Our great-great-great-grandmothers didn’t need much willpower because they didn’t have donuts . . . or 64-ounce soda slushies. And if Jane Cavewoman wanted to eat at 10 P.M. to bury her emotions about her Neanderthal (literally) boyfriend, she’d have to face nighttime predators just to find a snack. Our cravings are no different today, but our environment is.
We evolved to survive in an environment where finding calories was hard and physical activity was inevitable. But in the past 150 years, our environment changed: now, food—especially high-calorie, high-dependence food—is everywhere, while exercise is rare. Our brains and bodies are just not equipped for it. It’s like we’re cavewomen living in a modern-day world.
The same thing happens today when people from a country with a traditional diet and low obesity immigrate to the United States—in no time they’ve developed obesity, diabetes, and the risk of a shorter life span.
But remember what I told you in the introduction: people who make the healthiest decisions do so not because they have a superpower but because “they do not put themselves in the position where they have to resist temptation as often.” They simply make their environment less tempting, and you can, too.