Let me take you back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth and other strange creatures existed that we’ll never see again. They were fascinating times after which it was man’s turn to be on the world’s stage. Because we had to co-exist with wild animals, these were dangerous times for the human race. It was before real weapons were invented and just looking (hunting) for dinner could kill you! On top of this, there were the times of scarcity and man had to starve until food became available. So it was that our instincts had to take over, making sure we survived to live another day all so our species wouldn’t die out!
So what part did our instincts play in our survival in those times? It’s a known fact that we can pick up unseen signals sensing danger, our bodies automatically run when peril confronts us, our reflexes force us to move before we can even think! In caveman (cavewomen) times, it meant that the sight of any man-eating animal would make us instantly flea for safety, if we fell our arms would extend out so they could protect our bodies from impact and of course we would eat when we got hungry.
In the case of food, it was almost impossible to have anything easily available to eat. There were obviously no shops with a wide variety of delicious goods at the tip of our fingertips. We were definitely NOT spoilt for choice! Oh no, if we wanted to eat, we had to forage and hunt. It may have taken us days before an opportunity arose and so, when it did present itself, we would feast until we could eat no more. In fact, we would force ourselves to overeat, knowing that the next meal may be days away. Then when the scarce times came, our metabolism would naturally slow down so that we used less energy, allowing us the best possible chance of survival until the next meal.
– Denial awakens survival –
Let’s translate this to the here and now, because you see, deep down, we are still cavemen (or cavewomen). The reason for that is because our bodies have not evolved like our lives have. Even though there is an abundance of food in the first world, our bodies react in exactly the same way as they did in prehistoric times.
Therefore, when we restrict our calories intake, our body slows down it’s metabolism automatically, meaning we’ll use less energy. This is one of the reasons why it is harder to shift weight after initial weight loss at the beginning of a diet. Our body is tricked into thinking it is in a time of scarcity and switches to this mode without our knowing. In turn our instincts, bless their little hearts, go into overdrive. It’s pretty much like a red flag to a bull, our instincts begin to multiply hunger and cravings to mammoth proportions. We are then compelled to eat, so much so that it takes over all control of our life. As far as your instincts are concerned, your very life is at risk and the need to survives creates such an explosion of energy and yearning to eat. If you have ever been on a calorie-controlled diet, you will know exactly what I mean; you think, breathe, sleep food! Which is why, 9 times out of 10, you will end up eating everything in sight, much more than if you hadn’t restricted your food intake in the first place. Believe me, our instincts are stronger than us which is why fighting them is for losers.
You just can’t win in the long term. Fighting your instincts is like declaring war on yourself which is a totally futile act. So, next time you’re thinking of starting a calorie-controlled diet, think long and hard because you’ll just be wasting your precious time. Is it really worth it then? Click on the link below to find an alternative way to reach your weight loss goals.
Written by Sherry Taylor
Author of the Anti-Diet Lifestyle