A very wise man once advised to eat one-third of our stomach’s capacity. Out of the remaining two-thirds, one-third must be kept for water, and one-third for air. The same man also stressed on the importance of eating pure foods: forget the biscuits with an ingredient list that looks like it should be given a story of its own. Focus on the apples, cucumbers and spinach. A simple rule is: if you can’t get a child to list all the ingredients in it, it is best to stay away from it.
As a Pakistani, I have constantly heard one thing about food: Beta, peit bhar k khao! (Rough translation: Child, eat till you’re full!).
It doesn’t matter whether you’re at a wedding or at a dinner with your family, we have been encouraged to eat to our fill. Our complete fill, until we are forced to loosen our belts – the elastic in our shalwars, if you please.
In fact, if you don’t eat your fill, it is considered rude. The host/hostess will insist you take more and more and more.
Thankfully, my parents never instilled the habit of getting second or third helpings in my sisters and I. To this day, I’m full with the first helping, and I know who to thank for this blessing. As far as gatherings are concerned though, we were usually forced into eating way too much by hosts (in their defence, they did mean well).
Because I was raised as part of this culture, I thought it was normal to eat until you are full. A stomach is made to be full of food, right? That is its only function, and that is what it should be doing all day: digesting the food we dump into it all day long. If you have food, eat it. It doesn’t matter if you’re presented with a plate of vegetables or a packet of chips as long as it is enough to fill that stomach.
See how our primary focus is on eating until we are full to the brim?
Plus, eating has become a necessity.
Think about it. We eat in every situation imaginable!
- When bored
- When studying/working
- When socialising
- When social networking
- When watching television/playing a video game
- (Insert every other situation that comes to mind)
If there is no food, there is no attraction. This argument is bolstered by every other meme you will see on your Facebook profile today (or ever).
The role of food in our daily lives needs to be downplayed. It is very important to eat, but it is as important to realise how little we need to eat to survive. So yes, let’s take a leaf out of the wise man’s book and cut down our portions. No more waddling around after a meal! No more long, lazy spells after each plateful of victuals!
And no more diseases and illnesses!
Believe it or not, eating less can:
- Reduce risks of cancer
- Reduce blood pressure
- Increases optimism, and a general sense of well-being (less stress!)
It naturally follows that diseases that have ‘no known cause’ could also largely be tackled by controlling our diets. It may not be scientifically proven as yet, but we all know how awful we feel after eating a lot of very spicy/very oily food.
Here is a .gif to enjoy!