OVER EATING

Indulging in eating too frequently, and in too large quantities, over-taxes the digestive organs, and produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, and then diseases of various kinds occur. A physician is sent for, who prescribes some drug which gives present relief, but which does not cure the disease. It may change the form of disease, but the real evil is increased ten fold. Nature was doing her best to rid the system of an accumulation of impurities, and could she have been left to herself, aided by the common blessings of Heaven, such as pure air and pure water, a speedy and safe cure would have been effected. 
The sufferers in such cases can do for themselves that which others cannot do as well for them. They should commence to relieve nature of the load they have forced upon her. They should remove the cause. Fast a short time, and give the stomach chance for rest. Reduce the feverish state of the system by a careful and understanding application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggles to free the system of impurities. But generally the persons who suffer pain become impatient. They are not willing to use self-denial, and suffer a little from hunger. Neither are they willing to wait the slow process of nature to build up the overtaxed energies of the system. But they are determined to obtain relief at once, and take powerful drugs, prescribed by physicians. Nature was doing her work well, and would have triumphed, but while accomplishing her task, a foreign substance of a poisonous nature was introduced. What a mistake! Abused nature has now two evils to war against instead of one. She leaves the work in which she was engaged, and resolutely takes hold to expel the intruder newly introduced into the system. Nature feels this double draft upon her resources, and she becomes enfeebled.

The digestive organs should never be burdened with a quantity or quality of food which it will tax the system to appropriate. All that is taken into the stomach, above what the system can use to convert into good blood, clogs the machinery, for it cannot be made into either flesh or blood, and its presence burdens the liver and produces a morbid condition of the system. The stomach is overworked in its efforts to dispose of it, and then there is a sense of languor which is interpreted to mean hunger, and without allowing the digestive organs time to rest from their severe labor, to recruit their energies, another immoderate amount is taken into the stomach, to set the weary machinery again in motion. The system receives less nourishment from too great a quantity of food, even of the right quality, than from a moderate quantity taken at regular periods....

There are many kinds of intemperance in this world. Overeating is intemperance just as surely as is liquor drinking. Intemperate eating wears on the system, producing a morbid appetite which enslaves men and women. The stomach must have careful attention. It must not be kept in continual operation. Give this misused and much abused organ some peace and quiet and rest. After it has done its work for one meal, do not crowd more work upon it before it has had a chance to rest, and before a sufficient supply of gastric juice is provided by nature to care for more food. Five hours at least should elapse between each meal, and always bear in mind that if you would give it a trial, you would find that two meals are better than three. {Lt73a-1896.32}
Much injury is done to health by the variety of food which is seen on so many tables. Take the different dishes which are placed on the table for one meal, and put them all together in one vessel. Stir this up together. Does it not make the stomach turn to look at it? Leave it for a few hours, and it will ferment. Yet thousands compel their stomachs to receive just such a mess as this every day. Half masticated meat, condiments, spices, pies, and sweet puddings, are washed down with tea or coffee. The abused stomach is obliged to take them, and do the best it can with them. Is there not sin in placing upon the table such a variety at one meal? Often the desire for a return of moral integrity is expressed. But this will never be until we return to simple, healthful foods, until we eat and drink to glorify God, not to gratify our perverted appetites. Died because of bad cooking; died because of sour bread; died of medication, died of an abused stomach—this might be written over the graves of many. This suicidal process is gradual. Nature bears the abuse as long as possible, but in the end she must succumb.

After the regular meal is eaten, the stomach should be allowed to rest for five hours. Not a particle of food should be introduced into the stomach till the next meal. In this interval the stomach will perform its work and will then be in a condition to receive more food. In no case should the meals be irregular. If dinner is eaten an hour or two before the usual time, the stomach is unprepared for the new burden; for it has not yet disposed of the food eaten at the previous meal and has not vital force for new work. Thus the system is overtaxed. Neither should the meals be delayed one or two hours to suit circumstances or in order that a certain amount of work may be accomplished. The stomach calls for food at the time it is accustomed to receive it. If that time is delayed, the vitality of the system decreases and finally reaches so low an ebb that the appetite is entirely gone. If food is then taken, the stomach is unable to properly care for it. The food cannot be converted into good blood. If all would eat at regular periods, not tasting anything between meals, they would be ready for their meals and would find a pleasure in eating that would repay them for their effort. {Ms1-1876.12}
The first lesson to be taught children is self-control; for no undisciplined, headstrong person can hope for success in this world, or reward in the next. Children should be taught that they must not have their own way, but that the will of their parents must guide them. One of the most important lessons in this connection is the control of appetite. They should learn to eat at regular intervals and to allow nothing to pass their lips between these stated meals, which should be served twice or at most three times a day. {Ms2-1877.18}

Many turn from light and knowledge, and sacrifice principle to taste. They eat when the system needs no food, and at irregular intervals, because they have no moral stamina to resist inclination. As the result, the abused stomach rebels, and suffering follows. Regularity in eating is very important for health of body and serenity of mind. Never should a morsel of food pass the lips between meals. Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before retiring. They may have taken their regular meals, yet because they feel a sense of faintness, they think they must have more food. By indulging this wrong practice it becomes a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without food. In many cases this faintness comes because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed through the day in disposing of the great quantities of food forced upon them. These organs need a period of entire rest from labor, to recover their exhausted energies. A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to recover from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. When we lie down at night, the stomach should have its work all done, that it, as well as other portions of the body, may enjoy rest. But if more food is forced upon it, the digestive organs are put in motion again, to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is often disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. When this practice is followed, the digestive organs lose their natural vigor, and the person finds himself a miserable dyspeptic. And not only does the transgression of nature’s laws affect the individual unfavorably, but others suffer more or less with him. Let any one take a course that irritates him in any way, and see how quickly he manifests impatience! He cannot, without special grace, speak or act calmly. He casts a shadow wherever he goes. How can any one say, then, “It is nobody’s business what I eat or drink”? It is possible to eat immoderately, even of wholesome food. It does not follow that because one has discarded the use of hurtful articles of diet, he can eat just as much as he pleases. Overeating, no matter what the quality of the food, clogs the living machine, and thus hinders it in its work.

Because it is the fashion, in harmony with morbid appetite, rich cake, pies, and puddings, and every hurtful thing, are crowded into the stomach. The table must be loaded down with a variety, or the depraved appetite cannot be satisfied. In the morning, these slaves to appetite often have impure breath, and a furred tongue. They do not enjoy health, and wonder why they suffer with pains, headaches, and various ills. Many eat three times a day, and again just before going to bed. In a short time the digestive organs are worn out, for they have had no time to rest. These become miserable dyspeptics, and wonder what has made them so. The cause has brought the sure result. A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed. {4aSG 130.1}
Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health, and die prematurely, than to restrain their intemperate appetite. And there are many who are ignorant of the relation their eating and drinking has to health. Could such be enlightened, they might have moral courage to deny the appetite, and eat more sparingly, and of that food alone which was healthful, and by their own course of action save themselves a great amount of suffering. {4aSG 130.2}
Those who permit themselves to become slaves to a gluttonous appetite, often go still further, and debase themselves by indulging their corrupt passions, which have become excited by intemperance in eating and in drinking. They give loose rein to their debasing passions, until health and intellect greatly suffer. The reasoning faculties are, in a great measure, destroyed by evil habits.