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Choice Over Abstinence (Don’t get so excited — I’m talking about food)

How do I stay away?

Written by Jay Ray

A food craving lasts between four and twelve minutes — at least that is the general consensus (minus any scientific method) of sites I have visited in search of physiological actualities behind the duration of food cravings. In fact, the only science I found was on sites concerning eating disorders; I want to address something else entirely. I suggest that we all have an eating disorder. And I also think that most of us should, and can, eat what we want — as long as we are rational (pardon the pun, nyuk nyuk) about it.

Now, I wouldn’t encourage a person who struggles with a clinical eating disorder to follow my advice any more than I would offer an alcoholic an open bar — or one beer, for that matter. But for the average eater, there is either a lack of awareness/concern or hypervigilance concerning the food we do or don’t eat. While the former might be symptomatic of the wonderful, cavalier brazenness of youth, the latter is more like sabotage; to attempt to abstain from something as morally innocuous as food is to only set oneself up for an almost certain binge, which does more damage than periodic enjoyment. In a battle of wills when there is only one will involved (yours) vs. something you enjoy — how can you win that war?

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