A few years ago I had a bit on an epiphany. I remember it well. It was after lunch. I had eaten a small lunch so a few hours later was hungry and decided to have some of the nuts my husband had bought.
But these weren’t a can or container of nuts. These were “real” nuts. You know, the kind with the shell still on them? There were Brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts.
So I took a handful and started opening them one-by-one with a nutcracker (let me remind you I hadn’t done this in years).
As I was doing this I realized I was a little putting effort into eating. (notice I said ‘little’…it really doesn’t have to be a lot).
And anyone who has opened nuts with a nutcracker knows that it takes time. With the time and effort it took, after about five minutes I had eaten about only 7 or 8 nuts. But it was just enough time for my body to tell me it was full. I wasn’t hungry anymore so I put the unopened nuts away.
Just then I realized that if, instead, I had opened a can of nuts – the ones with the shell already taken off – I would have eaten about 40 of them (or even more) in the five minutes! Think about how easy it is to just munch on nuts and before you know it half the container is gone!
So with just a little effort, I ate less.
The same for dinner that night. I had an orange after my salad and pizza (yes, I DO eat pizza!). Again, same story. I had to peel that orange to eat it.
Okay, I know that’s not a lot of work. But I could have easily just poured myself a glass of orange juice and within 10 seconds be done with it. But by peeling the orange, I had to do a little work. In addition, by eating the fruit itself, I get all of the fiber and nutrients that get lost when processed into juice.
By having to do just a little effort, I had time to actually focus on my food, enjoy it, and think about where it came from (as it was still in it’s natural state).
We just eat so mindlessly today. We need to put little (if any) energy into getting or eating our food. Today most of us just open a box or put something in the microwave. Much of our food is “convenient” so we put almost no effort into it.
Now I don’t think you should go out and hunt for your food like the cavemen did. However, I do want to make you aware of how easy it is today to just pop something in the microwave, open a box, or call for take-out. (Yes, I do each of these myself sometimes, but not all the time).
We need to take a step back and realize that our environment is affecting our weight.
Losing or maintaining weight is not just about eating the right foods at the right times. It’s also about being aware of your environment and how it affects not only your food choices, but your efforts to lose weight.