Happy New Year! Now what are you waiting for? Buy your bags of Easter candy!
If you don’t think we’re living in a hostile environment, think again. Some of us can live among the hostility better than others. Not everybody is going to be challenged to live a healthy lifestyle in this world that makes it easy to engage in habits that may risk or perhaps harm our health.
Here is proof. I went to BJ’s Club today to get a new microwave. Today’s date is December 30, 2015. It’s 5 days after Christmas and 2 days away from New Year’s Day 2016. Look what I saw on the shelves?
Yes, it’s a long way away from Easter, but Easter candy is already on the shelves. For some people it doesn’t matter how early stores start stocking Easter candy. They won’t be buying it until Easter is no more than a week or so away. They’ll buy enough to put a few pieces in the kids’ baskets and a little more for their own pleasure and that’s it. End of story.
Then there are some of us who see Easter candy and get excited and we know there’s no logic in buying Easter candy now, but we want it. We tell ourselves we will put it away until Easter, but we’re lying to ourselves and we know it. Once that candy gets into our house it may only be a matter of minutes or hours before we start to eat it. Maybe it will be a few days before we get into it, but the chances of that bag to be uneaten when Easter rolls around are highly unlikely.
Some of us are genetically wired to eat in response to proximity of highly palatable food. It’s a condition that made our ancestors the superior beings. Their astonishing ability to keep eating on a full stomach just because there was available food allowed them to have a backup plan for times of famine. When there was nothing for ancient man to hunt and/or gather, some humans starved and died. Other cave people had a sweet layer of body fat that kept them going until food was once available again. The system worked perfectly in the natural environment.
The natural environment is gone, but those genes are still present in many modern human beings.
We feel hungry in response to homeostatic hunger (the physical need for food) and hedonic hunger (a false, but feels very physical, sense of hunger triggered by the thought, smell, or sight of highly palatable food). If we want to avoid carrying a lot of excess weight we have to learn how to manage those genes. One effective way to manage
survival obesity genes is to live by these simple rules.
- Buy holiday candy the day before the holiday.
- Buy less than you think you will need – much less!
- Before eating use this checklist
- Is this an unscheduled meal? Yes__ No__
- Have I eaten within the last hour? Yes__ No __
- Will this food provide more calories than essential nutrients? Yes__ No__
- Is this a processed food made with a lot of added sugar/salt/fat? Yes__ No__
- If you answer Yes to one or more of those questions, it’s advised you find something to do that will take your mind off eating to assuage your hedonic hunger. If you do decide to treat yourself to a “li’l sumthin” do so without guilt and own it. Owning it means you control the portion, recognize the calories, and balance them against the rest of the food you have eaten/will eat over the course of several days.
- Make this your mantra: Eat that ________________? Not me, not now!