Sunday, December 18, 2005

"Intuitive Eating" - the Key to Healthy Weight?

A Brigham Young University science professor says that the key to maintaining a healthy weight is to eat whatever you want - when you're actually hungry. Break the habit of eating for emotional reasons, or on a schedule, and instead consume food only when your stomach is panging with hunger.

I find this plausible. It's exactly what I've been doing for nearly 40 years - 40 years in which, despite a pronounced aversion to exercise ("I can't find the remote...ah, to heck with it, we'll just watch this show") and a sedentary lifestyle (my office chair is an honest-to-goodness La-Z-Boy), my weight has never been an issue. (I did put on a few pounds when I got married and had more delicious food around than I was accustomed to, but a modest adjustment in soda intake fixed that.)

The difficulty isn't in resisting temptations - that's easy to deal with when you remind yourself that as soon as you're hungry, you'll have the delicious snack cake or whatever. The difficulty is the social expectations of other people: "but we're having dinner now". "But I made this for you." "But the Johnsons brought this over." "But it's 2 AM - NOW you're hungry?"

Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. Who knew?


mythago said...

That's great for maintaining a healthy weight, not so much for maintaining health. A sedentary lifestyle is as bad as obesity.

Robert said...

I've been extraordinarily blessed in my genetics when it comes to health. Blood pressure regularly tests in the "athlete" range, pulse rate is low and steady, etc.

No credit due to me - pure luck.

mythago said...

I don't mean to wag fingers, but low blood pressure doesn't guarantee freedom from cancer or heart disease. Get up and do DDR with your kids, slacker.