Common Causes of Overeating

Food is one of those rare universal pleasures, enjoyed by cultures around the world. Beyond the obvious motivations for eating (hunger and appetite), food is often the centerpiece for social gatherings and celebrations, and even consumed to soothe nerves or relieve boredom.

To understand what causes overeating, it helps to pinpoint what makes us want food in the first place:*

  • Hunger and hormones  Hormones have been widely studied for their role in initiating and ending eating, which is also crucial in determining body weight. Hunger or a lack thereof is directly connected to two specific hormonesghrelin, which appears to elicit hunger, and leptin, which reduces it.
  • Appetite The desire to eat is often driven by eyesight and smell; if it looks or smells good enough to eat, that may be all it takes to increase appetite. Fluctuations in appetite can result in many different scenarios, including gradual changes in weight, or even conditions as severe as anorexia and bulimia. Appetite-related problems can also be attributed to disease, medications or even psychological ailments.
  • Satiety Research indicates that feeling full curtails hunger and appetite. Eating solids over liquids, not skipping meals, high-volume, low-calorie foods (vegetables and fruit), and substituting whole grains for refined grain products can help sustain that full feeling. However, it’s still not clear whether individual diets (high versus low carb, protein, or fat) offer any advantages.
  • “Mindless” eating This describes all other reasons we eat. For instance, why do we feel compelled to finish overly large meals? What makes us overeat while watching TV or talking on the phone?

Scientists, medical professionals and health advocates continue seeking ways to moderate hunger, regulate our desire for food, achieve fullness and satisfaction, and deter mindless eating. LifeWave’s SP6 Complete** patch product is a good step in the right direction, as it stimulates points on the body known to regulate appetite, and may help reduce cravings.

*Mayo Clinic, Nutrition-wise blog.

**Click here to learn more about SP6 Complete in the EU.