Friday, April 8, 2011
Getting Back into the Groovy 70's, Calorie Wise
Why have obesity rates risen so dramatically? Because the number of calories we eat has gone up. You have to check out the chart I've pasted above at the link--it's interactive and as you slide from left to right, it shows how calories we ingest have increased from the 1970 and what kind of calories we're consuming.
The bottom line is that, on average people now consume 23.3% more calories in a day then they did in 1970. That is a huge increase in calories. What's more, the biggest jump in calories consumed occurred between 1990 and 2008.
And, it's not just the amount of calories we consume, but how we consume them. Most of the additional calories we now consume are added fat and sugar (although we seem to be eating a hell of a lot more of everything).
I know that when I started to try to lose weight, the hardest thing was readjusting my portion sizes. We've gotten so used to super-sized portions, that when we're confronted with right-sized portions, it looks inadequate. The portions also initially seemed to leave me hungry. We're so used to overfilling our bellies, that when you get a correct sized portion, we don't feel "full."
Rather than going "cold turkey" I reduced my portions gradually. As I got used to less food, the smaller portions became more satisfying and more "filling."
I also overhauled where I got my calories from. By focusing on eating a mostly raw/vegan diet, I was able to eat more and feel satisfied while reducing my overall caloric intake substantially. Again, I did this gradually, over time, so as to not "shock" my system. Now, I'm used to eating this way, and, when I do have a "heavy" meal, I actually feel kind of hung over and sluggish the next day.
I still eat meat, dairy, fish, eggs and desserts, I just focus on eating "mostly" raw/vegan. That means that instead of a processed snack when I need a mid-morning pick-up, I eat an orange or some grapes. I eat lots of salads, and try to have a salad every night with dinner.
And, when I do eat meat, I eat less of it and more veggies. In fact, veggies and fruit, raw and cooked, make up the bulk of what I eat these days.