Are We Too Comfortable?

Last week we talked about the similarities between weight control and superheroes. This week I want to tell you a little about a book that I have been reading. A friend recommended that I pick up The Comfort Crisis, by Michael Easter. I have been enjoying this book quite a bit, and it does have a section that deals with nutrition and weight control.

Easter is a journalist by trade, but has written a great book that discusses the idea that we live a life that is too comfortable. He writes about the idea that we, in our lifetime, rarely face the difficult challenges that our ancestors faced. Throughout the book, Easter uses the story of an excursion to Alaska to hunt caribou,  as just one example of him stepping out of his comfort zone.

While discussing his food options on the caribou hunt, Easter tells us that their primary source of food are essentially freeze-dried dinners, that they would "cook" by adding boiling water to them. Remember that they were going to be backpacking for the majority of their 3 week trip, so they needed to pack as light as they could. While discussing these limitations, Easter takes this opportunity to focus on diet and nutrition.

In my opinion, this portion of the book is the most interesting. That's probably because it is something that I am very interested in. He shares a name from the nutrition world that I was not familiar with. The nutritionist that he interviewed was Dr. Trevor Kashey. Dr. Kashey has a PhD in biochemistry, and has been helping his clients lose weight for over 15 years. Dr. Kashey shared an interesting viewpoint that I had not really considered in the past. Both Easter and Kashey suggest:


Think about that for a moment. After looking back over the past couple of days, I came to realize that for the majority of my life, I have used the feeling of hunger as a cue to reach for something to eat. That's what most of us do to avoid the discomfort of hunger. However, Easter and Kashey suggest that it is totally normal to feel occasional hunger and that it should not necessarily be a sign that we need to eat something, at that moment. That hunger that you are feeling is uncomfortable. And it is a good thing to feel that from time to time.

Kashey even suggested that when we feel hungry, we should stop and ask ourselves "Why am I hungry?" rather than asking "What should I eat?" I love this idea. Sometimes we feel hungry while sitting on the couch at the end of the day, but why? Kashey suggests that when we are bored, we become more likely to experience hunger. That does not mean that we need to eat! Instead, do your best to embrace the experience of that discomfort. You may even be able to use that cue as a sign that it is time to go to bed rather than reach for some ice cream...

So the next time that you feel hungry, stop before reaching for a snack, and ask yourself:

Why am I hungry?


Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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