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Mindful eating and keeping weight off

Reason Magazine - Secrets of Weight Loss Revealed!

This review of two recent diet books underscores what most of us already know all too well: while it's easy enough to drop a few pounds for a short while, it's nearly impossible to lose a lot of weight for a long time.

What caught my attention for anyone wishing to apply some fancy book-learning directly to the affected area was this chunk of insight on eating mindfully -- alongside a smart bit of life-hacky weight loss advice:

Wansink’s overarching point is that, when it comes to food, we’re not paying attention. “It takes up to 20 minutes for our body and brain to signal satiation,” he notes, and Americans often finish their meals in less time than that. Instead of internal signals we rely on external cues to tell us when we’re done: Is the plate clean? Is everyone else done? Is there more in the serving dish?

To counteract such cues, Wansink recommends such tactics as using smaller plates (which make portions seem larger), keeping serving dishes in the kitchen (which discourages second helpings), replacing short, wide glasses with tall, thin ones (which make drinks seem bigger), keeping food scraps and bones on your plate (which reminds you how much you’ve eaten), and dividing snacks from big packages into smaller bags or plastic containers (which discourages you from devouring the entire package).

I'm also a big-fan of guesstimating portion with real-world objects. Although, candidly, the last time I ate beef, it was less like a deck of cards and more like the whole blackjack shoe.

[via: Arts & Letters Daily]

Joe's picture

Portion size guesstimates

The portion sizings I learned, which really helped (no, forced) me to understand how overwhelmingly oversized most American restaurant meals are, differ slightly than the ones linked above, but I think are easier to remember because there are fewer and built on the concept of food groups: starch/grain, fruit/veg, and protein.

  • 1 serving protein: palm of your hand
  • 1 serving starch: what fits in your cupped hand (leveled off, not mounded!)
  • 1 serving fruit or veg: size of your fist

Another trick that has been working wonders recently is that everybody in our family stops eating when the first person (always our daughter) finishes. I've never been left hungry, and as a bonus we never have a daughter clamoring to get out of her high-chair while the adults finish gorging themselves! In addition, having to feed a child really helps you slow your own eating, which (as mentioned above) gives you time to register how full you are.

The bottom line? Everybody go out and have kids! It does wonders for your waistline!




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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