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    • 24 JUN 16
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    A Weighty Issue

    That we should be so lucky! We live in times when our environment is almost constantly the right temperature at home and work, we don’t run to catch breakfast, and entertainment happens on the couch, rather than the dance floor.

    Malcolm Fraser said “life wasn’t meant to be easy” but looking at today’s lifestyle one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Where has this got us? Fat! Our population is the second weightiest in the world behind gold medal winners USA, and getting heavier.

    With all of this obesity the weight loss industry is booming – diets, medication, exercise programs, and the ongoing research for the “holy grail” of weight loss – the medication which slims effortlessly and safely- at a huge price!

    None of this is really necessary though. Controlling weight is quite simply a balance between energy passing through your stomach and the energy expended by muscles brain and other vital organs to move and maintain your body. No doubt some individuals are very efficient metabolisers and gain weight easily, others are inefficient and more likely to lose weight. There is good evidence that our bodies tend to stabilise our weight through changing metabolic rates. But whatever the personal circumstances the statistics say most of us can also benefit through conscious control of our diet.

    When appetite goes we usually stop eating. We tend to eat quickly however, so the natural appetite suppression signals don’t have time to tell us to keep our mouths closed until it’s too late! It takes about half an hour after eating, to start to feel “full”. Eating a little or a lot won’t necessarily make you feel “full” quicker.

    Choice of food types is obviously important too. The food industry sells us foods that are mouth-wateringly flavourful – explosions of taste – that just happen to be high in refined sugars and fats and calories. There are other ways to create an interestingly tasty diet but if you look at the price of spices for example, in the supermarket you will understand why such options are often sadly neglected.

    Sometimes appetite just comes down to plain old habit – the dogs at home get fed a bowl of food when I get home from work – they don’t start to carry-on and fuss until then. They eat and then they go back to the couch! Similarly we only get really hungry if we miss a regular meal- that’s when we are most likely to binge – or whinge.

    Now the danger topic¬† – everyone likes a treat! But don’t reward yourself collapsing on the couch – relive the life without TV and cars and convenience , and then enjoy your treat!

    DR TIM