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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/941463-The-Biology-of-Hunger
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1677545
"Putting on the Game Face"
#941463 added September 17, 2018 at 8:53am
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The Biology of Hunger
For thousands of years nobody understood the biology of procreation. Sure everybody knew if two people of opposite gender had intercourse then pregnancy became possible and the more it happened the more likely conception became. What people did not fully realize was the relationship between the menstrual cycle and having sex and on some days during the cycle the possibilities increased dramatically and that there was one particular date where an episode produced the greatest likelihood of them all.

I submit to you that the same can be said for "Hunger." We don't really understand what hunger is. It is a compulsion that is built into the human organism that provides an incentive for the human being to obtain fuel to operate their bioorganism. Duh! you say... everybody knows that. In response I must offer that everybody doesn't. Like sex and the compulsion to satisfy other bodily functions, hunger is tied to the acquisition of materials that can be ingested and readily converted to energy.

So how much energy does a human need to subsist comfortable? Rather than give the usual answer defined in calories, allow me attempt to respond using the analogy of a gas gauge. When the bio storage tank reaches a point where the cells in our body face a point of concern over the availability of fuel we feel hunger. We are driven to solve that concern by ingesting food.

There are many reasons we eat food. Here are a few that spring readily to mind.

1. Because we are in the habit of eating at certain times and that is when we eat. We might not be hungry when we do but we eat because we have always done it at that time.

2. Because we have food storage cells called "Fat" and these require energy to be created and maintained.

3. Because we have other cells that serve our cognitive and energy needs that must be created and maintained.

4. Because eating is a source of pleasure.

5. Because eating is often a social activity.

6. Because food needs change with age and physical activity.

Once a person understants what is really at the root of why we eat... then it becomes self-evident what needs to be done to curb our obesity.

What jumps out is that reason 2 and 3 lie at the root of the addiction and reasons 1, 3 and 4 are areas where eating less will be the easiest to cut back on. Note, however, that despite when we eat our eating habits are interrelated and if you cut back in one another will rear its head.

Eating at certain times: I feed my dogs once a day. My wife feeds the dogs when they become bored and go begging to her for food. My dogs get fat because they eat too much. My cats live outdoors and are fed once a day. They are always hungry and live to a rip old age. If they get really hungry they can go off in search of a bird or mouse to eat. Our ancestors died at an earlier age and led lives which were much more active. It would have been a rare thing to see a fat cave man or woman during the ice age and it was only when agriculture came along and there was a surplus of food. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog it is not necessary to eat three times a day and once a day without "Pigging out" is a goal worth striving for.

Eating too much and creating Fat: I'm sure that having some fat ensured that our forefathers and mothers survived some particularly harsh winters. I'm told that women have an extra layer of fat that has probably come in handy at times in the distant past. However if you pay attention in Walmart you will note that while there are plenty ty of fatsos in both sexes, fat women tend to outnumber fat men. So while fat might have an upside in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse it has a definite down side in day to day life. For every one of those unsightly fat cells cries out "Feed Me! Feed Me!" along with the other cells that provide for our daily needs. This is why I say that food is nutritions only to a certain point, beyond which it becomes poison. Thus in adding those excess pounds you are not only producing excess hunger but you are also overloading the excretory function to levels your body was never designed to handle. Its sort of like the septic tank backing up.

Legitimate life requirements: Nobody is going to question the importance of food in creating energy for accomplishing the day to day needs in our lives, however, if we don't exercise self discipline then as we grow older and continue the same habits our quality of life begins to deteriorate faster than it otherwise would.

Eating, along with sex, expelling waste, drinking, and breathing are among the simple pleasures in life. The Greeks gave great stress to moderation and the exercise of self discipline to aid the body in maintaining a healthy equilibrium. They were much better at dispensing this advice than following it.

Eating as a social activity: Eating as a means of socializing or as part of many eating rituals. We can often abstain from these activities or moderate them and this is fertil ground for eating less.

So if you really want to lose weight ponder these five areas and see where you can get the most bang for the buck.

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