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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]

casey.marshall's picture

Hacker's Diet

I'd like to at least mention The Hacker's Diet, by John Walker, which worked rather well for me. The thing it stresses is that losing weight is, from a certain point of view, just eating fewer calories than you use, to your metabolism's limit. The real key to it is the constant monitoring it forces on you -- track how much you eat every day, and track how much you weigh. Over time, you see the correlation -- eating less leads to you weighing less.

It feels like actual science!

You can get the PDF for free, and there are some Excel spreadsheets for tracking your weight and how much you eat, which I wound up porting to Numbers. It might cater better to the OCD crowd, and you do have to sit around miserable and hungry, but it works pretty well.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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