You have to eat — it’s a primal instinct for survival and promotion of the species.
Back in the old days when we were trying to understand why we couldn’t roll a square rock, work was hard and food was scarce. Hunting was the craze of the day but stress levels were increased when we couldn’t find something to hunt or we suddenly became the hunted. So, with the scarcity of food, the work involved in getting it and the release of hormones because of fear there were no weight problems in those days.
Let’s jump ahead a couple of million years. Hunting is for a few brave men and women armed with the latest in hunting equipment, a hunting permit, a four-wheel drive and a GPS. Not really a lot of fear involved here unless somebody missed their intended prey and you happen to be down scope.
Hunting and gathering in this day and age is usually done in the confines of the neighborhood superstore or your favorite restaurant. No need to set up a blind or trap and wait for hours. All you do now is be sure your cart doesn’t have a squeaky wheel. You also have to make sure make sure you have enough money or plastic to pay for your unique hunting experience.
In this day and age food is not for survival, it’s for satisfaction, but some key primitive programs remain even after all these years.
Back when you wore loincloths and fur, when you did finally kill something, you ate the kill fast and consumed as much as you could. You and your fellow cavemen would gorge yourselves until you couldn’t possibly eat anymore. It was a natural instinct to eat fast because you weren’t in a sharing mood and you also never knew when you were going to get your next meal and those who could gorge themselves the most usually survived the longest.
Some scientists believe some of us still have a tendency to follow primordial survival instincts. We still have the same needs but with unlimited resources and unlimited appetites.
It seems there are some main players in our quest for survival or to satisfy our hunger.
You would surmise your brain plays a key role here wouldn’t you? Well, you’re right. It is the signal center, the reward center and the distributor. Other key players like your senses, digestive enzymes and hormones have great influence in the scheme of things known as your survival instinct.
This whole process can work something like this:
The stomach sends a signal to the brain that you’re getting a little hungry. Now, you can fight it for a while but then senses such as your eyes or your nose add fuel to the fire.
You see that hamburger, you smell that hamburger, you are feeling a hunger pang and bingo the hormone called ghrelin kicks in. Ghrelin is the hunger or mealtime hormone that signals that now is the time to eat. You see the food, you smell the food and now you gotta have the food. There’s quite a battle going on in that brain and digestive tract of yours.
So you eat and as you eat your stomach and intestines begin to stretch and another regulator hormone, Leptin, is introduced and receptors like PPAR’s start regulating energy consumption, storage and then the brain tells the pancreas to start producing insulin. More hormones PYY and GLP-1 are brought into the fray to start telling your brain you have had enough but more than likely your brain is not listening so peptides like CCK (Cholecystokinin) are introduced to be a little more emphatic that the meal should end.
The system I just described works if we listen to our bodies.
Eating slowly, although not a primitive instinct, is a very important ingredient for food regulation. Eating regularly is another. By not allowing your brain and body to feel like you are going to starve helps you to regulate calorie expenditure. So strive to eat four and five small meals with plenty of liquid, preferably water.
One more thing, when you were running around in your loincloth the key word is running. You were getting plenty of exercise and your primitive instinct to keep moving is still there, so listen.
If we can help call us at Fitness Road, (888) 348-7623, check out the Web site fitnessroad.com, or come and see us at the Fitness Road Wellness Center in Tempe Arizona on Baseline off the I-10.
God bless you and yours, Mick.