A Weight Loss Tip To Die For

Turkish BacklavaAre you feeling a little stuffed?  With parties and business meals galore, it’s so easy to pack on some weight and transform your once slender figure into a mound of dough.  Is there any wonder why many people fail their weight loss goals?  You can be doing great all year and then BAM, you wonder what happened.

The good thing about our bodies is that we have a natural mechanism to stop eating when we get full.  Otherwise, we’d all be unrecognizable in about a month.  However, if we’re honest, we know we often can’t control ourselves and overeat anyways.  I can’t control myself when it comes to eating buttery cookies and gobble two at a time.  Yum, yum.

My weight used to fluctuate in a 10 pound upward band, which is a lot considering I’m just under 6 feet and every pound counts on the tennis court.  I could be a taut 160 pounds one month and a soft 170 pounds just a couple months later if I wasn’t careful.  At my prime, I used to be 10 pounds lighter given I ran track as well.  Oh, to be that fit again.  Nowadays, my weight only fluctuates by 3-4 pounds since a visit to New Delhi and Agra 10 years ago that changed my outlook on eating forever.

SEEING THE WORLD CHANGES YOU

Each time I travel to a foreign country I learn something new.  For example, there are some 22 languages recognized by the Indian constitution, and some 300+ spoken languages in India!  In New Delhi, all I saw were skinny people.  And when I looked closely, all I could see on the streets was abject poverty.  There are so many people in Delhi,  you have to look past the layer of bustle to see the beggars on the street.  You may choose to ignore, but I couldn’t.  How could I when poverty surrounded me like a blanket of smoke in a dimly lit cigar room.

On the 4 hour drive to Agra where the Taj Mahal resides, the driver pulled over for a pitstop.  No sooner had I got out, did both adults and children start tugging at my clothes asking for change.  The more rupees I gave, the more they begged.  The more I tried to talk with them, the larger the swarm until my driver shrieked rudely for them to all go away.  They didn’t budge and I had to force myself back in the car.

As we drove away, I could see one spiny young man chase after us.  He was unique, because he was on all fours and moved like a spider.  It was as if he was determined to leap on the roof of our car and extract one last coin from my wallet.  His look was of great determination, but he couldn’t keep up so I dropped some coins out the window.  The car’s rear wheels scrambled up a dirt cloud and that’s the last I saw of him.  But, I was wrong.  I see him always.

THE MENTAL SHIFT TO EATING

I have visited many impoverished nations before and so far never one as dire as India.  There’s something really wrong with so much concentrated poverty.  I often wonder how they will be able to improve their standard of living, if ever?  It’s just strange to have a $1 billion dollar, 27 story home in Mumbai owned by Mukesh Ambani, yet have so much despair on the streets.  I’m afraid that unless the government does something drastic, their lives will never change.

The reason why my weight doesn’t fluctuate much anymore is because I’ve become more conscience of how much I eat.  This is the weight loss tip to die for.  When I’m feeling slightly full, and I have thoughts about getting a second helping of anything, I think of the malnourished and the man in this picture above on my way to Agra and stop.  I know that it takes about 20 minutes for the body to register food after eating, so in those 20 minutes I wait and reflect if I’m alone.

We’re not even being asked to help them, just ourselves…………

During reflection, I am appreciative of the abundance of food all around me.  I wonder how one nation could be so rich, and another so poor.  How can we ever over eat when others are constantly starving? How can we ever be overweight, if millions of children around the world are malnourished and can’t even reach a healthy weight?

We can’t ever let ourselves go because to do so would mean that we ignore the suffering of others.  Maybe we are ignorant and have never seen poverty, or maybe we just choose to turn away.  But, even if you have never left the country, if you look hard enough you will see suffering all around us.  Once you see it, you’ll be hard-pressed to ever over eat and let yourself go again.

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Photo: Turkish Backlava by Sam, 2011.

Photo: Beggar in India, Public Domain.

Regards,

Sam

 

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    My friend just adopted a 3 yr old boy from India. If you saw how he looked when he arrived to what he looks like now you would think he was a different boy. What makes me go up in weight? It’s simple. I have food. When I am bored or psychologically hungry I eat. Control has to come from me. That is why their are so many weight loss centers. There is no control because we have the means. We see it with the rich. We see it with the famous. We see it with the overweight.

  2. mike says

    Sam, this is an old post, and I hope you get my comment.

    I mentioned to you a book, a while ago, and you said you were going to read it. It was called “The Pleasure Trap” by Doug Lisle.

    If you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.

    You’re story of the spiny legged man chasing after you is haunting. Was that a picture you took of the spiny legged man or was that a stock photo?

  3. mike says

    This is such an interesting post.

    As far as weight loss is concerned, I noticed no one mentioned caloric density in the comments. Here’s a post I did about caloric density: http://uncommonlybrilliant.blogspot.com/2011/12/caloric-density-revisited.html

    It’s shown that the longest lived peoples eat low on the calorie density spectrum. It appears to be a very simple formula. The lower one eats of lower density foods, the less one weighs (and the longer one lives). The more one eats higher density foods, the more one will weigh.

    Most of the studies about caloric density are coming out of the Univ of Penn. Barbara Rolls has written a book called Volumetrics.

    Here’s an excellent short video of Jeff Novick talking about caloric density: http://uncommonlybrilliant.blogspot.com/2011/11/jeff-novick-calorie-density.html

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