‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Overload, Overeat, Overweight

We all think we are excellent at judging. Whether it's the next door neighbour's lawn, Angelina Jolie's dress, our spouse's taste in clothes, or the fact that our best friend watches Glee. The fact of the matter is, we may be great at judging those things, but we're pretty pathetic at judging how much food we need.

There's all this hubbub about how grown-ups eat almost everything on their. There are many theories as to why this may be. And yes, there's a slew of research that says larger portions means eating more calories, which leads to weight gain, yada yada yada (1, 23)

But, this isn't always a bad thing. Packing your plate with large portions of nutrient dense, calorie sparse foods like salads and vegetables will actually improve health. Veggies are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Two recent publications add to much evidence already showing high vegetable intakes reduce weight gain, increase longevity and reduce chronic diseases (1, 2).
Not a balanced meal either

Packing your plate with plentiful provisions of peppers, peas and pumpkins will prevent piling on the pounds while positively protecting your health (P-word for health?)

Another study shows eating large volumes/satisfying portions of lower calorie food is an excellent way to feel satiated and prevent weight gain.

However, I'd say you're lying if you said you saw people stashing carrot sticks rather than fried chicken. 

It's large portions of 'discretionary' or 'sometimes' foods that are problematic. More on your plate means more in your belly. In the short term, this often means intestinal discomfort, reflux or heartburn. Long term, this means weight gain, disease and, ultimately, as always, death.
Maybe after a Michael Phelps workout
What about those pint-sized pie holes, aka the kiddies? According to this new study, children on average ate 59% of food on their plate. Parents often see this as 'bad' and coerce their children into finishing their meal. This is most definitely a problem, a big one.

I'm going to preface this next paragraph with an important proclamation: No healthy child self-starves.

Children are excellent at regulating their food intake based on internal cues of hunger and satiety, much better than adults. If a child is not hungry, they're not hungry. Forcing them to eat teaches them to ignore their internal cues which gives rise to problems like overeating, weight gain and mindless eating. Not to mention, if someone is yelling at you to finish eating, eating might not be a particularly pleasant experience...

What to write home about:
  • Adults are inherently poor at judging how much food they need
  • Adults who overload their plates ultimately over-stuff their pie holes
  • Children are good at self regulation where food is concerned  
  • Fill your plate with extra veggies or salad -> this allows you to eat more and feel satisfied without consuming copious calories
  • Provide your kids with healthy choices and appropriate portions -> then listen to them, if they're full, they're full...


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