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Why Do We Overeat?
In Gary Taubes book, Why We Get Fat, he talks about an interesting phenomenon. Have you ever noticed that, for the most part, animals in the wild are never chronically obese or overweight?
How do animals do it? They don’t have mirrors or clothes to tell them they’re getting fat, and the world is full of animals that have plenty of food available all year round, plenty of opportunity to overeat if they want to and do so long enough to get chubby. And yet the only animals that get chronically obese are those that get their food directly from humans – in the laboratory, in the home or the zoo. -Gary Taubes <http://garytaubes.com/2010/12/inanity-of-overeating/>
The big question is this:
Why do we, as humans, have a hard time controlling our eating when lesser intelligent animals do it with ease?
At this point, you may be tempted to say that humans have additional psychological emotional, social, or other pressures that drive us to overeat, which is possibly one of the answers to this, but not the main reason.
I think the main reason that we overeat starts with What We Are Eating. The foods that humans are eating today lead directly to overeating and weight gain.
So, what are we eating? In my previous post, I revealed what I used to eat that led to my 350 lbs (Part 1- What I Used To Eat). The common denominator?
Highly Processed and Chemically Engineered Foods.
That's the main difference. These foods are everywhere now. Walk through the middle aisles of the grocery store and read some labels.
-How many foods are there with 10, 20, 30, or more ingredients?
-What exactly are these ingredients?
-How many foods now are "artificially flavored"?
-Do you know exactly what you are eating?
There is no shortage of these foods in our society. They're convenient, cheap, delicious, and apparently extremely irrestistable. We've come to the point that we just won't stop eating. The old lays commercial flaunted this idea with the phrase... "Betcha can't eat just one"
So, back to my original question... Why do we overeat?
The answer is complicated, but I think much of our modern overeating results from this:
These processed, engineered foods are actually DESIGNED to sell more product. The more of these foods that we eat, the more we want to eat them. It's unnatural. Food is supposed to satisfy our hunger and make us full. There are many foods now that actually have the opposite effect. Here's an example...
If you sit down to a plate of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli, with every bite you take, you will feel fuller and fuller, and at some point you will be full.
If you sit down with a pack of Oreos or Potato Chips, it may have the exact opposite effect. These types of foods often make you, with each bite, crave them more and more and more.
So, one big answer to our overeating problems lies with food that is engineered to actually make you eat more. The next question, then, is how do they do this? In my next post I'll address exactly how the food companies make food that it nearly irresistible to some people. I will talk about this next week.
For now, I have a few books to recommend on the subject. The link to Amazon is posted below. Check them out if you are interested in learning more about this subject.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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