It’s hard to believe that in this day and age the human machine would require anything such as a famine response.
At least not in first-world countries, where the existence of 24HR drive-thrus and grocery stores ensures ’round the clock access to food for anyone with a method of payment.
But there wasn’t always an oasis of perfectly preserved foods, neatly organized into categories, and placed on refrigerated shelves within easy reach.
When we first evolved…times were tough.
Food was scarce. Tools were primitive.
Finding sustenance for our mortal coil presented its own unique challenges.
Hence, our bodies developed a mechanism to cope with starvation, by slowing down our metabolism to conserve energy.
Presto – famine response.
This protective device enabled our organism to stockpile energy and fat calories at higher rate, so we’d survive shortages.
Even today, your body can’t tell the difference between intentional deprivation (i.e. diets) and genuine starvation.
Beyond the universal imperative of hunger, it adopted other ways of motivating us. For example, when blood glucose falls below the desirable threshold, signals communicated through dendrites, transported along axons, and transferred between nerve cells by neurotransmitters – send information to your brain about this sad state of affairs. The result surfaces in your mind as a craving.
Not only can cravings be powerful, but when brain glucose drops, our resistance to hunger crumbles.
Willpower goes out the window.
Genetically speaking, all the rules are dead set against us ever being successful at dieting.
And the stats bear it out too.
1 in every 3 Canadians report being actively engaged in some sort of diet program. Yet, more than 50% of our population is considered unhealthily overweight. In fact, any person that tries to lose weight through dieting is statistically more likely to GAIN weight in the long run.
Never. Diet. Again.
‘Tis the lesson for today.
As of this moment, I relieve you of this harmful habit.
Instead, eat according to what science tells us your body needs (your palate will adjust – trust me), work out with weights to preserve lean muscle, train your heart and nervous system with the right combination of high and medium intensity cardio, and focus on flexibility to forge fluid movement mechanics that enhance every activity you love.
Do that – and the fat takes care of itself.
That’s why I created my Lean For Life talk, which I’m presenting at Physiomed on April 25th:
I’ll help you exorcise the demons of information overload and time scarcity, and cut to heart of what really works to get you feeling great again.