The Evolution of Eating

Image by Rodrigo de la torre from Pixabay

Since it is January, I decided some things in my life needed to change. One of the changes I was committed to making was to lose weight. Part of losing weight is identifying why you eat/overeat, what you eat and how much you’re eating. As part of my investigation into answering those questions, I have become extremely interested in the evolution of eating. I think what I am about to share with you may surprise you.

Before we jump into the evolution of eating, I want to explain how/why I decided to lose some weight.

You look fine

Now, some folks would say, “You don’t need to lose weight, you’re fine.” That is a nice compliment because to them I do look “okay”. But my clothes tell me the truth every day.

Since early 2018, I’ve packed on 25lbs and ended up weighing 168lbs. I have managed to lose about 4lbs, but I get stuck at 164. I figure, why wait till your weight becomes a big problem and it is harder to lose the weight. Get a handle on it now!

Some of my weight gains are due to my bad eating habits, along with the choices of the food I eat, and the amounts that I consume. Additionally, in my family, we have diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

The next problem would be the “fun” of hormonal transitioning. Lastly, we all face challenges and the stress that follows. Stress increases the cortisol in our bodies. Excess cortisol can help you put on more weight.

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Cortisol is your friend… sometimes

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is made by the adrenal glands and mainly released during stress. Aside from being released during stress, cortisol plays important roles in:

  • increase the body’s metabolism of glucose
  • control blood pressure
  • reduce inflammation

It is very necessary for your flight or fright response. It gives you those “jack-rabbit” reflexes to get away from trouble. When your body produces too much cortisol you end up with Cushing’s syndrome, and conversely too little cortisol, you end up with Addison’s disease. Your body is always seeking balance. The human body is fantastically amazing!

Now that I’ve covered a little bit about my “why” for weight loss, let’s dig into why we eat and how eating has evolved.

Image by jw432 from Pixabay

A long time ago…

You may be an “old-earth creationist” or a “new-earth creationist“, but at whatever age you feel the earth may be, human beings thousands of years ago ( Did you see that? I rode the fence on that one. Sneaky. I know!) ate differently and for different reasons than we human beings do now.

To keep this simple, we are going to say that thousands of years ago humans were hunter-gatherers. They walked many miles to gather food and to hunt down and kill their food. They ate when they found the food because they knew they might not find it for a while. They didn’t have refrigerators, Ziploc® baggies, or canning know-how… that was yet to evolve.

They all lived in a state of imminent danger. You never knew what animal was lurking about, ready to hunt you down for their meal. Other parties of humans roaming about, just like you, looking for food. They didn’t take kindly to you being in their territory hunting food as well.

Their bodies got very efficient at burning calories and storing fat. Again, all in response to the fact they may not find food for a while. Everything they did took work. Work to find food, work to eat it… and I bet they slept like rocks! Once the sun went down you gathered around the campfire (safety, warmth), reminisced about the day’s adventures (family bonding, community ties), and went to sleep, waking with nature’s morning music and the sun.

I am here writing, and you are here reading, which means mankind was successful! But, as we will see in next week’s part two of “The Evolution of Eating”, our bodies program hasn’t changed, but our way of life has. No longer are we hunter-gathers. Stay tuned!

Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and a good life!

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