Do you live with food regret? Do you suddenly get buyers remorse 30 minutes after making the staggering decision to single handedly destroy that massive burrito washed down with a super large frozen margarita? I see it and hear it every single day….I wish I hadn’t eaten that….I could have done this completely different….I should have stopped at the 2nd scoop! And then a few hours later or the next day…we feel bad and guilty about what we did, knowing we shouldn’t have, but we did it anyways. We ALL attempt to rationalize what we did as a once in a blue moon type of thing…it only happens every once in a while…right? Wrong! This is why we have a problem in this country. We overeat to magnificent proportions and the logic that “all the exercising I am doing will more than make up for it” is almost completely wrong 100% of the time. An average meal at a sit down restaurant in the US is about 1200 to 1500 calories…give or take. This doesn’t include any potential appetizers, breads, drinks, desserts, ect…you can (and trust me I have) walk out of a restaurant easily ingesting well OVER 2,000 calories and this is above and beyond what you may have already eaten throughout the day. Think exercise can solve this one? Think again. To burn that many calories you will need to run about 16 miles. Have fun 🙂
This is where our problem lies. We don’t think ahead, we don’t plan ahead when it comes to food. We make a decision, and then we regret it afterwards. I know what your saying, but I do, I do think ahead! If you are doing that, GREAT!!!! I couldn’t be more proud of you…most of us (myself included from time to time) do not. You wouldn’t take a family vacation without first planning things out right? Would you go buy a car blind? Would just decide to buy a house today and not even find out anything about it? Of course you wouldn’t. Before we make decisions of this magnitude, we think about it. We look at options. We look at price. We look at how well this will “fit” the need. But when it comes to food, all logic seems to get thrown right out the damn window. And this is why OUR country is facing an obesity epidemic that is going to end up killing more people than every war or disease combined! Oh your just a trying to scare us Jim…damn right I am. But I want to FIX the problem and I will do it one person at a time if I have to.
The single greatest thing we need to do is think. We as a species are born with many incredible gifts. One of those gifts is thought and another is reasoning. We have the ability to think and rationalize. To make decisions, good or bad. WE get to make those. So the first thing we need to do is think about what you, me, WE can do. We need to think about food in a different way. Food is in and of itself not designed to give pleasure or sense of satisfaction. Food by its very nature is designed to provide us with the proper nutrients to allow our bodies to grow, repair and recover on a daily basis. That’s it! But we have taken food and turned it from a need to a want…a desire. We all look at food not from a perspective of hunters and gatherers that we once were but from a standpoint of price, taste, and appeal. We eat to live we don’t live to eat. We need to think about we are eating on a daily basis. I like to think of this as common sense nutrition. When given the choice among alternatives, we need to choose the one that is going to provide us the single greatest benefit. I use an apple and a snickers bar as an example all the time. Common sense tells us to eat the apple….but then we eat the snickers bar? Why? Does it make you feel any better? Probably not. When I say think though, we also need to think about the day we are having, where are we going, what are we doing. Sometimes the choices that we have are not good at all. None of them are good. This is where reasoning comes in. If we are faced with multiple unhealthy choices with no one better than the other, we now need to practice portion control. None of us needs a 16 ounce T-Bone. Sorry but you nor I do. We may want it, but we certainly don’t need it. So, if that is your only option, eat half and take the rest home. It will still be good tomorrow.
We all lead extremely busy lives…we plan our days down to the minute in some cases. Take some time and put some thought in to the foods that you are going to eat or that you are going to prepare for others. A treat every now and then is a great thing…a treat every single day no longer becomes a treat…it becomes the norm. Once something unhealthy becomes the norm….well, we all know where this story ends.