According to a recently reported study, lack of exercise has not caused the epidemic of obesity in the US. If anything, American adults are more active now than we used to be.
But it’s not enough to offset how much we overeat.
We eat so much more than we need, that children would have to walk 2 hours a day to walk off the extra food, and adults would have to walk 2.5 hours. Although exercise is important, it’s clearly not the answer to obesity.
So what is the answer? Eat less.
How much less?
Kids need to cut 350 calories a day-roughly the equivalent of a small serving of fries and a soda. Adults would have to forgo 500 calories, a big Mac.
In evaluating what this means in your life, don’t just look at how much fuel you are ingesting overall; look at how much you eat at one sitting.
If we put too much food in our stomachs at one sitting, the overcrowding stresses our digestive tract and leads to incomplete digestion.
How much is too much?
How much food can your body process per meal? Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, suggests eating only when hungry, and only as much food as fits in your two hands. Anything more than that is likely to end up where you don’t want it, and undermine your health and well-being.
Try eye-balling two fists-full of food and stopping there for the next few meals, and see if it makes a difference in how you feel after eating. Feeling better makes it easier to continue to limit meal size, and that might motivate you to eventually make better food choices.
When making long term changes, start small and be diligent. In time, your consistent smart choices will snowball into a more healthful lifestyle of your own making.