People have an odd problem, myself included, of not knowing when enough becomes too much.
I am referring to food, but this can be applied to different hedonistic aspects of life: drugs, alcohol, bad Netflix shows, you name it. These tendencies to go too far in our pursuit for pleasure is detrimental to our well being, and it’s so rare that people hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their desires.
Going back to food, this can be clearly demonstrated in the obesity rates amongst many first world nations. (Developing and underdeveloped nations have this issue too, but I will be focusing on the richer countries for this piece.) In the United States, only ⅓ of the adult population is neither obese nor overweight. The constant reliance on fast foods and cheap, microwavable meals from the freezer aisle throws our nation into a sodium rich, high fructose-frenzy. Sure, you can combat it with exercise–as we Americans work out more than anyone else in the world–but in the end, what will that really do?
One way to tackle this issue, amongst the middle and upper class, is to pay attention to your body. Diets are fine and occasionally work, but there is another technique that many individuals swear by. This approach to food is called intermittent fasting. You begin eating at eleven or twelve, and stop eating around eight. Or you eat one or two massive meals after a set fasting window, which is a strategy I typically don’t partake in. But even so, the value of intermittent fasting and its lessons I have learned are useful for those who also tend to pack on weight.
For those rich enough to never starve, the value of being hungry increases exponentially. Eating a large meal when you’re only dehydrated and snacky (or worse, if you’re already full) is one of the trappings plenty of Americans fall into. Not understanding how your body operates, how it’s supposed to feel after energy is put into it, is a guaranteed path to increasing that 66% of Americans.
Intermittent fasting allows you to think about your body. You will begin to notice what it feels like to truly be hungry, and in return your body will respond. You won’t feel the need to fill yourself up with 500 empty calories of useless junk; instead, after a few hours of nothing, you will place more power into the foods you eat and the nutrients within them. The sensation of truly needing food will make you realize exactly what you need to replenish yourself.
This technique requires time and discipline, and it is unreasonable for it to be done every day. (And to clarify, I am not promoting starvation, but rather allowing yourself to get hungry in order to fully enjoy and process the foods we consume.) However, just doing this two or three times a week will teach you a lesson in self restraint, the significance of proper nutrition, and what it means to truly need food.
Thank you for reading! I love talking about food and diet things, and I have another post you can check out, which is an essay I did for school. Also, if you haven’t already, give my dark fantasy novel Accursed Red a read on Amazon and the Barnes and Noble website. Hello and hello, and I’ll see you in my next post!