very tiny.]
Most people can’t. I will say it again, most people can’t!
I can’t overstate that.
No matter how hard you try,
it’s not going to work.
Now, in The Art of War,
there is idea that if you know
your enemy and know yourself
in a hundred battles, you will always be victorious.
And it’s the same here.
If you understand that the reason why you’re eating more than you should
is because you’re human and that it’s a natural thing to do
in the face of the foods that you’re presented with,
it gives you more perspective.
It starts taking the emotional guilt out of it,
it starts taking the idea that
somehow you’re failing out of it.
That’s important because it’s not useful.
It’s totally not useful
because the worse you feel about a food that you ate,
it’s the more you are thinking about the food,
and the more you keep on thinking about the food
The more likely you are to keep on eating that same food.
It’s a vicious cycle.
But one more cycle in there to keep us as humans,
do what we were designed to do, which is keep on eating.
It’s not that your body is against you and trying to sabotage your weight loss efforts.
That’s not what it is at all.
It’s that the regulation of our calorie and energy intake doesn’t come from us.
It’s supposed to come from our foods.
If you’re eating,
even a modern [whole] food, like a chicken breast,
how many chicken breasts can you really eat?
If you’re eating a modern [whole] food,
like an apple, how many apples can you eat?
if you’re eating a modern whole food,
like potatoes, how many potatoes can you eat?
But on the other side,
if you go to the processed versions of those foods,
things start getting a little different.
How many chicken nuggets, can you eat? Quite a lot!
But chicken nuggets are processed versions of chicken breast.
It’s not the same thing. It’s processed.
It’s designed to make you eat more.
How many apples can you eat? Not much.
How much apple juice can you take?
The equivalent of several dozen apples.
That’s just how it is. It’s concentrated.
It’s all about concentrating our calories.
How many potatoes can you eat? Not that many?
How many potatoes in potato chips can you eat?
It’s the same thing,
Keep in mind, it’s not that humans somewhere along the line decided to create these,
horrible foods to hurt you
and make it hard for you to lose weight and keep on gaining weight
It’s that we’ve always been struggling
to get to a balanced point where we have enough food,
and where we don’t have to worry about our next meal.
The Industrial Revolution was about creating foods that were high in calories and dense.
Easy to carry with you. Easy to store.
To try to deal with an ever-increasing population of humans on the planet,
Yes, there are some negatives to it
as far as what it does
but on the other side, it did allow a lot of us,
A lot of our forefathers to be alive.
Whereas, if those foods didn’t exist many probably wouldn’t be alive.
But we’re in a place today where we can do better.
We can make better choices.
especially in developed countries,
we have the choice of being able to say,
I would like to eat this, I would like to eat that.
And in terms of, how do you not overeat.
How do you maintain a moderation
by using your foods
to moderate your intake. It’s simple.
It’s very simple. It’s alarmingly simple.
The Key to Not Overeating
All you have to do is just eat whole foods.
No processed foods.
If you are having any kind of processed food,
it should be been minimally processed.
Minimally processed means something like
oat bran cereal or oatmeal.
You don’t need processed food in your life
because processed food are foods that we are simply biologically not designed to consume.
Because those foods didn’t evolve with us.
We think of our evolutionary
progression as something is something that’s very much related to us.
But it’s not just us.
It’s our environment that evolved.
We evolved with our environment.
We evolved the environment around us.
We created our micro-environments with our foods.
The foods that we eat today, are foods that we developed.
they’re great. But if we go into the wild,
you won’t find anything that looks like them. The sweetest fruit you’d
ever find in the wild is as sweet as a carrot,
and they’re high in seeds. They are much,
much higher in fiber and indigestible bulk.
And they all tend to have really thick skin.
So, they are hard to get to, they are hard to eat,
you have to eat a lot of them to get to get the same calories. So, what our ancestors did,
(and anybody who’s into agriculture or farming knows this)
They kept on modifying and modifying them until it became the thin skinned,
easy to consume fruits that we have today.
But, we evolved with those foods.
We have been eating those foods for thousands and thousands of years with no problem.
We can eat those fruits. The problem comes in with the processing.
If you are eating foods, think about your foods being
what you’re going to use to stop your intake and how much you eat.
Now, in the beginning, it’s going to be hard because here’s the thing,
You are going to have to eat a lot of it because you decided to eat a lot of it.
When I tell people that I eat
five times a day, sometimes six times a day.
It sounds excessive. “Oh, you eat a lot, you eat a lot of times.”
Well, it’s because the foods that I consume aren’t that high in calories
and so in order to get the amount of calories
and energy my body needs to sustain itself, I have to eat a lot of food. Simple.
It’s not some bodybuilding logic or anything else.
It’s just simply the matter that you need to keep on eating
and you are going to have the urge to keep on eating all the time.
It doesn’t really go away.
It doesn’t. It’s with you.
That urge you have, “I want something to eat! I want something to eat.”
If you’re eating the right foods, you’re much less likely to be overeating. Much less likely.
Now you can still overdo it.
But you have to consciously make yourself overdo it.
But in, what I call “Cruise Mode” where you are not really thinking too much about it.
If you are eating the foods you should be eating
you will naturally moderate your intake.
That puts you in a better place.
A better place in terms of, you are not on a diet.
Because I died, like I said, it’s a temporary thing.
It’s good effects are transient.
It’s bad effects can last really long
because you remember what it was that blocks the way to be at the lower weight
and you are going to struggle each time to get back there.
And eventually, most times most people just give up.
They say, “You know what? Screw it!
I keep on trying to lose weight
and I can’t keep on eating so much less and that small amount of food.”
So you start eating more and put the weight back on.
And it’s that up and down, up and down cycle.
This way is a different way.
The idea is we’re not trying to use your will power
to dominate your foods.
You are using your foods to dominate and moderate your intake.
There’s only so much oat bran cereal that I can eat.
Only so much chicken breasts I can eat.
Only so many sweet potatoes.
There’s only so much fish I can eat.
There is only so many vegetables that I can consume.
And even with fruit, there is only so much fruit I can eat.
And the thing about fruit too,
Is that, we live in a world where we have fruit ALL the time,
all year round, You can get every fruit from everywhere,
if you live in the United States because we keep on importing them from different parts of the world.
But with fruit there has to be some moderation.
Because you can overdo it.
But with everything else,
more or less nature and us
have a really good relationship.
But I think one of the ways to build a good pathway towards controlling how much you eat
and not overeating but also developing a
healthy and seamlessly relationship between
you and your food where you don’t have that antagonistic sense of,
this food is going to destroy me or make me fat.
None of that.
It’s a nice balanced and easy way to focus on a long-term solution,
to losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight.
It takes away all of that anxiety that you have about how much you should or should not eat.
And also takes away and reduces the likelihood, it reduces
ridiculously the likelihood of you overeating. It will.
Now that being said,
It all starts with a belief.
You have to believe that you can do it.
It’s not going to be easy.
It’s just like if you’re trying to go from Earth to space, you need a lot of
energy to get that rocket out of our atmosphere and up into space.
But, once you get into space
Not that much is needed at all.
No more gravity pulling you back. You can keep on going and going. It’s the same way
with changing how you eat.
It’s going to be hard.
Any change in your body is met with resistance. Because your body, again,
it doesn’t know that we’re in a modern environment
It thinks whenever you change your eating habits and start eating less,
that you are going to starve.
So, there’s going to be some stress to go through.
But, if you focus on eating non-processed foods,
only whole foods. Only whole foods!
In time, it gets easier. It will eventually get easier, but you have to keep on going.
A lot of the pressure may not even be from your stomach.
It might be from your friends who eat differently
and persuade you to try to eat the way they eat.
But it you stay with it.
Stick with it, you’ll with be surprised how far you can get
and how easy it becomes.
And you get to a place where, like me,
as I always say,
I don’t eat the way I eat because I think about it,
I eat the way I eat because it feels really good.
And if you only whole foods too,
it will feel really good.
I am looking forward to seeing your success and if you have any questions,
always feel free to contact me. You can contact me on Instagram at @naturally_ intense.
You can go to our website www.naturallyintense.net.
There are tons of articles about just things like this
and you can always feel free to contact me directly
because I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have.
I’ve been truly blessed over the past 30 years
as a personal trainer, with being able to help so many people
and also amass so much information in how to
help people lose weight in a sustainable and healthy and natural way.
It’s a blessing and with any blessing,
it’s not something you hold for yourself,
It’s something you want to give.
I can only do but so much with myself. So what my mission is that this life has to be
where I make sure that I spend my life doing my best
taking all those lessons I have been so fortunate to learn over the years
and share it with you.
And I hope you can take those lessons
as well when you’re successful with your weight loss that you can get to a healthy weight
and share how with others as well.
That’s what I wish for.
That’s also part of what it means to be human.
Thanks so much for listening and Excelsior!