External and internal factors that influence hunger
There are internal and external factors that influence hunger. The internal influences include conditions such as infection, trauma and anorexia in addition to drug effects, metabolic influences and temperature. Other influences include the function of the digestive organ and central nervous system. The external influences include cultural background, environment, time of day, social situation and the foods sensory properties (Cassell & David 45).
Evolutionary and societal factors
According to the evolutionary perspective, one of the major problems of the individuals during animal and human evolution was consuming sufficient food for the purpose of reproduction and survival. Nonetheless, previous appropriate food could be found unpredictably and intermittently. This led to intensive competition for available food resources. This led evolution of particular adaptive mechanism for eating and hunger, which has contributed to obesity, bulimia and anorexia nervosa (Cassell & David 145).
Emergence of fast food restaurants in addition to full-service restaurants provides leisure for various households. Furthermore, those families who spend long hours working prefer consuming fast foods that promote unhealthy eating. Furthermore, food security and poverty are linked to lower food expenditures, vegetable consumption and low fruit, in addition to lower-quality diets. Food security is defined as uncertain or limited availability of nutritional food. The mentioned factors have contributed to eating disorders and obesity (Fairburn, and Kelly 156).
Disadvantages of dieting
Dieting is a waste of time and money. First, there is no sufficient evidence that dieting works to produce long-term weight loss. Furthermore, even though people perceive dieting as an affordable and easy way of gaining ideal body shape, it leads to unhappiness and depression. Dieting is not only expensive but also causes eating disorders, insecurity and obsession with being thin. It is important to note that just because one is skinny and thin does not mean that the individual is healthy (Cassell & David 75).
Furthermore, there are various disadvantages associated with dieting, and these include fatigue, fainting, prolonged hunger, reduced sex drive, irritability, rashes, bloodshot eyes, constipation, dehydration, and reduced metabolism. What makes dieting to be a waste of time is the subsequent weight regain. Therefore, it is not the best strategy for losing weight (Fairburn and Kelly, 56).
Programs for maintaining ideal weight
There are different programs for maintaining a healthy and an ideal weight. One of them is eating a balanced diet of legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is also important to include dairy products and low-fat milk, poultry, nuts, lean meat, fish and eggs. The best example is the Mediterranean diet that is beneficial for the health of the heart and in losing weight (Fairburn and Kelly 56).
It is also recommendable for one to consume fewer foods with saturated fats. One should also avoid reduced food fats where fat has been replaced with refined starches or sugar. Instead, one should opt for foods with unsaturated fats for example nuts, olive oil and avocado. More, importantly, one should remove all the visible fat from the meat and consume less fried meat, cakes, biscuits, pastries and any food with saturated fat. Lastly, it is important to limit sugar intake. Individuals should avoid drinks such as cordial and soft drinks that are sugar-sweetened. This is because they are high in calories (Cassell & David 80).
Exercising is also important in maintaining ideal weight as it leads to increased metabolism rate. Therefore, different exercise activities such as jogging, swimming, and aerobics among other activities are recommended. Exercises should however be moderate (Fairburn & Kelly 56).
Cassell, Dana K, and David H. Gleaves. The Encyclopedia of Obesity and Eating Disorders. New York: Facts on File, 2006. Web.
Fairburn, Christopher G, and Kelly D. Brownell. Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook. New York: Guilford, 2002. Print.