Weighing In: Change comes from your brain

Published on Saturday, 21 June 2014 19:06 - Written by Coshandra Dillard cdillard@tylerpaper.com

Losing weight takes a lot of discipline. People tell us all of the time you just have to do x-y-z to get results. Not so simple.

Changing your lifestyle starts in the head. You have to motivate yourself before someone else can be an inspiration to you.

First up is realizing food is here to help us live — not the other way around. We’ve made dining out a pastime, and food is at the center of celebrations. While special occasions aren’t exactly a cause for concern, we’ve somehow turned a regular day into an excuse for gorging on stuff.

Bored? Let’s have cake. Have a new project to work on? Let’s enjoy a buffet and cake.

There’s actually a scientific term for chronically eating for pleasure: hedonic hyperphagia.

In addition, eating often acts as a replacement for something else when we’re stressed or emotionally hurt. Overeating ensues and it’s amazing how much extra food we’re consuming without knowing it.

I’m sure most people know that the platter size dishes at restaurants aren’t a good idea. They’re enough to share with one or two people. But we also carry that portion distortion into our homes. If you eat snacks from a bag or have drinks straight from the bottle, chances are you’re getting two or more servings.

Food companies must label serving sizes and how many are in each product, but you may not turn that package around to see it if you’re not used to doing so.

We’re accustomed to supersized foods so we don’t stop to think that a bag or bottle could be more than we need. Hence, the importance of reading labels.

Our stomachs are small, and we weren’t designed to eat a lot of food at one time — real, whole food, that is.

You don’t have to feel stuffed to be nourished or satisfied. You don’t have to have something sweet with each meal. You will not die of hunger if you control portions.

Collectively changing the way we eat is going to take time, a paradigm shift. It’s not so easy to change a culture, so be patient.