The Mathematics of Eating

At its most elemental, losing weight is really just a mathematical equation: Eat less + exercise more = lower body fat.

As a result, when I encounter someone seeking to trim down, burn fat and lose weight, I don’t automatically lead with my veganism (that comes later). Instead, I suggest a simple, two-word solution—portion control. Let’s face it, just about every American eats way more food than (s)he needs. This unfortunate reality presents us with a fortunate opportunity—cutting portion size just may be the easiest first step toward better health, both physical and psychological health.

I make this statement because the act of reducing our food portions is a huge leap toward developing much-needed food discipline. The satisfaction that can result from taking control of our often-unmanageable eating habits makes it much, much easier to continue making future diet-related adjustments. Smaller portions—combined with increased physical activity, of course—will provide the ultimate motivation: Lower body fat and higher energy. This creates a triple dose of confidence:

1. Developing self-control.
2. Losing weight.
3. Feeling more energetic.

Once you’ve exercised the self-control to eat less and have also felt the subsequent physical results, you’ll find it less daunting to move on to addressing the content and quality of your meals, for example:

1. Replacing processed foods loaded with chemicals and additives with healthier whole foods.
2. Cutting out refined sugar (in all its guises) and eating more fresh fruit.
3. Then, of course, the ultimate goal for those seeking better individual health and a healthier environment: Seeking out alternatives to standard diets, especially those that are earth-friendly.

As you feel and look better and better, the likelihood of turning back becomes negligible…and it all starts with a basic math lesson.