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Undoing food conditioning for a healthier lifestyle

Undoing food conditioning for a healthier lifestyle

We have a consistently strong epidemic in our country. We all know what the obesity rate is and we all know the high degree of diabetes that’s rampant in our nation. The epidemic I’m talking about is conditioned failure.

I always try to create indirect help to individuals who sometimes need an outside voice to speak to their inner being. Sometimes toes get walked on, and in my eyes that’s fine, just once I didn’t break a toe in the process. I think that means individuals are understanding that there are things they should change if they want to transition to a positive and healthy lifestyle.

So, what is this conditioned failure I’m talking about? For years we’ve been taught so many things about food and intake, that we now have this perception that this is how it should be. Not because our parents or grandparents told us we have to eat everything on our plate before we can be rewarded – able to go outside, or watch a cartoon, or play a non-digital game – that forced us to delve into our problem-solving skills, that we still have to live by this principle today.

The truth is, many of us don’t feel as if we’ve been conditioned to view food this way, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Think about it – when you go to a restaurant you immediately look at the portions of what’s being brought out of the kitchen. Indirectly, if you see a copious amount of food on the plate, you’re suddenly satisfied, essentially creating the bang for your buck phenomenon. The reality of it is you’re now saying to yourself the only way you feel comfortable about spending is if the plate portion suffices your wallet. Nothing’s wrong with that because you’re paying for the food and you want to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

So why weren’t we encouraged to understand what food was meant to be – an essential nourishment for the vitamins and minerals that our body doesn’t produce; a degree of satisfaction that we should experience through a dinner conversation and understanding portion size.

You may think I’m being over the top, but it’s the reality of it. Just how we don’t have a walking culture, we don’t have a food culture.

Food culture is eating and savoring what we intake. If our plates are filled to the circumference, how can we enjoy what we intake? We’ve conditioned ourselves to be full and not satiated. That is the conditioned failure I’m talking about.

Indirectly we create this domino affect towards our children and it creates the epidemic that we face today.

Now I’m clearly not saying go crazy for fast food and junk food and say this is your food culture experience. I’m saying, understanding food and tasting our food, rather than scarfing it down, creates a different approach to how our brain processes that we’ve had enough.

That perspective is what we are lacking.

Essentially, it’s not our fault that we have been conditioned to think this way about consumption which isn’t the correct way to go about food. It is also not our fault that we teach our loved ones that this is the way to go about food.

Remember, hunger is a need for food. If you continuously wait until you’re hungry to eat, you’ll overindulge and never understand the satiety that follows the process.

Appetite on the other hand is the desire for food; eating when you’re not to the point of hunger, but can eat and feel satiated because you’re not in hunter and prey mode.

Let’s try as a collective to stop this conditioned failure that we’ve been doing for so many years. In the long run, you want to be healthy and you want the people you love and care about to be healthy. This then correlates to overall health that we can discuss and appreciate. Grab the one domino out of the fall, so it doesn’t continue the continuum.

• Stay positive. Be purely consistent. Achieve more. And go get it! Emilio Bullard is a personal trainer at Balmoral Club. He can be contacted at

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