The Monster Diet

America should call it's diet The Monster Diet. Through our 200 some years of existing as a Nation we've established some very interesting habits towards food, that have set certain trends that are very much, let's say, "American". While some countries daily diets include tea-time, lingering lunches or savory breakfasts at cafes most Americans average diet probably looks quite different. Breakfast is coffee and a granola bar if you're lucky, lunch is a salad and if you haven't raided the candy aisle before dinner, you last meal of the day (if you're being honest) is probably bigger that all the rest of the day combined. For some reason we've taken on this novel notion that being ferociously hungry through most of our day is how we are suppose to function. That or we are so driven in work, school or chasing kids all day as a Mom that we just "forget" to eat. But really how do you "forget" to eat? It's like forgetting you need to use the bathroom. Unless you work for Channel Five News or work under some crazy dealines like for UPS, I don't think many of us can forget that our stomachs are growling at us. But staying on a steady Monster diet - subsisting on a cycle of hunger and large meals, then more hunger and large meals - does more than just wreak havoc on your waistline.

Going through most days hungry or always eating past the point of comfort makes us on edge, and unpleasant. You can tell that many American's eat this way just by how startling it is when you meet a pleasant smile in public. Not only does not eating make us grouches, but we tend to not always make the best decisions when we're pushing past the point of hunger. We're hasty, we're pushy, we're scatter-brained and a bit of a mess.

What you eat can have the same effect. We all know at this point how we're suppose to and why. But did it ever cross you're mind that what you ate could be making you cranky? Particularly women. Hate to single us out here but if you're anything like me and you eat too much, or allow you diet to be healthy doses of Frappaccino's and chocolate, well you just not going to feel to hot - no pun intended. To top it off women tend to crave sugar, while guys crave protein. (So this idea that women have a harder time then men losing weight is just a fib we like to feed ourselves.)

Anytime my family would go to Sam's Club when I was a kid, we always knew we could forget about lunch. My parent's had this great idea that we could "fill up" on samples mid-day, call it lunch and save the extra bucks. (I don't quite think it to be abuse since my parents were blessed with feeding 6 hungry mouths at every meal - My poor folks). By 3 o'clock I would always ask for lunch, in which my Dad would reply  "But you just ate."  This often left me as the whiny "high-maintenance" individual in the family (which I still am teased for being from time to time.) Through the years I've tried so many different approaches to lose my extra weight. Believe it or not went into high school about 3, pushing 4 sizes bigger than I am now. But I found what worked for me was - drum roll please - eating when I was hungry. What a novel idea! Which in all honesty is more often then not. This means a few small healthy meals throughout my day.

None of us want to be ruled by food, but when we just ignore that our body's need substance we're not really doing the body good. There's got to come a point where you take responsibility and take time to understand how your body functions best. How could our country be so obsessed with food, be such infrequent eaters and still manage to top as the Nation with the highest rate of obesity? We often don't eat when we should and what we should. Moderation in all things is key. But I think most monsters are foreign to moderation.