It’s as simple as that, so why are more and more people in the developed world becoming obese, with the associated problems with self esteem, mental health, heart disease and diabetes that accompany excess weight. Not to mention increased risk of certain cancers.
The sad truth is that too many large, powerful companies base their businesses on encouraging us to eat the foods they produce. The simple business model for any company is that they need to get more and more people to buy their products, so if these companies are to continue to grow and pay their shareholders a healthy dividend, they must sell us more of the foods that will eventually kill us.
There is substantial scientific evidence that processed food is addictive. Once you are conditioned to eating food high in fat, sugar and salt, it is very hard to stop. As with any addiction, you have to have the strength of will to avoid the object of your addiction completely until you have broken its hold. You have to go cold turkey. But the companies selling us the sugary, fatty salty packaged food we find so hard to resist freely advertise their wares, What chance does the consumer stand?
Ideally I would like to see higher taxation of fatty, sugary processed food, with the funds raised being used to subsidize healthy and fresh food., making them more affordable. However, this is unlikely to happen as the companies concerned are so powerful. So what can we do?
Awareness is key. Knowing the odds stacked against us will help us see where the dangers lie. None of the solutions listed below are easy, but all will help in the battle to lose weight.
- Avoid watching adverts, so you are not tortured by the goodies on offer.
- Remember that the people selling unhealthy food need to persuade you to buy it. Don’t weaken!
- Plan meals carefully to be as healthy as possible.
- Don’t shop for food when you are hungry.
- Watch portion size, because too much of any food will make you fat.
- Don’t buy fatty, sugary snacks and drinks. If you don’t have them in the house, it is easier not to eat them on impulse.
- Make sure you have a good breakfast and lunch, with a smaller evening meal, and don’t snack in between.
- Keep busy, so you don’t think about eating.
- Exercise more. Walk and use the stairs. Join a class or club.
- Try to wait until you are hungry before you eat.
- Drink plenty of water, as water has no calories and fills you up. In addition, there is evidence that our bodies can mistake feelings of thirst for hunger.
- Try to cook more meals from scratch at home rather than buying processed food.
- Don’t expect to lose weight quickly. Don’t weigh yourself too often, and don’t be disheartened if results are slow to begin with.
- Join a club, or work with a friend or your family to support eat other in your campaign to lose weight.