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Why, When, What, How, and Where of Eating

Brad’s Gab--->

Why, When, What, How, and Where of Eating

Eating is a routine activity for most of us. We have been doing it since the day we were born. Rarely do we think much about it: why, when, what, how, and where. But shouldn’t we think more about it. Not only is food essential to life, but it is also a very important part of our social life. In this Brad’s Gab, I would like to rediscover the way we think about eating. I will go through five distinct descriptions that may leave you thinking more about your food then you ever have. While this is particularly true for those who have had bariatric surgery, it also applies to anyone who eats, so that covers about all of us.

Why do we eat?

That is an easy question: to live! For most of us, we get hungry and we eat. Why, because we are hungry. Hunger is the body’s normal way of communicating to the brain the need to put fuel into the body. The gut, liver and pancreas begin to send hormonal messages to the brain when our fuel sources begin to run low. We go and eat something, and the signals turn off. But that is the simple answer. There is much more to why we eat than that.

When do we eat?

Sometimes we eat because we go to the movies. We have to eat popcorn and candy, right? Maybe we eat because we are having coffee with a friend and they put out some cookies. Maybe we eat because we are bored, sad, happy, or anxious. In these particular situations, hunger is not the motivating factor. This is social eating, and we all do it. Knowing why we are eating can be important when we diet. If we have a tendency to eat high calorie foods for no reason in certain situations, then awareness and avoidance of these situations is critical to successful weight loss.

What do we eat?

What kind of foods we prefer to eat is not by chance. We all have particular favorite foods. Same with our beverages. Are you a Coke or Pepsi drinker? Diet or regular? Maybe you don’t even like sodas. Some people have to change their diet because of health problems (e.g. low sodium diet). With our particular likes and dislikes, do we take the time out to really examine what it is we are putting into our bodies? It is important to understand the three basic kinds of calories: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. These three kinds of calories should be eaten in particular proportions. When we begin to set goals to eat certain amount of protein, or decrease our fat and carbohydrate intake, we find that our diets generally will have to change quite drastically.

How do we eat?

Is eating something you do standing, driving, sitting? Do you have to eat by yourself or do you prefer to eat with other people? While we may not think about these things very often, it is important to recognize our eating habits. How fast we eat or how slow we eat can make a big difference in the kinds of foods we choose. Do we take the time to enjoy our meals, enjoying the taste of the food, allowing it to nourish our body, mind and soul?

How much do we eat?

In general, we all eat too much. Food is so abundant and cheap in American society. There is literally a fast food joint on every corner. Food is designed to smell and taste good, have high calorie density, and is priced low to generate return customers. Food is not generally prepared in the food industry for health. Contrary to what mom would always tell us, we do not have to always finish everything on our plates. Have you noticed that the size of our plates has increased over time? The average diameter of a plate in the 1940’s was six inches. Today it is twelve inches or greater! This is ridiculous. We do not need a plate that big. We have a tendency to fill our plates. If you want to lose weight, a good first step is to begin using a six inch plate, use small utensils, and do not go back for seconds.

Finally, where do we use the food we ate?

Why do we eat food? To use it as fuel to do all the things we do all day long. Food powers us. It is our gasoline. So where do you use that fuel? Exercise is a great way to improve your body with the fuel you have put in. Word of caution, however. It is not good practice to get on the treadmill for 15 minutes so you can eat that double scoop of ice! Our weight is ALL about what we put in. Our bodies have evolved to be very economical and efficient when it comes to calorie storage. This means that in order to burn off that double scoop of ice cream by walking on the treadmill you would need to walk for about four HOURS at a brisk pace, not 15 minutes! Understanding where our calories (food) is burned, and how much is used, is critical to successful food management.

We should all become more aware of what goes into our mouths. By becoming more attentive to the why, when, what, and how of eating, we can focus our decisions on more practical ideology. I hope this helps you think more about eating in a positive way, and remember, you are what you eat!

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UT Specialty Surgery Center

UT Physicians Building

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Bellaire, Texas 77401

Phone: 713-892-5500

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Katy, Texas 77494

Phone: 713-486-5300

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Houston physician doctor surgeon performs gastric bypass sleeve gastrectomy heartburn and reflux surgeries robotic
Houston physician doctor surgeon performs gastric bypass sleeve gastrectomy heartburn and reflux surgeries robotic
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