Time to face up to reality
Unlike our ancestors, our modern lifestyle is one perpetual feast, a feast of processed food and drink, high in sugar and low in fibre. There is never any famine, never any time when we don’t have access to food. This affects the amount of exercise we take. We don’t take enough exercise because the prime motivation to move, to find food, no longer exits.
By subjecting our bodies to an avalanche of processed food and drink, and by depriving it of enough necessary exercise, we have created a modern-day phenomenon, an evolutionary mismatch which is the cause of so many people being overweight – and a worldwide obesity epidemic.
And there are other contributory factors.
The stress of modern day life, of trying your best to cope with all the demands and pressures that life throws at you, of being overweight or obese, takes its toll. What happens when you’re under stress? Your body reacts by producing the stress hormone cortisol. The problem with cortisol is that frequent exposure to this hormone drives weight gain.
And then there’s temptation. Those constant reminders about food and drink. Advertisements on TV encouraging you to snack, snack, snack. Magazines and billboards, with images of mouth-watering meals. Fast-food outlets on every street corner pushing their bargain burgers, and supermarket shelves crammed with delicious food. You are surrounded by prompts to eat. The temptation is to keep eating.
All this pressure to consume – driven by profit-hungry food companies and supermarkets has had a dramatic effect on your eating habits. You not only eat at mealtimes, you are persuaded to eat – to snack – all through the day. There’s hardly a time when you’re not chewing or drinking. You never give your body a rest. It’s always processing food. It never has time to rest and restore itself.
And then the consequences.