Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hunters and Gathers in the Modern Era

Not so long ago, human beings wandered around and hunted or gathered up what ever they could find to eat.  Since they didn't know when or where the next meal would come our bodies adapted by becoming very efficient at storing extra calories as fat stores, to be used during those periods in between the hunts or the next time food was found.  Plus, humans had to actually go out and walk looking for food.   Remember, for every 3500 kcal of food we eat in excess of what we burn we store one pound of fat.  So, welcome to the modern era, no longer do we have to go out searching for the next kill or a patch of edible fruits or vegetables.  There is no longer a shortage of food, between convenient stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and those fast food drive ins, we are well stocked.  Not only is there no shortage of food but all the capitalists out there looking to get our business came up with the kind of food we LIKE to eat...HEAVY on the fat, salt and sugar!!  Not only do we have a taste for fatty, salty or sweet food, we don't want to be cheated on our portions...MORE IS BETTER!!  So, now we have an abundance of not only food but Calorie Dense Food and large portions but we also can drive up and get it.  Wouldn't our ancestors be proud! 

Here is the science of the human body.  In order to keep our hearts beating, our brains functioning (yes, everyone has one, even though some don't use it much) and our other basic life functions working we need energy and we burn kcal as the energy source.  So, here is the good news, even if you did nothing but lay in bed all day you are burning calories.  This is known as your resting or basal metabolic rate.  More good news, as we get up and move around and walk around we burn additional calories.  At TERRIO we utilize a breathing test which calculates your metabolic rate and the number of calories you burn through your other activities of life.  Several things can affect your resting metabolic rate, that's why we prefer using the test to find out, instead of guessing.  So you can see that our hunter gather ancestors burned a tremendous amount of calories while they were out searching for food and then ate only what they could find.  Now our hunting and gathering is limited to walking to the fridge and looking in there, if there is nothing there we want we might walk over to the pantry (not a lot of calories being burned here).  If we can't find any thing then comes the heavy activity a hike to the car and off to the fast food restaurant.  Bakersfield has one of the highest concentrations of fast food restaurants in the country (suppose there is a link between this fact and the Obesity rate???).  When we do go to all this activity to find food, it is rich in calories, good thing because we can store it as fat until we find the next meal. 

Sum it all up and we have gotten into some really bad habits and the worst part is that we are teaching these habits to our children.  We need to replace our old habits with new ones if we want to change the path we are on and are taking our children down.  There is no silver bullet and it won't be easy but it can be done!!

No comments:

Post a Comment