Friday, October 7, 2016

Of Diet and Delusion

It doesn't matter whether you're dealing with severe obesity or the kind of smaller but still important weight issues that are now facing the majority of Americans, you are probably perfectly aware that you're eating more food than is good for you. Yet, you continue to eat that way. Even those of us here at Dr. Feiz & Associates find ourselves making food choices that may be less than ideal, while giving ourselves an excuse that may not be consistent with reality.

Everyone has their own excuses and it's easy to make fun of them in others, but harder to see in ourselves. For example, we've heard of one older gentlemen who always select strawberry ice cream, not because it's his favorite flavor, he says, but because he assumes it's healthier as there might be a small amount of actual strawberry contained within it. In reality, he might as well go with chocolate, but then why was it we found ourselves saying it was perfectly okay to eat that large bowl of super-rich, butter-laden Indian chicken curry because it had chicken breast and vegetables in it? Of course, the dish would have been fine...without the hugely fattening sauce which we nevertheless consumed in its entirety, while also downing every grain of rice and all the naan on our plate! Oh, did we mention that we walked an extra block before we ate and burned maybe 35 additional calories? Never mind.

Yes, if we're at all overweight, we all delude ourselves to some degree when we eat. There's a reason for it, however, and it's not that we're weak or lacking in self-control. It's actually very largely because of the hormonal impulses which are subtly encouraging us to eat as much as we can. The more overweight we are, the stronger and more difficult to fight those impulses become, which is why procedures like a gastric sleeve have proven to be such a godsend. These surgeries actually appear to address the hormonal impulses -- once useful to mankind when food was scarce, but now something of a curse -- which have been designed to make us eat more than we really need at any given time.

Of course, we humans are pretty good at deluding ourselves about all kinds of things, not just food. It's possible we'll never cure that problem in most areas of our lives, but at least a bariatric surgery can help us to be a bit more realistic about our eating.

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