Food is the basic necessity of life. A living organism must perform certain functions like respiration, excretion, growth, metabolism and reproduction and for the performance of these functions energy is required which is mainly obtained from food and nutrition. That is why all life forms, from unicellular to most advanced like human beings have one method or the other for acquisition (ingestion) and utilization (digestion) of food. From simple osmosis (dragging fluid) through cell membranes to engulfment through pseudopods, Flagella and /or vacuoles to the more sophisticated methods like cooking and eating with mouth, are used for this purpose. During the course of evolution the purpose of food ingestion, changed from eating to sustain life, to eating for pleasure and enjoyment, as happened with other processes in life, like sex and reproduction. Human beings like to eat the foods that are tasty, flavoured, have a pleasant texture, and colorful and decent shape. As with reproduction, human beings try to virtually satisfy all the senses as much as possible. The basic trigger for food ingestion is what is called as hunger, the urge to eat food. In human beings this is generally surpassed and overcome by another feeling called as appetite, the urge to satisfy the senses. In addition to hunger and appetite there are numerous other factors that affect the frequency and amount of ingested food, partially or completely regardless of bodies actual need for nutrients. Nutrients are elements, compounds and mixtures needed and used by body to sustain, grow and perpetuate life. They are mainly classified into five categories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Proteins are the building blocks of body. They are not just needed by growing bodies but they are also required to replace dead cells and tissue as a routine wear and tear process. Billions of cells die and are needed to be replaced everyday. Aging is when body's ability to appropriately replace some or allof these dead cells and tissues is reduced or no longer present.
Carbohydrates and fats are energy source of the body. Energy is not only needed for routine activities like movement, eating, respiration, excretion and reproduction but also for innumerable chemical and electrical reactions happening in body all the time. New compounds, building blocks and mixtures form and break down in our bodies all the time as per the needs of a body, and keep us alive. Most scientists believe that the basic source of energy are carbohydrates, since they are and can be used virtually by all the tissues and cells of the body as an energy source.
Fats are believed to become the energy source because of the scarcity of food in almost every part of the world in past. Since fats contain larger number of calories in any given amount, when compared to carbohydrates and can be easily stored in various parts of the body for longer periods of time and can be used in case of unavailability of food as an energy source and some of it can even be converted into certain proteins in case of need, they became the favorite form of food storage in body for most species. Except for brain, in every other part of the body they need to be converted into carbohydrates before they can be used as energy source because only brain tissue and cells can use fats directly as a source of energy. During the process of conversion from fats into carbohydrates they release by products called as ketones which are highly acidic in nature and can cause keto acidosis, which can be fatal if severe during natural or diabetic starvation when in spite of availability and very high level of carbohydrates in blood, body is not able to metabolize carbohydrates (sugars) into energy, and effectively use it. Carbohydrates and fats are also the components (parts) of a smaller number of metabolic components and building blocks in certain parts of the body, specially brain. That is why appropriate supply of fats is critically important for the growing brains of babies and kids. Only two fatty acids (Fats are acidic in nature, that is why cause heartburn in vulnerable patients) are considered essential, which means our bodiess cannot synthesise those, so, those must be the part of our food and healthy diets.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for carrying out important nutritional functions and chemical reactions. In certain amounts, that you can found on US Food and Drug Administration website, beside others, they are absolutely necessary for good and healthy metabolism.
With the passage of time, during the course of evolution, coupled with improved affordability and abundance of food, particularly in more developed and wealthier nations, enjoying food and attaining the satisfaction of all five senses with food has become the primary objective of eating and ingestion of food, rather than sustaining life. This is causing a serious and rapidly growing problem of obesity and related hazards. Food industry, advertising, media, government and bad legislation are also blamed, rather justifiable.
Ever increasing stress in modern lifestyle is very big contributor in this problem. Artificial chemicals, an integral part of everyday life now, including all type of food, particularly prepared or semi-prepared, are also blamed, with enough scientific evidence and nobody really knows what are the long term effects of these chemicals in broader terms.
Newer studies are also showing that some genetic, familial and environmental factors may also be responsible for obesity. As a matter of fact obesity has both genetic and learned behaviors as components.
Obesity is serious issue in many ways. First of all it is a drift from what human mind has always considered beautiful, attractive and sexy. Fat people do not get as much attention and in many case are seriously neglected and discriminated.
Obesity naturally causes behavioural problems like laziness and tardiness because obviously it is harder for heavier people to move and to move quickly. It also causes a larger burden on muscles, bones and joints and they get tired quicker than in thinner people. It causes faster deterioration of joints due to more pressure and weight on joints and fat people are more likely to have osteoarthritis, comparatively earlier in their lives. Because of natural problems with movement an obese person is more likely to be less efficient in performing his/her duties as parent, employee, business person, citizen, etc. They are more likely to be neglected and suffer from a less satisfying life. Their sex and love life is effected too. Because of perceived less physical attractiveness, beauty and sexual attraction, it is harder for them to find a partner and get love. Because they are commonly perceived as less beautiful, attractive and sexy and more lazy and neglectful they are less likely to sustain relationships with sexual partners, lovers, spouses, employers and clients. This has a very high emotional, psychological, social, economic and financial cost.
Because of obesity related problems the healthcare cost for themselves, for employers and insurance companies and for counties, cities, states and countries are higher too. That means they are a burden for taxpayers, states and governments, too.
Obesity causes cardiovascular problems and since the cardio vascular system is supplier of nutrients and oxygen and remover of carbon-di-oxide and excretory products from whole body, virtually every part of the body is effected. From heart attacks and strokes to varicose veins and kidney problems to constipation and gas to snoring and sleep apnea, there is a whole array of complexities related to obesity. It reduces the life expectancy and puts you at a higher risk for disability, which means you cannot take care of people you love, anymore, you cannot keep your job or business andyou are very likely to require welfare, and government and taxpayer assistance.
because of all these problems related to obesity, the obese people are also very likely to suffer from mood disorders like depression, dipolar disorder, extreme irritability, reactionary meanness, suicide.
If you are suffering from obesity, first of all you need to realize that it is a problem. Many obese people try to close their eyes from existing and potential problems just by saying that it is just discrimination, media hoax and jearless behavior. No doubt that these problems do exist but dangers are real and obvious and the person who suffers the most is you, the obese person. At the top of it, the tyranny of obesity does not stop at you. It effects everyone, including your loved ones, your co-workers, neighbours, clients and citizens and taxpayers, as well. There is no doubt that there is lot of discrimination going on against obese people and media has just made it worse, but it doesn't mean that you are yourself not responsible for it and/or you cannot or should not get rid of this problem.
So, first and foremost thing as always is the deep and whole-hearted appreciation of problem. Then you must be fully determined that you have to get rid of this problem and you can definitely get rid of this problem. After all, still there are billions of people in this world who are not obese. If they are not why can't you not.
If you remember discussion at the beginning of this article, over eating is a mind-set. Get rid of it. You can absolutely live and live good and even better and more by eating less. It is scientifically and statistically proved fact by many controlled studies now that more people die, disabled and get sick because of over eating than starvation.
It starts from you, your family and home. Remember, if you have junk in your house, you will eat it. Temptation is just too much. So, DO NOT BUY JUNK. It will save you tons of money in grocery, too. Doesn't matter what TV is telling you, only five foods are essential, in limited quantity. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. That is it. No more, no less.
Get myths out of your life. If you think seriously about it, the myths like "I must eat meat every day", "I cannot live without ice cream", "No cheese, no food", "Eggs are must for breakfast", "Must have something sweet with every meal", have no rationale in them. You just learned and made them integral part of your life. You certainly do not have to have meat every day. As a matter of fact, billions of people, including the author of this article are vegetarians and it is the fastest growing nutrition based group of population in the world. If you think, it is not man enough to be a vegetarian then think about that some of the most powerful, muscular and your favorite animals are vegetarians. Like horse, for example. You can certainly live with much less ice cream in your life. Cheese has lots of power but it clogs your arteries that ultimately reduces your power, both physical and sexual, and even kills you. You definitely don't have to eat eggs every day, since now there are so many healthy alternatives to eggs in breakfast. Only stuff most sweet dishes provide you is calories from fat and sugar, that you can have from much healthier alternatives, in much healthier quantities.
Be sure that pleasure and enjoyment, including one from food, are important part of our lives but it is not worth to have it at the cost of shorter, and poorer quality life. This leads us to another important part of this discussion, PORTIONS. With the passage of time, bad advertising from food manufacturers and restaurants, and abundance and easy availability of, particularly junk food, we have learned to eat food in enormously big portions. Another contributing factor to it is eating under stress and time restraints, specially at work. This makes us eat fast and not really enjoy the food. So, we get satisfaction by eating large portions. Eat in smaller and shallow plates, and eat slow. Chew a lot and try to enjoy the taste, flavor and texture of food. This is proven to reduce the amount of food ingested, with increased satisfaction and gratification. This is why in many European and other countries employers are now required to provide longer lunch and other eating breaks. Once, eating faster with large portions, becomes a habit then, you always eat fast and more and never really enjoy your food.
Don't forget weight is Input minus output. You don't only have to reduce input that is eating but also have to increase output that is exercise and physical activity. I know it is very hard to find time for exercise in todays busy and very stressful lifestyle. But you should know that we are intentionally spoiled by automobile and oil industry. Sadentry lifestyle and construction of neighborhoods in which you have to drive car even to buy a gallon of milk, are part of conspiracy. Mom and pop, corner of the street stores are replaced by Wal-Mart, CVS, Seven-Elevens, super markets and so-called convenience stores. Buying cart full of grocery in bulk amounts has become fashionable and desirable. If you must buy from the store or super market at a distance and, large quantities of big packs then obviously you cannot walk to store, you have to drive.
Try to make walking a habit. If possible try to walk to stores, work, metro and bus stations, community centers and neighbors. Alternatively, try to use bicycle. I know our current way of living, built under the strong influence of auto and oil industry and their lobbies, seriously discourages healthy lifestyle. Try to change it as much as you can. You will help yourself, your family, nation, country and environment.
You should also understand that weight loss is no achieved by spending huge sums of money on expensive diet and exercise programs and gyms. It is achieved by lifestyle changes. These changes may look small at times, but small and effective lifestyle changes, like minor changes in your office and work environment, can have significant long term effects. A mayo clinic study found these techniques very effective without causing any efficiency loss to workplace.
Unfortunately, we have become a very impatient nation. Due to the influence of disposable society, we live in, also built under the strong influence of corporations and their lobbies, we want everything now. We want everything to happen immediately and results must be obtained in an instant. This is also coming from ever reducing trust in our society. There were times when we used to have unshakable belief in human nature. A series of disasters and mishaps are making us trust no one, including politicians, so-called experts, analysts, media, government, corporations and priests, as well. We are seriously disappointed again and again. This is causing a global nervousness. Lake of trust is a very serious problem and I believe this problem and it affects particularly long-term, are being grossly underestimated. Every thing in our lives depends on mutual trust. Once it is gone there is nothing left. Without trust there is no society and civilization and we will be a bunch of wild animals living in unruly jungle. The consequence is, if we do not see results quick enough we immediately become shaky and start thinking, what I was told is right? Am I fooled again? Is it really going to work? And then we have opportunists like politicians, corporations, media companies, advertisers and propagandists, who immediately take advantage of our shakiness and say, what the hell are you doing? That's not going to work! Why you are compromising your great lifestyle and all the pleasures of life for this stupidity? See jones and everyone else is still doing it? This is not really American and/or christian!
Trust me this is all bull shit. The only right way is the one that is good for you, your health and your life, and most good things do not happen immediately. In real life there is nothing like immediate results. It only happens in Disney movies. A good and healthy lifestyle is rather a life long struggle. There are always going to be temptations, bigger and more attractive. Forced even more powerfully and tactfully, on you. Only faith and determination can keep you away from them. A firm belief in yourself and your goal of healthier lifestyle, and thinner and lighter you. The rewards, all physical, emotional, psychological, financial and even sexual are far bigger then what you are giving up. So, be strong and keep going on. You surely deserve it.
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