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Question #10: How to control diet during the festive season?

Sustainable Health

As long as you’re controlling yourself, you haven’t really brought about real change and whatever physical transformation you’ve achieved, is likely to be reversed.

Try this. Tear off a piece of newspaper, roll it into a ball, place it on a plate and place the plate in front of you. Do you feel like eating the ball of newspaper? Perhaps not. You know it’s going to taste unpleasant and bitter from the newsprint (toxic too!), probably dry and quite positively chewy, all of which are attributes you’re quite sure don’t match your personal tastes in food. Suppose we sprinkled some delicious makhani gravy over the lot? Would you eat it then? No? Perhaps some tomato ketchup? Still no? You’re quite sure? Did you have to control yourself?

Your knowledge of the attributes of the newspaper, combined with knowledge of your own preferences plus a resolve somewhere inside that paper isn’t really what you will eat when craving something to eat, caused you to reject the notion of eating a ball of newspaper, without exercising the least bit of self-control.

Similarly, knowledge of nutrition (even the basics) combined with knowledge of yourself (patterns, causes of overeating, foods that trigger binges and so on) will ensure that you naturally take healthier decisions when it comes to what you eat. Combine that with a goal, say a kilo target, and you’ll have to work even less to avoid eating foods that you know aren’t good for you.

At the end of the day, the instinct of self-preservation burns strong in all of us. This instinct is sometimes obscured by ignorance, conditioning, emotion or all of them. We can work to reduce the influence of both these factors by learning more about food and also about ourselves, and get ready for a healthier lifestyle and a healthier body.

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