On Change, Obesity and Weight loss
There is an epidemic of obesity in the United States.
In spite of a multi dollar industry dedicated to weight loss, statistics show that the success of weight loss plans, products and services have a pretty bad success rate.
What is going on?
Here is my insight:
There is change (surprise, surprise!!!)
Change causes stress.
Stress makes us look for something that will compensate us with pleasure.
Pleasures are alcohol, smoking, and eating.
I will focus here on eating.
The food industry works very hard to make the food pleasurable and cheap and thus affordable.
How they make it pleasurable?
By adding salt everywhere possible, for instance, although it is NOT HEALTHY.
How do they make it cheap? Process the food with the cheapest ingredients, which means it is not nourishing but it has lots of calories.
What happens now?
When you consume high calorie, pleasurable, non-nourishing food, you want more of it and since it is cheap you consume lots of it.
Notice the sequence of my reasoning:
Change >> stress>> pleasure seeking >> non-nourishing cheap tasty food>> more and more of it>>obesity.
So my argument is that obesity is caused by the high rate of change. That is the root cause.
Go to a small village where life moves slowly. You will not see many obese people. They eat. They do not starve. And they are not on diets. They are not so stressed.
Now go to a developed country where the rate of change is out of the charts and walk the streets. Lots of obese people.
What to do?
You cannot stop change.
It is tough to reduce stress too. You can try. Good luck.
Aha. May be you can stop seeking pleasure.
Not by moving to a cave and meditating all day long. Not by denouncing the world of pleasure. It is part of the American constitution that we have the right to be happy. So this will not work.
What to do?
If you are in love and your loved ones left you you can cry your eyes out or, I suggest, immediately look for someone else to love. Do not let your heart be empty. Replace the lost one with a new one.
Replace bad pleasures with healthy good pleasures.
I found however that the replacement has to be of the same “genre”. For instance, I tried to replace my food pleasure addictions with …massage. Although it is pleasurable, it did not work. I was still searching for high calorie, tasty, fattening food.
You need to replace food with food.
Let us see how.
Here is what I am doing.
First, You have to be aware and conscious what triggers the search for the “bad” food.
In my case, it is Candida. It is something, whatever it is, we have in our gut that is created from taking too much antibiotics and in modern world antibiotics are the norm in prescriptions for anything. So I have lots of this thing called Candida. And Candida loves sugar. The moment I take some sugar, the bloody Candida wakes up and like a terrorist, a non-negotiating terrorist, it wants more sugar, more sugar. And I start craving for cakes, bread, bagels, you name it. And the more concentrated the calories the better. So sugar from fruit does not do it.
And all I need to do to wake up my dear Candida is taste something sweet. So having a cup of coffee with an artificial sweetener is an invitation to be hungry and nervous and lose all control searching for sugar yielding food.
So? No more sweeteners.
What about coffee?
Coffee without sweetener tastes bad. For me.
Now what? I have to replace coffee with an equally pleasurable substitute. Is it tea? Not really
I found a replacement.
My friend Bob Nemer (firstname.lastname@example.org) produces and sells a powder made of dried and grinded vegetables and fruits that mixed with water and ice tastes great. It immediately reduces my hunger. And my desire for coffee.
What about my craving for bread, cakes, bagels? A rice cake does it. One crunchy rice cake and I am home free.
And if you eat lots of vegetables to start with and fill your stomach with them, your hunger for anything else declines.
But there is a catch. Because they are low on calories you will be hungry sooner than later. So carry some baked potatoes with you.
And if all fails, I found that sex helps a lot. It is a good exercise. Uses calories. And even if I am wrong, what the hell, it is worth trying.
Hope this helps