Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why Do You Eat?

I don't advocate starvation, because its not healthy, not sustainable, and not a viable weight loss method.  But eating habits in general have a larger effect on gaining weight than exercise.  Sadly, the typical adult can easily eat more calories in a day than they can burn off. 
 
Thus, a big part of the weight loss picture is controlling what goes in your mouth (forever, not just a couple of weeks) in order to maximize nutrition while minimizing stupid calories.  But its not just the type of food you eat, its also the amount you eat.  You get just as many calories from eating multiple small servings as fewer big servings, when totaled at the end of the day.  So if you are one who skips meals, but constantly nibbles all day long, you may not be doing yourself in favors.
 
A very useful tool for analyzing your eating habits is to ask the question "Why Do You Eat?"  In reality, far too many people eat for reasons other than being hungry.  (I tend to eat when bored.)  Here is a list of the top reasons that people eat.  Where do you fit in?
 
  • Many of us eat because we are hungry - makes sense.
  • Most of us eat because its a habit - Meal Time!
  • Others eat because they want the energy that comes with the digestion of food, be it for energy for sports, or a way of fighting off fatigue throughout the day.
  • Some eat simply because of the overall nutritional value.
  • Environmental triggers such as sight and smell can trigger a desire to eat.
  • Others eat for the pleasure of the taste.
  • Boredom can lead to people popping snacks into their mouths as a way to break the monotony of the moment. (me!)
  • And then there are the people who use food as a comfort.  Studies show that individuals who are feeling sad have a tendency to eat more of less-healthy foods as a way of dealing with their emotions.
  • Along the same lines, eating may be used to combat stress.
  • And finally, lets not forget social interaction.  You eat, because you are with others who are eating, or having mealtime meetings, or at party's where food is served, etc, etc.
These are important questions, because so much of what most people eat is totally unnecessary towards sustaining their bodies.  They simply end up eating for all the wrong reasons and start stacking on the pounds.
 
Established habits and behaviors are very hard to break, but at the heart of successful weight loss is lifestyle change.  If you can make positive changes that make a difference and live with them forever, you will lose weight and keep it off.
 
By the same token, don't go too crazy, or you will find yourself going nowhere.
 
 
     
     

 

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