Friday, December 18, 2015

The Best Way to Eat?

If you follow online features and news stories in a regular way, you'll definitely notice a recurring motif that basically asks a seemingly simple question: "What is the best way to eat?" Given our nation's ongoing obesity epidemic, it's clear that this seemingly simple question has a seemingly simple answer: "Less!"

The fact of the matter is that, while we should all be working harder to include more healthy foods -- fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, etc. -- in our daily diet, the biggest challenge increasingly heavy Americans face on the path to a truly healthy lifestyle boils down to the matter of portion control. With our love of outsized steaks, burgers, and ice cream sundaes, to name just a few national delicacies, traditional American cuisine has always been largely about abundance. This dates back to our agrarian past when most people engaged in fairly demanding physical labor on a daily basis, no doubt mitigating the less healthy effects of our nation's love of fatty red meats and fried potato dishes.

Now, of course, we mostly work in offices and, if we get any exercise at all, it's during our off hours at the gym or doing laps around the park, and -- for the most part, anyway -- obese people know better than anyone that portion control is the key to getting healthy again. After all, even if we're eating a diet rich in all the right foods and relatively free of the wrong ones, it's still entirely possible to be obese if we're eating too much of it. The sad truth is that it's a lot easier to alter the type of foods we eat than the actual amounts.

Indeed, the human brain is designed to encourage us to eat more than we might actually need -- after all, it's essential to our survival and through most of human history, food scarcity was a real issue. Our job, at Dr. Feiz & Associates then, is making it easier for people to do something that might feel more than a little bit unnatural...deliberately eat a lot less than we're used to. Fortunately, we're good at it!

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