“Why You Eat Affects What You Eat” by Mark Erik Meijer, M.D.
First published in Aynor Journal, vol. 12, #45 (August 31, 2000) Aynor, South Carolina.
Republished as Chapter 16 in TEN STEPS to Control Diabetes [Tampa, Fla.]: MeMend Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-9761572-0-9
In poor countries, many people starve to death. In America, we eat ourselves to death. A diet can only help you if it is “good for you” and if “it is for life.”
Attitude and feelings are not the same. You control attitude but not your feelings. Hunger is a feeling that you cannot control. What you can control is your behavior to satisfy your hunger.
Hunger creates a desire to eat but attitude determines what you put in your mouth. People have many choices. Two examples include a diet pill that suppresses hunger or eating food until you are full.
Many people eat and drink who are not hungry. There are many reasons a person would do this. For example, “It tastes good.”
Food and water are the building blocks of life. (Our bodies are about 90% water.) All life depends upon food. Ideally we would never eat anything that is “bad” for us (toxic). However, human “intelligence” seems to choose food and drink for reasons other than nutrition.
Fortunately, most dietary errors are eliminated at the other end. Occasionally, they come back up. The kidney can also “void” mistakes.
We are what we eat when we don’t eliminate it. Our mistakes add up. The increasing accumulation of toxic dietary mistakes eventually causes disease.
Medication is the most potent example of how food and drink can affect our health (and how we feel). It should be no surprise that large amounts of food or drink (albeit less potent) can do the same.
Disease lowers our ability to tolerate further dietary errors. In turn, dietary errors (a toxic burden) cause disease. This is a vicious cycle. While damage that is done cannot be eliminated, tomorrow’s health can still be improved by what you eat today.
The sole purpose of a healthy diet is to provide nutrients while minimizing the toxic burden of any dietary mistakes.
Stool and urine are things our body needs to eliminate. One man’s trash is another's treasure. (It’s still trash for the first man.) Stool and urine provide needed nutrients (fertilizer) for plants. But for us, it’s “crap” that needs to be eliminated.
Eating things that are not nutritious and/or are toxic need to be eliminated from diet. If it’s bad for us at one end, it will be bad for us at the other end, too.
The worst dietary mistake for an alcoholic is alcohol. The best treatment is NO alcohol. The worse thing for a drug addict is drugs. The best treatment is NO drugs. If your diet has a problem with a “sweet tooth,” your solution is NO sweets (no sugar and no artificial sweeteners).
If the problem with the American diet is all the “crap” we eat (excessive fat, meat, and sugar with not enough fiber), the best treatment is NO “crap.” Eat a potato, not a potato chip; eat a piece of fruit, not a piece of fruit pie; drink water, not sodas; etc.
Americans trying to “diet” complain that they are “just dying” (e.g., tastes s-o-o-o-o good) to keep eating or drinking their favorite kinds of “crap” (e.g., potato chips, pie, soda, etc.). Little do they realize, literally, how close they are to the truth. Are you dying to eat “crap” that needs to be eliminated from your diet? If you are, you are not alone.
There does seem to be many Americans who only live to eat. These people don’t seem to have much of a life and it will probably get even smaller.
Why we eat affects what we eat. If you want to stay healthy and live longer, the right diet is food that is “good for you.” Most Americans choose to eat and drink a lot of “crap” for other reasons (e.g., “it tastes good”). You can’t continue to eat for stupid reasons and expect to maintain your health. You need to decide whether you “live to eat” or “eat to live.” You cannot do both. (You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.)
Most people begin a new diet to lose weight. If you are overweight, you are eating more calories than you need. To lose weight you need to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink. Since a lot of the “crap” Americans eat and drink is high in calories (sugar and fat), losing weight means NO “crap.”
To determine the right amount of fuel that your body needs, you must count calories. You cannot judge food by its cover, you have to look in a book (i.e. calorie counter) or read the label to see what’s in it.
It only makes sense that in order to reduce the number of calories you put in your mouth, you need to know where they are coming from. Counting calories helps you to determine what and how much food you should eat or drink. Quality and quantity are key ingredients in a healthy diet.
Exercise can help you lose weight and improve health as well. Exercise is important, but your feet cannot outrun your hands. A good diet is still the cornerstone to building good health.
Use common sense. A pill (e.g., diet pill) cannot fix what you put in your mouth. If you have a brain, why not use it before you eat or drink? Your attitude about eating requires these thoughts: Why do I eat; do “I eat to live” or do “I live to eat?” There is a difference.
Let “why” affect “what” you eat. Again, it simply requires that you give more thought to your diet. Think before you eat or drink. You can control “what” you eat and drink. Food and drink that is not nutritious should be avoided. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken “crap.” “Crap” always needs to be eliminated.
It takes a lifetime of bad eating to become overweight, diseased, etc. It takes the rest of your life eating right to try to stay alive. We are what we eat.
Times change from time to time; fools don’t. If there is no need to change the way you eat, why bother? If there is a need, why stop? There is no such thing as a “temporary diet” if “it is for life.”
From a health care point of view, it’s plain stupid to eat like a “normal” American. Intelligent people know that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
No one denies that it’s nice when food that is “good for you” tastes good as well. But choosing food without regard for nutrition (e.g., because “it tastes good”) has certainly been proven harmful by this country. The national data is overwhelming that it matters why you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat.
S-o-o-o, why do you eat...? ©