Winning the fight against unnecessary eating

Winning the fight against unnecessary eating

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Many of us eat or snack for various reasons and it’s rare to find a restaurant or coffee shop that serves good food yet can’t make ends meet. We eat with careless abandon when we are happy or while we celebrate, snack or eat some more when we are bored or feel stressed out and for a minority of us we may even overeat while we grief. We will gladly refer to some of these scenarios as comfort meals.

An occasional over-indulgence has hardly any effect on our long-term health goals but the alarm bells should begin to sound when our tongues seem to determine every decision we make. The tongue is extremely powerful no matter how you look at it and if one does not learn to control it, it can lead to heartaches (literally). Not only will an uncontrolled tongue cause you to eat the wrong foods setting you up for a life-long journey with life-style diseases but in addition an unguarded word or two may set you up for a life of ridicule and an army of enemies. How I wish that nerve-rich tongue could be locked away most of the time.

Unfortunately for us, the tongue will remain as it is and it’s our duty to find ways of controlling it. Mastering a few steps may henlp us control our cravings for food and unhealthy snacks.


  1. Get Adequate Sleep
  2. Staying awake especially at night has a way of “forcing” one to keep snacking and invariably putting on more fat. Inadequate sleep may disrupt a hormone, leptin, that helps regulate hunger and satiety so dial your sleep number today and make sure you get that extra snooze.
  3. Most people need 6 to 9 hours of sleep a day and the average duration is about 7 hours.


  1. Stay Active
  2. Exercising seems to answer many questions; just 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity walking makes you feel good by releasing endorphins. This good feeling may be the answer to how to stop your stress-inspired gluttony.
  3. Then you also have the added benefit of walking off some extra calories.


  1. Drink Water
  2. Your thirst and hunger centres may be closer than you think. Quite often that feeling of hunger will be quenched immediately by drinking good clean healthy water. Yes we may confuse hunger and thirst; don’t always rush for food especially if you have already had a meal.
  3. Grab Grains
  4. They may not always taste great but fibre-rich grains such as brown rice, whole-grain bread and bran-cereal have a way of keeping us full much longer so that we can avoid unnecessary snacking.
  5. If you have challenges with accessing these whole grains then pack in on low calorie high-fibre vegetables such as kontomire as well as whole fruits.


  1. Proteins To The Rescue
  2. Eating the right type of protein such as chicken, fish or an egg will often keep the hunger pangs away. Generally proteins supply long lasting energy and gives the body work to do over a long period. Start making a list of your favourite healthy proteins.


  1. Try Healthy Substitutes
  2. Always pray that your tongue will not lead you into temptation. So if you need something crunchy by all means why not try raw vegetables? Well cleaned carrots can be great.


  1. Reduce Hours Behind The Screen
  2. The longer you stay behind a screen watching movies, or playing games the greater the chance that you will eat more if its meal time or snack more. Spend your time doing different things instead of being glued to your seat and treating your eyes and tongue to disaster in waiting.


  1. Have You Eaten Breakfast?
  2. Better to start the day on a great note; eat a healthy balanced breakfast within 2 hours of waking up. Remember you need the fuel to perform. Breakfast also has the added benefit of reducing our tendency to snack unnecessarily before lunch and also controls our risk of grabbing an unhealthy lunch because of uncontrollable hunger.


  1. Choose Your Eating Buddies Wisely
  2. Birds of a feather definitely flock together or they may choose to eat more together. We find that we eat more or make more unhealthy choices when in certain company. It may be time to make difficult decisions.


  1. Start a Hobby
  2. The “devil” will always find work for idle hands and tongues. If our life is centred round work, food and home then our lack of variety will open doors for indulgence.
  3. It’s never too late to learn a new hobby that will keep you occupied some of the time and prevent unnecessary eating.

I have a special place in my heart for the number ten (10), so hopefully if you remember 50% of these points, it will still go a long way to help reduce the urge to listen to your tongue always.


Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel

Moms’ Health Club/Health Essentials (


*Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.

Thought for the week – “Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable tomeet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.”



  • Inner Strength -2010


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