For many of us, what we eat and how we eat it is a major component of the fulfillment of social customs and/or religious rituals or both. The meal is the centerpiece of hospitality and celebration. However, like everything else that exists, even all permissible fare can be for evil as well as for good. What we eat can nourish our bodies and give us strength or it can cause damage even when it is fresh and properly cooked. With all of the hype about hundreds of published “lose weight” diets like low fat, high protein, low carb, raw food, and diet recipes of all kinds with diet pills like Hoodia and Phentermine, fat burners and the like, people spend billions every year on weight loss programs that help shed a few pounds with most regaining their weight after a few months. Moreover, the fact that diet books seem to make the top of the bestseller lists every month is a clear indication that there continues to be a strong public interest in weight loss.
Overeating is one of the most difficult problems to overcome. It arises from an addiction to sugar. Unlike chemical dependency, sugar is a substance that we need. We cannot eliminate it from our diets and expect to live more than a few days. Therefore, we must develop a special attitude toward food if we are going to have any hope of controlling our intake. It’s time to simply think thin. Have you ever noticed any thin people in your life? I mean the types who don’t seem to have any trouble controlling their appetites. They don’t run to the buffet like people who have not had a meal in three days. In fact it often seems that they couldn’t care less about the food. As a writer, I have interviewed a number of such individuals and I have found they all had a fundamental difference in their relationship with food than those who are overweight. The difference is in eating to live rather than living to eat.
To continue, while it’s great to be athletic with a program of daily exercise and eating healthy things, there are many who for various reasons are unable to go much beyond sedentary living. Thus we have to look more what and how much we eat and bring our appetites to being commensurate with our body’s need. The idea of exercise, while vital in the scheme of things, is a separate issue for the purpose of this discussion. Hence we go back to the thin person to find out how he/she thinks in order to learn how to think thin. One thing I found out about thin people is that they watch little or no commercial television. If you watch enough TV you will get hungry because there are images, both obvious and sublime, of people eating appetizing foods being thrown at you in the commercials and in the shows. Another thing is that the thin people I have interviewed keep themselves busy with projects and away from sounds images and people who stimulate the desire to eat.
In conclusion, the whole idea of losing weight is a matter of avoiding temptation. Trying to resist the temptation to eat beyond our needs is like trying to stop a stampeding elephant because we have this constant fight with our inner animal and hunger is one of the three big urges. The animal doesn’t know how to count calories and doesn’t care about the unintended consequences of food binges. Therefore, avoiding temptation is the only way to go. We can achieve this avoidance behavior by staying away from commercial TV and taking an interest in projects that don’t involve a lot of luncheons and cocktail parties. Finally, it would be helpful to approach the thin people in your life and find out more about how their relationship with food differs from yours. Then we can work on learning how to say “no” to food.