## Friday, February 24, 2012

### An Apple A Day

How much does a person have to eat in order to put on 300 pounds?  Let's do some math!!

1 pound of fat = 3500 calories so 300 pounds of fat = 1,050,000 calories.  (that's over one MILLION calories).  I didn't put on 300 pounds all at once.  I did it slowly, over the course of 30 years.  So 1,050,000 calorie in 30 years comes to 35,000 calories, or 10 pounds a year. Looking back over my life, that's about right.  35,000 calories divided by 365 days equals about 96 calories a day.  A medium to large sized apple is about 96 calories.

So if you exceed your body's caloric needs by the amount of one apple every day, you too can put on 10 pounds in one year, or 300 pounds in 30 years!!
I'm not suggesting that apples will make you fat!  I'm not suggesting you stop eating them!  What I want to point out is just how well the human body regulates it's own weight.  A healthy person eats only the amount of food they need to maintain good health, and that exceeding that by even as small an amount as a single apple, will, over time, have drastic effects.  If we look at all of nature we'll see that animals in their natural habitat, eating their natural diet, don't eat so much they get fat.  They don't have to count calories.   Cows don't think about the size of their hips before deciding whether to eat more grass or not.  Panda bears don't skip lunch because they're watching their figure.  Robins don't count how many worms they eat or worry if they'll be too fat to fly.  So why do humans have this problem with eating too much?
We don't.  Not really.  Certainly I am in the extreme range as far as my weight is concerned, yet I've only eaten more than I needed to by an amount equal to one apple a day over 30 years.  The problem isn't in how much we eat.  The problem is in what we eat.  We super process our food to the point it has no nutrition but has more calories than we need.  Our bodies don't know how to handle all the sugar and fat we feed it.  Our bodies need the fiber that comes from whole foods.
Anyone who's read my blog knows that I don't eat meat or dairy, and that I severely limit added fats and processed foods.  Many of you who read this will never consider making the changes I have.  But would you consider changing just one of those things?  Surely you can agree with me that we eat too much processed foods.  Surely you can understand that the concentration of fat, sugar, and calories in processed foods can easily cause you to exceed your body's caloric needs, and that if you make just that one change you will, over the course of time, make a big change in your weight.  By trading calorie laden processed foods for nutritious and dense low calorie foods like whole grains, potatoes or rice you will be able to eat as much as you do now, maybe even more, yet start to reverse your weight gain and improve your health.
It's not how much you eat.  It's what you eat.

Happy Eating!