Food and feedback

If people didn't eat except when their bodies needed food, nobody would be overweight. What a wonderful world it would be! (Of course, there wouldn't be a market for diet books____)

Hunger is supposed to tell us when it's time to eat, but in the modern world, we rarely rely on this message from our bodies. We eat certain meals on a given schedule, with family and friends. And, while hunger tells us when to eat, there isn't a corresponding signal that says we've had enough. Only when the scale begins to rack up extra pounds and the belt seems to need another notch do we realise the cumulative effect of a little too much food every day.

As long as you aren't hungry, you're probably getting enough food, but how do you keep from eating too much? What's needed, along with food, is feedback— information that tells how you're doing—when to eat and when to stop: the message of the eat watch.

I believe one of the main reasons some people have trouble controlling their weight while others manage it effortlessly is that there's a broken feedback circuit in those of us who tend to overweight. Our bodies don't tell us "enough already!", while our slim and trim comrades, born with a built-in eat watch, always know when to hang up the nosebag.

But, hey—no problem! Back when we were all hunter-gatherers, people with crummy eyesight probably didn't live very long. It's hard to throw a spear when you can't even see the end of your arm. Along comes technology and zap!!!: eyeglasses fixed that problem once and for all. Actually, it's tilted the other way these days; if I weren't blind as a cinder block without my glasses, I'd probably have been sent to 'Nam.

So it is with the eat watch. If you weren't born with one, just get one, strap it on your wrist, and get on with life.

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