Posts tagged overeating

3 Tips to avoid overeating

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Will power is weak, while systems are strong. No matter how mentally tough you are, you will eventually break down if you don’t set yourself up for success.

I read an article in the October issue of IDEA Fitness Journal that discussed the topic of overeating. This is a topic near and dear to my food loving heart so I read it with great interest.

Part of the article was a section about setting up your environment to prevent overeating. Dr. Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell Food and Brand Lab, had 3 tips to make your kitchen or office space a healthier environment.

1. Fill up the fruit bowl

This one has a tow fold effect. First, every time you walk by the fruit bowl it is a reminder to eat healthy foods. Much like having a bowl of Hershey’s kisses out will have the opposite effect.

The second reason is when you have readily accessible food like that you are, more likely to eat it. Right now we have grapes in a fruit bowl and a chopped broccoli and hummus in the fridge at my house. Easy, healthy grab and go snacks can be life savers.

2. Make the kitchen less “loungeable”

Totally stealing his word on this one. The longer you hang out in the kitchen, the more likely you are to start eating. Even if you are not hungry. Take iPads, TVs, comfortable chairs, etc… out of the kitchen.

3. Be grateful

This was a really interesting one to me. Dr. Wansink recommends saying one thing you are grateful for before you eat. He says it will improve your eating choices. That one is a new one to me, but I am a big believer in gratitude so I am going to give it a shot.

These are some great tips to help you avoid the trap of mindless overeating. Do you have any other tips to share that work for you? If so, I would love to hear them!

This makes you 97% more likely to be obese

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couch-potato

We all do it, whether we admit it or not. Watch too much TV.

 

Does this routine look familiar? Get home from work, change clothes, eat dinner, settle down on the couch for a few hours of TV. It happens right? You're exhausted from the day and all you want to do is relax. Unfortunately, I have a few disturbing stats for you.

 

-People eat 71% more while watching TV

Mindless TV watching, leads to mindless eating. Focus on enjoying your food, not the TV.

 

-People who watch more than 19 hours of TV a week increase their odds of being overweight by 97%.

If you are eating 71% more and being sedentary for at least 19 hours a week, that is a recipe for disaster.

 

-For every hour of TV beyond 80 minutes that you watch daily, your chances of developing Alzheimer's increases by 30%!

The brain, just like your muscles, needs to be exercised. If you are turning your brain off for hours at a time during TV viewing, you will not be as mentally sharp.

We got rid of our cable and have not missed it one bit. Yeah, I'm "that guy". Hundreds of channels and nothing to watch. It is amazing how you can fill your time with more worthwhile activities when flipping through channels or catching up on DVR'd shows is not an option. And an extra $100 in the bank every month doesn't hurt either.

 

If you are in this routine, try something new this week. I'm not asking you to quit TV cold turkey. Take 30 minutes out of your TV routine and go for a 30 minute walk.

 

Start there and work your way up. One 30 minute walk per week becomes 2 walks per week, then you could add in 15 minutes of stretching. 15 minutes of foam rolling, etc...

 

It takes burning a little energy to have energy. The more active you are, the more energy you will have. You will notice that you are much more energized and no longer feel like collapsing into the couch at the end of the day. Break out of the couch potato cycle!

Why you eat so much

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Hot Dog Contest

Do you ever wonder why you eat so much?

Why you eat past the point of the being full?

Why you eat a ton of foods that don't even taste that good?

The answer a lot of the time is opportunity.

This is probably not that mind blowing, but the more food you have access to without moving the more you will eat.

In a study I read about in the book Mindless Eating, scientists did a pretty tricky experiment involving movie popcorn that really drives this point home.

Great book

Great book

The unknowing participants were given a free tub of unlimited popcorn (as many refills as they wanted), but the tubs were either large or small. There was a catch with the popcorn though.

It tasted terrible.

Scientifically terrible. It was literally engineered in the lab to be awful. The popcorn was so stale it squeaked when you chewed it. The popcorn was so nasty people asked for their money back and they hadn't even paid for it!

At the end of the experiment they weighed how much popcorn sac person ate. They also asked questions about hunger, boredom, and other questions we associate with overeating.

The ones who ate the most, across the board, were people who had the larger tubs of popcorn. Other factors did not matter.

They did this experiment all over the country, with all ages, all races, and the results were the same.

The ones with the larger tubs ate 53% more popcorn and had 21 more hand dips into the tub (weird I know). The extra popcorn eaten came out to be around 173 calories more per person.

173 extra calories a day would pack on an extra 18 pounds of fat per year on you. Pretty significant. And this was with popcorn that was nasty! Imagine if it was something delicious.

The scariest part is that not one of the participants thought that was the reason they ate more. It didn't even register in their brain that could be a cause.

So chances are, you fall victim to that too.

Start downsizing! Use smaller plates, smaller bowls, smaller cups.

Don't bring the box of cookies with you.

Leave the bag of chips in the pantry.

Use systems to help you succeed not will power.

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