Surviving the Survival Mechanism

It shouldn’t be a surprise that North Americans have failed to overcome this obesity epidemic with dieting. Humans have an innate, survival mechanism that makes staying lean a little difficult at the best of times.  Professor Keith Frayn of Oxford University says “It [dieting] is a fight against mechanisms which have evolved over many millions of years precisely to minimize its effects.”1 In other words, the body is programmed to maintain a homeostasis, and therefore, store energy when calories are plentiful, and adjust metabolism to prevent weight loss when calories are reduced.

The problem is that this survival mechanism thrives on the North American diet given the abundance of food available all year round. Eating low fat/low protein/low fibre meals, dieting or burning too many calories with exercise has resulted in an endless cycle of fat storing and metabolism slowing, the perfect storm for an obesity epidemic.

The solution is to minimize or discourage the survival mechanism. We can do this by:

  1. eating enough good calories that the body won’t store thereby maintaining a healthy metabolism, and
  2. turning storable calories (foods low in fat, fibre, and protein or which contain highly processed carbohydrates) into useable calories.

Eating seasonal, whole foods like nuts, cocoa, butter, meat, fruits, vegetables, and eggs especially when eating fast absorbing carbohydrates just might be enough to temper the strength of the starvation mechanism and prevent the next generations from becoming obese.  If we can accomplish this, our kid’s kids may have a chance at becoming a generation of centenarians!

Restore your relationship with food and your body! Download the Balance Factor app and you’ll be on your way to getting back to your perfect size!

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