Why The Ever Increasing Numbers of Obese?
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I was talking to a friend who does ergonomics at my workplace and we were discussing the obvious fact that there are so many super obese people today as compared to 30 years ago. And the disproportionately high number of obese we encounter. We talked about what had changed so dramatically to enable this to occur.
One item was lack of activity (which is fairly obvious to anyone born pre-1970). We USED to be outside all the time as kids. Inside was like jail-time. As adults, we did a lot more physical activity as well. But I really think there is more to the equation. An entire generation did not suddenly think "Oh, I think I'll eat myself into oblivion" and proceed to gorge. It happened so slowly, so stealthily, no one paid attention to what was going on.
Perhaps, there are some of us that are genetically hard wired to store fat (pudgy as kids and babies), and when exposed to an outside toxin (sugar in all its forms) in excess turn the fat storage mechanism on overdrive. Then there are a portion of this sub-set that turn on the fat storage and hunger drive to an open throttle position - who eventually become 200+ pounds overweight.
Managing your hunger is one thing when it's not an all consuming issue. When it becomes like needing to breathe, eventually you give in. When you cut back your calories it seems to bite you sometimes and your body says "ahhhh no, you're gonna eat, and you're gonna eat a lot to make up for this sudden lack". I've noticed this pattern when I eat less than say 1600 calories a day. I may make it a couple of days, but I go up until my average for the week is more at 1800 or 2000.
I know from doing low carb my hunger pangs are pretty well squelched due to ketosis. The minute I start introducing fake sugar into my diet (crystal light, nutra-sweet) I start Jonesing for more and more and the real stuff. I used to never drink sweet beverages. Since I began dieting, I've had all my drinks flavored w/ the stuff. And, I've been battling the "MUST EAT SUGAR" cravings all the time.
My calorie intake is all over the place with days of good adherence to my diet plan, others blown completely off the planet. I think for me it's got to be a better balance with exercise and getting rid of the flavored drink powder and saying no to nutra-sweet type sweeteners. If I buy sweets for dh, it's things I wouldn't touch on a dime. Or, if it is - he takes it to work with him or hides it in his truck.
I'm a very type A personality. I have strong motivation, determination, willpower and drive. I know it's not a matter of "just don't eat it". The combination of activity, and for now eliminating sweet trigger foods will have to happen. It's not that I can't say no to the "bad" foods, it's that right now, my body is overriding what my mind wants. And the body is winning.
I don't believe it's simply a matter of going on a diet to lose the weight. I believe that the combination of exercise/movement is critical to success. I believe for a select group of overweight people (that would include me) cannot afford even the fake sugars, that it sets some kind of response that drives intense cravings for sugar.
I've spent the past month or so closely watching what happens on my day to day intake. There is a pattern of 1400 calorie days, good food choices all day, closely followed by 2000 to 2500 calorie days that have ended in a "binge" of chocolate/sweets.
This is an experiment for me. Starting today, no more crystal light, no more fake sugar. Hubby gets the candy bars that are left in the kitchen. If I bake cookies, it will be Sunday night and he can take them in to work on Monday. I continue to increase my "active" time during the day. Stairs every hour for my get up from the desk workout. Walks at lunch and when I get home. Work toward early morning walks. NO SUGAR.