The title sounds easy right? Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Simple enough. So why do I go to the park and half of the people I see are overweight or severely obese? Why are their kids fat? Why do my coworkers have fat rolls that hang off the back of their chairs? It’s a question I have asked myself over and over again. There have been many theories as to why people are fatter today than they were 100 years ago.
Now you can choose to believe the BS about good calories and bad calories or that we are fatter because we don’t eat like our ancestors.
You can also choose to believe that calories don’t matter and we are fat because of the processed junk food we consume so much of. By taking a look at fat people, we can make the most probable assumption that they consume more calories than they expend. So, if you are in tune with what happens when energy intake is greater than expenditure, you know the excess energy is stored as body fat or contributes to LBM gain under certain situations.
Why is this important? A long time ago when we had to chase down our food and stab it with a sharp object, storing fat was essential for survival as it could be days or weeks before we might feast again.
So after I expended all of that energy hunting down the kangaroo, you can bet your sweet loin cloth I am going to sit and stuff myself for the next few days. Now some of that ingested energy went to preserving lean body mass but a lot of the excess was shuttled right into my fat cells. Thankfully we have the ability to store fat, otherwise I wouldn’t be here today writing this article. So here is what I have noticed. While it’s not revolutionary, it’s not something we think about much. We are Emotional Eaters Many of us are emotional eaters. We sometimes eat to relieve stress and find comfort in eating certain foods.
While I have not looked at statistics, I am willing to bet those of us at high stress jobs are more likely to be overweight than those in less stressful positions. I witnessed this at a previous job where over half of the workers there were over weight and some were dangerously obese. The day job was very stressful and the cafeteria served some really calorie dense food. People would go to lunch and take the edge off by eating a foot long chili cheese dog or go down the road and polish off a few big macs. Then when it was time to head home, I am sure many hit the pint of ice cream for their post dinner indulgence.
I have also noticed people working in lower stress environments to be slimmer and more fit. I supposed they had more energy and vigor outside of work to be more active than their stressed out counterparts. Now this could all be coincidence and anecdotal but I have a hunch there is more to it than that. Lots and Lots of Food If you live in America, you know how easy food is to come by. We are constantly being told to eat thanks to TV, radio and the internet(I am thinking about ordering a pizza right now because of the Domino’s ad I see on the web page). This seems to screw with our natural cravings.
It’s like we only become hungry because food is always in front of our face. So we only think we are hungry. We eat and then a few hours later are bombarded again with more advertisements of food. Time to go to Wendy’s! No wonder we are a bunch of fatties. Lack of Balance This is probably the biggest factor in the obesity epidemic we are facing. The fact is most people are very sedentary. We wake up, go to work, sit for 8 hours and return home to sit some more until we hit the sack. Now this may sound a bit exaggerated but it’s not far from the truth for many.
Most of the people living like this are very chunky too. People like to argue and say they have a metabolic disorder. They say “I eat the same amount that my grandparents used to eat and they were always thin. ” I wonder if working on a farm and doing manual labor had anything to do with them staying so slim? If you are sedentary and desire to maintain your weight it’s most definitely a great idea to begin working out a few times per week, burn some calories and move around a bit more than usual. Perhaps you can begin walking on your lunch break.
If you don’t have time to do any extra activity, then the only way to manage your weight is by watching what you eat and keep it at your maintenance intake. Now ideally, you will be doing both of these(exercise and watching your diet) for optimal results. Eat To Live Eating purely out of necessity is often hard to do because some food tastes so good. Sometimes we eat a little too much or indulge a bit too often. I am not telling you to completely limit your intake of what you really enjoy eating because that will only make you crazy.
This is coming from the guy ho eats cereal every day because he absolutely loves it. I really love a big bowl of Cap’n Crunch with cold whole milk. The main point I am trying to make here is we should view food as energy and nothing else. You simply need energy to live. Do not get hung up on food being bad or good, clean or unclean. This will only lead to a terrible relationship with food. I have experienced some slight issues with binge eating, thus I had to take the time to reestablish a healthy relationship with food. Nowadays I am not concerned with what I eat, as long as I eat enough for my current goals.
I make sure to get my protein, fish oil and fill in the rest with the other macros. I may eat pizza, tacos, oats or have a few beers. Once you can view food as nothing but a fuel source, a piece of chocolate cake or a bowl of rice is essentially the same difference. They both provide energy. We need energy to live. Don’t live to eat, eat to live. Many people struggle to attain the health goals that they want to achieve. Whether those goals are losing weight, lowering cholesterol levels or just getting into better overall health, the foundation for those goals is a healthy diet. Diet is a four letter word.
I’m not sure if you’re aware of that. When people hear the word diet, they cringe. They immediately think it means you have to eat very little, and the food that you’re allowed to eat must taste terrible. I am here to tell you that does not have to be the case. When I talk about diet I mean diet in its most basic meaning. The first definition of diet listed in the dictionary is as follows: Diet (n) – food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health. It’s not about breaking down what you’re eating a cutting a bunch of it out to lose weight.
It’s about the quality of the food that you are putting into you mouth and how it will affect your overall health. It truly is about your habits with regard to food. When patients come into my office diet is always something that we modify. Patients come to see us for a wide range of conditions, but dietary change is almost always necessary. There is the occasional patient that already has a perfect diet, but they are few and far between. Patients are very motivated at first to change their eating habits because they are very motivated to feel better.
As they get into their programs motivation dwindles and people begin to miss their comfort foods. It really is amazing how much people depend on food to make them happy. It should not be that way. Food can certainly be a source of joy. There is nothing better than a good piece of steak or a tasty chicken breast sometimes. However, if foods become your only enjoyment there is a problem. Food should be nourishment, not your sole source of pleasure. Patients, even when they are achieving the results they desire, complain about the dietary changes they’ve been forced to make.
Of course the alternative is to continue down the path they were on, eat as they wish and continue to feel bad. Either way they feel trapped. This is where the mind set needs to switch. They need to finally realize that they need to eat to live, not live to eat. If a person can understand that concept, accept it and then apply it, dietary changes are easy. You are eating to be healthy and therefore happy. Not the other way around. Patients that have the hardest time changing often do not accept this concept. They don’t want to give up ice cream, candy, cakes, etc. ecause they get enjoyment out of consuming them. There are physiological reasons for this of course, but even when those are addressed the mindset does not change. If one can decide to use food as a tool to get healthy rather than a tool to be happy changes occur much faster. Remember this concept: food is fuel for our bodies. We need it to function. We need it to live. We can certainly enjoy it, but it should not be a tool to make us happy. We should view food simply as something that can nourish our bodies and make us healthy. Viewing it this way makes it much easier to make good choices.
Inevitably people who choose “comfort foods” make bad choices. When was the last time you heard that someone over ate chicken breast? It doesn’t happen. People over eat the bad stuff like donuts, chips or ice cream because they are eating for joy, not for nourishment. Abiding by the eat to live, don’t live to eat mantra will serve you well because it will help you make the right diet choices for the right reasons. Chances are, you’ve tried to lose weight. The first goal of dieting is to stop further weight gain. The next goal is to establish a realistic weight loss goals.
Any intentional weight reduction results in health benefits. And, the amount of weight loss can improve your health. Changing your behavior to adopt a healthier lifestyle can be tough; however it’s easier to make healthy lifestyle changes one step at a time. Sticking to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly are also proven ways to prevent diseases such as cancer and heart complications. Losing weight is not simple because many factors affect how much or how little food a person eats and how that food is metabolized by the body.
Your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn. If you decrease your food intake and consume fewer calories than you burn, or if you exercise more and burn up more calories, your body will reduce some of your fat stores. In order to turn your body into a weight loss machine, you must start by determining how many calories you should consume each day. Weight loss can be accomplished by eating fewer calories and by exercising to help you burn fat and calories and keep the weight off.
Exercise can boost your metabolism increase muscle mass as a result you burn more calories. The most effective method for weight loss is reducing the number of calories you consume while increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity. In order to reach this goal, you must multiply your current weight by 15 that’s about the number of calories per pound of body weight needed to maintain your current weight if you do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. To lose one to two pounds a week your food consumption should provide less than your total weight-maintenance calories.
You will also need to build more activity into your day. In order to lose at least a pound a week, try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least three days a week, and reduce your daily calorie intake. Physical activity is an important part of weight management. However, calorie intake should not fall below 1,200. Becoming physically active can help you burn extra calories and naturally increase your glucose uptake by increasing your metabolism and muscle mass. Whether you want to drop 10 pounds or 100, the truth is that no weight loss plan will work if you don’t stay with it.
Our bodies require a complex array of nutritional components, and especially the micro-nutrients that are missing from the normal diet. The question is how to do this while eating less. The answer is to eat super foods, or booster foods. Booster foods provide us with a full spectrum concentrated nutrition with minimal caloric content. A well-functioning metabolism has three jobs: it converts energy from the food we eat into work and heat; it eliminates toxins and any unnecessary nutrients in the form of waste; and it stores glucose in the form of lycogen and extra energy as fat for future use. All of these functions are interrelated and interdependent; they rely on each other. One cannot function properly without the support of the other two. Healthy leanness results from burning fat and building muscle. Many people try to lose weight, but fewer people lose weight and keep it off. The first step in losing weight safely is to determine a realistic weight goal. If you want to lose weight, cutting calories or controlling your portions is a good place to start. After determining a reasonable goal weight, devise an eating plan.
Our eating habit and lifestyle have a great impact on our body. This does not mean you have to stop eating your favorite foods. It means you must reduce your caloric intake. Set a realistic weight loss goal. One of your goals should be to lose a few pounds and be able to keep it off for a long time. Eating foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can be an important aid in weight maintenance because eating enough of fiber can help make a person feel full or curb your appetite longer. Weight loss is a continuous process.