relationship with food is complex.
Eating is voluntary — and mandatory.
Either way, we indulge. More than 67
percent of us are overweight,
significantly so in many cases.
information I'm about to provide with a
certain respect. I have some ideas about
how to get rid of that roundness in the
area of your mid-section. To do so, I'm
borrowing heavily from a June issue of
Time magazine, a cover story on "The
Science of Appetite."
friends with your appetite
little) less. Move more. Try the
200-a-day plan. Eat 100 fewer
calories (i.e. no cookie before bed)
and expend 100 calories more in
physical activity (walk 20-30
minutes anytime during the day).
Eat fiber. We need 30-35 grams
of fiber a day and we get less
than half that amount. Look for
foods that have at least 3 grams
of fiber per serving. (And drink
more water so high-fiber foods
can easily flush through your
Slow down. Give your brain time
to realize your stomach is
filling up. Conventional wisdom
says there's a 20-minute
communication lapse, i.e. it
takes that long for your stomach
to tell your brain it's full.
Source: Living a Healthy Life with
Chronic Conditions, Stanford
University, K .Lorig; Oregon State
University Extension Service, S.
focus. Historically, human beings have
had too little to eat rather than too
much. Our earliest ancestors worked hard
to provide food for themselves and when
found, they gorged. They were never sure
food would be available (soon, or at
all). Because of them, you might say,
we're "hardwired to overeat."
you buy into the concept or not,
appetite regulation is tricky. It's
especially problematic because food is
absolutely everywhere. It's advertised
in magazines and on billboards.
Restaurant options abound and grocery
store aisles overflow. (Think how hard
this is for someone who is truly hungry
and has minimal resources for purchasing
I think we
no longer understand what hunger is. We
usually just eat. The Time magazine
article outlines seven ways our bodies
tell us we're hungry, even when we're
day: You're hungry at noon because
that's the time you've always eaten,
i.e. we feel absolutely entitled to
breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We see pictures of foods (a slice of
lemon meringue pie in a magazine) and
the photo triggers desire. We just must
have that piece of pie. And, usually, we
Variety: Lots of us have a
not-easily-satisfied desire for sweets.
Dessert seems like our due, even after a
large, filling meal. Research shows
incorporating something sweet into a
meal (a bit of fruit in a salad for
example) can neutralize a sugar craving
and help avoid the dessert trap.
We're shopping and we're drawn to the
cinnamon bun aroma from an in-mall
bakery. We follow the smell and end up
with sticky, gooey, sugar-coated
Alcohol: There's no absolute science
behind the idea that "drinking
stimulates appetite" but most people
don't argue with the suggestion it often
Temperature: We eat more when it's cold.
Sometimes restaurants are even accused
of keeping their thermostats low so
patrons will order a bigger meal. Eating
warms us up.
carbohydrates: Consumption of specific
foods (certain pastas, for example)
results in a craving for more food, mere
hours later. We get a big glucose hit
and we're satiated, but not for long.
food to survive. I make that statement
and usually follow it with "but not so
much." I think I might be wrong. As we
age we should place a greater emphasis
on nutrient-dense food (more vegetables,
fewer chocolate truffles) and really
probably should avoid malls and
magazines, overly air-conditioned rooms
and refined carbohydrates. Or, how about
this: gorge on foods with a low-caloric
load like, maybe, an entire plate of
you're done, eat half a chocolate