July 24, 2010
By Lance D’Aoust
Here is my OPINION and Experience about Food, Dieting and Health
The way you look at food and eating is important because going on a special diet is the reason you will not lose weight and keep it off. If you want to be healthy and stay healthy you cannot go on and off diets. The way you think is the solution.
- Food is not entertainment. Even though it can be so much fun!
- Boredom is not the time to eat. Your mouth wants it, not your body.
- Food is for survival. Your acceptance of this concept is critical.
Hunger is a Complex Mechanism that is Simple to Understand:
- When your stomach is low on food it sends a signal to the brain.
- This signal is mistakenly accepted by people as the signal to eat. It isn’t. It is the signal to hunt or gather your next meal before it’s too late.
- Because you don’t live in a cave you have the luxury of doing nothing all the way up until you actually need to eat. Or you can go eat something right now. But because you don’t actually need it yet, you are only going to be collecting mass rather than sustaining yourself.
- TIP: Flavor in the mouth will trick the brain into thinking food is on it’s way, and the stomach relaxes the signals back to the brain. This is a good use of gum to help you last until you actually need to eat. Choose a gum that doesn’t use fake sugars because those are chemical-based, and that’s worse than eating at this stage.
- When your stomach is Empty it sends a much stronger signal to the brain.
- The brain then MOTIVATES you to eat something. Usually something specific, and often with a sense of urgency.
- Flavor in the mouth MIGHT trick the brain into thinking food is on it’s way temporarily. This might work, depending on how empty you are + how much activity you’re doing.
- The size of your stomach (not your visible belly) determines when this signal is sent to the brain. A larger stomach will send this signal more frequently – not because you need more food, but because it can hold more so it expects to be holding more.
- You can increase and decrease your actual stomach by decisive eating. I habitually eat portions the size of my fist with my hand over it. Restaurants all serve huge plates that would be the size of both my feet. If you eat a large portion, you will stretch your stomach, and thus increase your capacity to eat larger portions at each sitting.
- If you already have a large stomach from your current eating habits, then eat less at each meal. You will go through the hunger experience mentioned above, but you will not actually be hungry. Your stomach is only telling your brain that it’s not as full as it usually is. This is where you need self control and the understanding that you will live – just wait until the next scheduled meal time.
Pay Attention to your Eating Schedule
Sometimes, you can be on empty and not realize it because you’re not doing much to burn energy. And then the moment you’re active your body starts demanding energy, which it doesn’t have a fresh supply of. This is where you experience panic and hunger at the same time, or the sensation of seeing stars or even vertigo. That’s how you know you’ve been playing Wii too long.
Eating and Resting
When you eat, and then sleep, your body doesn’t burn what you’ve just eaten at the same pace as if you were active. Instead it stores most of it.
When you eat and feel tired right away, that’s because your body is working really hard at processing it. Sometimes it’s the result of over eating, or eating something that is hard to break down – like steak.
The Starvation Diet
When you DO NOT EAT – the starvation diet – your body goes on the defensive and stores as much as it can get, and burns up what it already has available. This conservation mode results in muscle loss and fat gain. Fat is stored energy. You might look thinner but you’re going to be soft, weak, have wrong skin color and a poor immune system and a cough or cold a lot of the time.
Understanding is Key
So for managing a stable body I recommend an understanding of your body and eating only when you actually need it – not any other time. Obviously you have to consider WHAT you eat. Feeding sugar (processed or not) to an empty belly is not going to produce positive results. Stick to as much non-processed foods as you can, and that includes eating free range animal products that are free of added hormones and antibiotics.