Weight Loss Lessons – from a newborn baby

Posted: Jun 12 in Health And Wellness by

Weight Loss Lessons from a newborn babyI was blessed last week with the birth of a healthy baby boy.  Sean is 8 days old as I write this article.  His brother Zachary is nearly 5, and Zoey is 7.  I’ve spent the last 8 days trying to sleep when I can, eat when I can…  Reminds me of when I was a medical resident.

However, for my third trip around the merry-go-round, I have a couple observations that are very interesting.  When Sean gets upset (which is frequently), there are really only two ways to settle him down.

Method #1:  Feeding

The most surefire way to get a baby to stop crying is with food.  When I observe Sean, as he gets more frustrated, his primitive reflexes start firing – rooting to try and find a food source.  Once fed, he is instantly calm again.

Method #2:  Activity

Because I am not blessed with being able to breastfeed Sean likes his mother, when I need to get food for Sean, it can take a few minutes.  So, how can I keep him from waking up the entire family?  As all parents know, I hold him and walk with him, which is very soothing.

What does this have to do with losing weight?

So, what can we take away from this?  First, that appetite is a very primitive reflex.  It is not a matter of willpower.  We can’t just turn it off.  So, any weight loss program that requires an individual not to eat when they are hungry is doomed to fail.  Second, that eating is very soothing.  Regardless of the source of stress, eating helps us feel calm.  And third, that moving around is just as calming to us as eating.  Just because we are grown-ups now doesn’t mean that we weren’t born with a set of programming and we can’t just change it.

I have written an article on methods of controlling hunger – it should be available at CNC for you by the time you read this.  But for today, remember that hunger is a primitive instinct, like the urge to breath.  We can’t just turn it off.  So, let’s develop strategies to be less hungry!  Let’s recognize that our urge to eat existed long before we can even remember.  And, let’s agree that without addressing the reasons why we eat, sustained weight loss will be very difficult indeed.

-Ethan Lazarus, M.D.

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