Healthy Habits – Week 8: Skip Seconds

Today’s food is tasty and richer in calories than it ever was. We want to eat it because it tastes great and we take calories in much faster than our body can notice and signal by feeling full. As a result all western societies have a major health problem with obesity today.

The equation for not gaining weight is dead simple. If calorie intake exceeds calories burned you will build up fat. That’s it. Nothing more fancy going on. Of course there are medical conditions that I’m excluding here, but for the majority of the population my statement holds true.

The problem is not that we want to over-eat and under-exercise. The challenge is that, if left alone, we will over-eat before we even notice. The meal is soooo good, we want to still eat more since we don’t feel full and take another serving. Half an hour later we feel tired, full, bloated and look back and scratch our heads why we took that last serving.

Modern food is rich in calories and our caveman systems are not used to such concentration and efficient absorption and hence don’t catch it quick enough to signal our brains that we’re actually good now. The brain still tries to get more energy in and asks for seconds (plus your caveman brain never knows when you will get food the next time).

Make a plan ahead. Skip the seconds.

There is a simple solution for this: make a plan BEFORE you start eating.

Take a decent and reasonable portion the first time. I cannot tell you how much that is, it really depends on your activity level. There is much guidance available though in books, the internet or from people who are smarter than I am.

Once you have filled your plate with your initial portion, stick to it. Enjoy your first serving and then stop. Marvel in the aftertaste in your mouth, your teeth don’t need to keep chewing to enjoy it.

If it turns out that the serving was not enough (unlikely), you will get hungry after an hour and can always eat an apple to fill the gap.

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