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Why do we eat so many calories?

We are emotionally driven to eat more calories than we need by:

  • Stress.
  • Emotional gratification.
  • Relentless advertising.
  • Happiness and sometimes depression.
  • A belief instilled in childhood that we must always clean the plate in front of us.

We eat more calories because serving sizes and restaurant meals have become larger and larger each year -- and we continue to eat them.  The reasons are:

  • Restaurants compete with each other for your business, and consequently want to appear to offer more value for money. The most cost effective way to do that is to increase portion size, because food costs relatively little in America.

  • Most Americans (78% according to the American Institute for Cancer Research) believe that what they eat is more important than how much they eat when it comes to weight management.  This is completely false.

  • Most Americans now believe that "Low Fat" food means that they can have as much of it as they like.  In reality, low fat foods tend to have more sugar to compensate for the loss of taste associated with low fat products. So instead of being lower in calories, many "low Fat" foods end up contributing even more calories than normal foods.

We eat excess calories because we have no idea how many calories we need.

  • Since everything about modern life discourages exercise, our calorie needs are much less than they were in previous generations. We exercise less, but our hunger remains the same!

  • For example, we have little idea of how much exercise it takes to work off the calories found in a Snickers bar (526 calories = Walking at 4 mph for 116 minutes)

  • Experiments have shown that we have a strong desire to eat what is in front of us. In one study, soup was given to two groups of volunteers. The first group was simply given a measured amount of soup in a bowl. The second group sitting at the same table also had similar bowls of soup in front of them, except their soup bowls were secretly replenished through a tube that came up through the table. The result was that the second group consumed much more soup! These volunteers kept trying to empty the bowl in front of them, and didn't realize that the amount of soup was changing more gradually.

  • In another study, two groups of volunteers were given popcorn and soda and asked to view videos for 3 hours. One group had regular bowls and regular sized sodas, the other group were given double sized bowls and sodas. Although neither group could finish their popcorn and sodas, the group with the larger portions consumed about 40% more than the other group. Clearly, our behavior is strongly influenced by what we see in front of us.

What you need to know:

Most of us eat more calories than we need because:

  • We don't know how many calories we need each day - especially in relation to how active we are.
  • We don't realize how many calories are in the foods we eat, and what portion sizes meet our needs.
  • We have been brought up to eat whatever is placed in front of us.

Consequently, the Easy DietFit System was designed to help you avoid these pitfalls and simply eat better - intuitively.

Why not take the Food Quiz now and see how much you know!

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