September 4, 2020

The Hungry Ancestor Diet

So far this year I've lost 17 pounds towards my goal of losing 20 pounds in 2020. While it's too early to declare victory, here are two visual aids I've been using to keep my mindset on track.

The first is very practical and accurate, the second is a bit weird. The first visual is a car’s fuel gauge. If the car runs out of gas, you are totally screwed. You might be stuck on the side of a mountain road, at night, in a snowstorm. You might get hit by a truck just because you ran out of gas.

You don’t want your car to run out of fuel, and you personally don’t want to run out of food energy. You will get headaches, you will get dizzy, you might stumble off a curb and get hit by a truck, maybe even the same truck. However, and this is important, you almost never need to be full.

In America there are gas stations every 10 miles, far more in some places. There’s just no reason to have a belly full of food, since almost every gas station these days has more calories than a small country had a thousand years ago. If you really get hungry, have a snack, order a pizza, grab an apple, drink a Coolatta, it’s not a big deal.

So have three meals a day, but keep your tank about half full, less snacks, no dessert, more water, less second helpings. The second visual is if you are “hungry” and tempted to eat an unhealthy snack or dessert, or tempted to have a third or fourth piece of pizza, or ice cream, or a bowl of cereal late at night, imagine this, imagine you are at a table and sitting across from you is one of your ancestors from 10,000 years ago.

The person across the table is dirty, their hair is matted, and they have not eaten in six days. No one in their family has eaten in six days, no one in their entire tribe. No person they’ve met or ever will meet in their entire life has eaten in six days because it’s winter, they are not having luck hunting, and there simply is no food to be found.

In all likelihood, if things don't turn around quickly, that person, everyone in their family, and everyone in their tribe will be dead inside of two months.

Now imagine that the snack is in the middle of the table, and before you eat it you need to explain to the smelly person why it is that you, someone who almost always has three meals a day, someone who will have three meals today, someone who will have three meals for every day the rest of the year, someone who has ample body fat, someone has a pantry full of food and a wallet full of credit cards, needs the snack more than they do.

You could start with something like, “Og, while it's true that six days is a long time, I don’t think you’re fully appreciating the stress that I'm under at work...” and then THUMP, your head is smashed into the table by Og right before he grabs the snack and divides it among his five children.

Don’t piss off Og, let him have the bowl of cheetos, because if Og dies you die, because he's your direct ancestor, and if he doesn't make it through the winter, you were never born.

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