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Everything in Moderation- Skip the Cheat Meal

Posted on September 14, 2017


Everyone is striving to find the “secret” to a happier life. If you were to say otherwise, I wouldn’t believe you. There is nothing wrong with attributing happiness to food, in fact, we should be happy as well as grateful to live in a world that we can easily provide our bodies nourishment.

 

This poses the question: How much and why do you connect food to happiness?

 

Beginning from a young age in western culture it is not uncommon to give food to children as a reward for good behavior or as a means to correct bad behavior.

 

“If you stop crying, you can have a cookie”
“If you get an ‘A’ on your test, we can get ice cream after school”

 

Often times, it doesn’t end in childhood. This behavior becomes ingrained in our subconscious and as we get older, we go to food when we are sad, anxious, or think we “deserve it”. I don’t know which example is worse, but what I do know is that they all instill positive reinforcement of food as a source of comfort and approval.

 

Have we become conditioned to believe that happiness is derived from food?

 

When we see food in this way, it removes the importance of its intrinsic nutritive elements. Rather than seeing food as fuel for our bodies giving us energy to function regularly in our daily lives, we see it only as a source of pleasure.

 

We as humans need to indulge at times. We would psychologically burn out if we never allowed ourselves a break to let go and enjoy food purely for the sake of taste or aesthetic appeal.

 

With this indulgence, however, there is diminishing return. Have you ever noticed how amazing the first bite of a piece of chocolate is? What about the 5th? Or the 10th? If you’ve ever even had that much chocolate at once, you’d know it’s pretty nauseating.

 

The idea that all things can and should be eaten in moderation is a false notion. Eating foods that compromise health and promote disease ‘in moderation’ is never better than avoiding it all together. You can have junk food in moderation, but be aware that you will also be getting clogged arteries ‘in moderation’. This is why it’s so important to make consistent conscious decisions about what you’re putting in your mouth, with the overwhelming amount of your food choices being healthy.

 

Think of it this way: If you were to eat only pizza every day for several days, weeks, or months, would you be very healthy or very sick? What about if you ate sweet potatoes every day for several days, weeks, or months? You might be bored of the sweet potato, but you would most certainly be reversing chronic disease by eating the sweet potato as opposed to inducing it from the pizza.

 

Finally, don’t rely on food to fill your happiness. Look for other ways to feel full and content in your mind and heart rather than your stomach, because, although it may be a hard truth to accept, every bite you take is either fighting disease or feeding it.

 

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