Monday, December 11, 2006

"Mindless Eating"

I'm taking a little break from my roadmap to success. A friend sent me some information on Professor Wansink's book, "Mindless Eating" because he said that some of the stuff Wansink said reminded me of some of things I said.

Wansink writes that in a typical day we make 200 food-related decisions and that many subtle things impact how much food we eat. For example, according to his latest blog post we tend to consume 28% more calories when eating low fat snacks because we think they're healthier.

Very interesting. I agree. Most people are unaware of the little things that drive their eating habits. For example, I notice that if I don't watch myself, I tend to eat at about the same pace and volume as those I'm with which is dangerous since I'm shorter than almost everyone and I don't need as many calories to maintain my weight.

Food intake awareness is a great skill to develop. It took practice to develop mine but quickly becomes second nature. Now it's like a little computer program that runs in the background. So, while I'm carrying on a conversation with a friend on the way to a restaurant I'm thinking of my options and try to settle on one before I get there to avoid being tempted by the bad stuff. When I get my food, I visualize the portion I want to limit myself to. As I'm eating, I stop and ask my self if I'm full. Sometime in a future post, I'll make a checklist to get you started if you're interested.

I know some are thinking, "that doesn't sound like fun, I want to enjoy my food." Believe it or not, I do that too. When I say it eventually becomes second nature, I mean it's sort of like driving a car. Most of us can drive and do something else at the same time like think about other things, carry on conversations, listen to the radio, and talk on the phone (not recommended). But, all the while you're steering, controlling speed, keeping tabs on nearby vehicles and pedestrians and navigating.

In driving, if you turn off the driving subroutine that's running in the background of your gray matter in order to focus on a phone conversation you might end up around a tree. If I turn off my eating subroutine, I'll end up in a food coma.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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