OK, approved not that anyone cares so much to hear about this topic, but I am going to write about it anyhow. I have wanted to write this little post for quite some time, but I have not had the time.
I have written a little about my little diet experiment in a previous posts having gone from 164 lbs down to 150 lbs, and now after having returned from Belarus (and off the diet) I am back up to 162 lbs. I have been thinking a lot about how my hunger and my desires to eat manifest, how losing and gaining weight happened, as well as thinking about how evolutionary psychology might apply in this situation. I know you are thinking ‘A strange combination.’ or ‘Isn’t there something more interesting he could be doing?’.
The Shangri-la diet crushed my snacking or munchies almost completely. It was such a freeing and wonderful feeling to look at a chocolate bar, candy, or something else sweet and tasty and think ‘I do not need that’ and just walk away. This got me to thinking about how and why we all have these desires to eat things that we do not need to eat, and that may not even be good for you. I have come up with a little theory here. We have 2 modes for eating: the ‘eating to live’ mode and the ‘eating to eat’ mode. The first one is necessary and the second one may serve a purpose that is not needed and perhaps even detrimental in a first world country like the United States.
Eating to Live
This section is going to be fairly short as it will be pretty much self explanatory. The body lets you know that you need to eat by making you feel feint, giving you that hungry feeling, as well as an anxiousness to find food. Once you find food you eat until you do not need it any more. This ensures that you have enough calories to keep on living and allow you to find more food for survival
This provides for you the instincts and feedback via psychological and biological feed back in order for you to stay alive and take care of your bodies needs right now. I have found that while on the Shangri-la diet that I pretty much always decided to eat healthier and chose to not eat unhealthy foods when the ‘eating to eat’ was crushed. I was in much more control of and much more conscious of my bodies needs and the food I ate.
Eating to Eat
The previous one is not so interesting, well this one I find a little more interesting. Eating to eat. Snacking munchies. This part sucks!
So, you have eaten. You are not really hungry and you just have this desire to eat something. You do not have an urge for anything specific, but you find yourself looking through the cupboards or the refrigerator for something that will sate this desire to just eat. This is an annoying feeling that you just want to get rid of.
Now your body looking around and will have you sating yourself on foods that are most likely fattening. You body has food in it and is not really hungry, but now it is moving into fat storage mode since it has time in order to ensure that you will survive longer. Why on earth would you body do that in this world?
Lets think about it like this. Evolution takes thousands and thousands of years in order to make changes. Our bodies and minds are stuck with the instincts and bodies wrought in an old, old world where humans are hunting mammoths on the plains in small packs or tribes. Gathering what fruits they can find as they go. Nomadic tribes who hunt prehistoric creatures. In that day and age humans may go weeks without food and the human body has developed a mechanism to enhance its survival for those lean times. That survival mechanism is the ‘eating to eat’ process. Searching out foods especially fattening foods such as those with a lot of sugar, fat, partially hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup. Things that when eaten the body can turn to fat and store it for the potential lean days ahead greatly increasing your survivability.
I do not know about you, but in my little town of Baraboo where we have a super Walmart I have never found myself wanting for food or even close to truly starving. This ‘eating to eat’ is an outdated evolutionary psychological adaptation that is causing us so many problems leading us to obesity and other health issues since it is something that is really hard to control for many people. Controlling those urges and allowing ourselves to eat food that is health is not so easy and is a battle that is not easily won when evolution is against us.
I do not have a really profound conclusion for you, just that eating to eat is bad for us. We need to find a way to crush that deep and instinctual urge so that we can eat healthily and happily; to eat to live and not live to eat. The Shangri-la Diet experience helped me do that and it was quite the liberating experience.
In my previous post about this topic I mentioned that I will start the Shangri-la Diet again. I did not then since I was curious where it would take me, but I want to again now. I just need to find a not-so-nasty oil to partake.