Digestion is a chemical process. Our body combines different types of foods in our stomach using chemical reactions. The goal of proper digestion is to extract from the foods we eat only the nutrients that our body needs, and ‘escort’ away all the rest.
The problem starts with the balance, the types of foods that we put into our stomach at each meal. Remember those chemical laboratory lessons from your high school. When the ingredients were properly balanced, the reaction proceeded quickly with very little ingredients left. But if the ingredients were not matched, they did not react with each other and were just staying there in a heap.
A similar process repeats itself in our stomach after every meal. If the foods we ate are suited to each other, they react quickly and produce the necessary nutrients for our body. We might even feel a slight hunger soon after such a meal. If the foods were not suited however, they are just laying in our stomach feeling like a ton of bricks.
What happens in such cases? You would expect that your body will attempt to get rid of unwanted burden. Wrong guess. During long years of evolution, our bodies learned never to throw away food. Who knows, when the next feeding might be coming? So your body starts the long and tedious process of converting your unwanted food intake to body fat.
The solution for the problem of unwanted fat? Eat only what your body can use at this very moment. For example: The Atkins diet or the South Beach Diet work by trying to find a perfectly matched combination of food intake at every meal. If all ingredients work with each other, nothing is left to be converted into fat.
Why do we need different diets now?
In the not so distant past our nutritional needs were totally different. People, who performed heavy physical work either in factories or fields, needed a lot of fat stored in their bodies. Such fat was the only reliable source of body energy for physical activities. One or two meals a day was all the workers could have. So they learned to eat heavy fat-producing diets of ham and bacon with potatoes.
An office worker uses comparatively little calories. On the other hand, his food temptations are frequent and easy to satisfy. If such a worker continues to consume diets containing high calories, which he no longer needs, obesity sets in.
Our life is different from only a generation or two ago. It is so much easier. Most of our physical effort had been taken by various kinds of machinery. We can’t continue to eat the way our parents and grandparents used to. Not without paying the price in unwanted pounds of body fat.
We need to change the way we eat in the same way as we changed the way we work. If we spend less calories, we should eliminate them from our diet.
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