I watched as talk show host interviewed a beautifully thin, well known woman. The topic was weight.
The host asked “What do you eat?”,
The woman said “Whatever I want”
Host “Really? You’re so thin. You would eat a cheeseburger?”
Woman “If I wanted a cheeseburger, I would eat a cheeseburger.”
Host “Amazing. I don’t know how you stay so thin. It must be your good genes.”
With a glint in her eye, the woman smiled and shrugged.
My first thought was the same as the host ~ wow, she is just lucky to have good genes. I immediately realized that made no sense. As I pondered this as bit more, I had my “ah-ha” moment.
The key to her weight management is the food that she “wants or craves”. She does not want a cheeseburger. She wants real, nutritious food that hasn’t been over processed with added oil salt and fat. Meat laden with saturated fat is probably not something she craves. Her taste buds and brain enjoy food that is fresh, whole, and real which is not common in the Standard American Diet.
The Standard American Diet, according to Wikipedia, is a modern-day dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, prepackaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn and high sugar drinks. That is an apt description.
We eat an abundance of all the wrong things. Our portion sizes are enormously exaggerated. We do not move enough to compensate for our calorie intake and our waistlines prove it. Not only that, we have so embraced our poor eating habits, we are passing them down to our children and grandchildren who are increasingly obese at a young age. Our children and grandchildren are developing preventable diseases once only associated with the elderly. Furthermore, we disguised these poor food choices as an act of love. We embrace our family and friends with huge portions of saturated fat, refined sugar and salt, and our children and grandchildren are suffering the consequences. Our own health care costs are rising to an untenable level. And yet, this is all a matter of choice. And, I am here to remind you that change is possible.
The first key to my weight management was learning to identify nutritious food within everything available for us to consume. I had to relearn to crave the good nutritious foods.
The habits I’d like to pass down to my grandchildren for their own long-term health benefits are to choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds rather than hot dogs, fries, mac and cheese, fried chicken, chips, sugary cereal, juice and soda, etc., etc. It can start with me. I can love our children and grandchildren best with nutritious food.
The first action is to Change What you Crave by choosing fresh whole food. The Pleasure Trap by Douglas J. Lisle explains the science behind cravings and how to escape the cycle. Your brain tells you fat is soothing, sugar is pleasure, salt is exciting and your brain wants more.
I would like to do better for myself so I’m not dependent on pharmaceuticals to keep me alive. I have to change what I choose to eat. I have to decide to move. I have to love my family enough to lead the way and set the example.
Change is within your control.
To be continued……