Mindless Eating

(There are a few more nutrition and diet books that need to pass through the system, so bear with me.) Our body and brain fights against deprivation diets where we don’t eat enough to sustain ourselves. Evolution has taught our bodies to go into starvation mode, slowing our metabolism at that point. Millions of years of instinct tells us to eat as often as we can, as much as we can. But we can set traps for ourselves that will make healthier decisions. “There’s only one thing strong enough to defeat the tyranny of the moment. Habit.”
Reengineering Strategies:
* Think 20% less. Eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. Serve yourself 20% less of everything but fruits & veggies (load up on 20% more of those)
* See all that you eat. Put everything you want on a plate before you eat it. Leave visual clues to how much you’ve eaten or drank (leave empty wine bottles out at a party to discourage excess drinking, let chicken bones accumulate so you know you’ve eaten a dozen).
* Control your Tablescape. Drinking out of a tall glass makes it seem like you have more. Eat off small plates. Repackage a jumbo box into smaller portions.
* In sight, in mind. In reach, in mouth. Put your office candy somewhere you have to walk to get, instead of reach out to get. Or don’t have candy at all.
* Make overeating a hassle, not a habit. Plate your food, then move away, leaving the rest of it in the kitchen. Put convenience foods somewhere out of easy reach. Snack only at the table on a clean plate. Don’t bring impulse foods into the house in the first place.
* Create distraction-free eating scripts. Be the last one to start eating and the first one to stop. Have a strategy for how you’ll deal with eating around people (you eat more with other people around)
* Create expectations that make you a better cook. Examples in this chapter were the sailor who put red food dye into the lemon jello and everyone thought they were eating cherry jello. We taste what we expect to taste. Anticipate deliciousness and you’ll get it. Retrain your brain to think brownies aren’t all that tasty. Name your food well– descriptive words like “old fashioned” “Cajun” “homemade” make people enjoy the food more. Fix the atmosphere- soft lighting, jazz, candles.
* Make comfort foods more comforting. Don’t deprive yourself. Start pairing healthier foods with positive events to rewire your brain to stop asking for a cookie when you want to celebrate or be depressed.
What’s your favorite type of soup?
* Chicken Noodle
* Chili Beef
* Vegetable
* New England Clam Chowder
* Tomato
What does your soup choice say about you?
* Chicken Noodle – The homebody. Loyal, relaxed stay-at-home who enjoys solitary hobbies (and the occasional talk show).
* Chili Beef – The life of the party. A competitive, social animal likely to enjoy TV sitcoms like the Simpsons.
* Vegetable – The trendsetter. Culinary whiz and big dessert lover who is outgoing and adventurous.
* New England Clam Chowder – The wit. Sophisticated and intellectual, but a bit sarcastic. Indulges in food, but exercises it off.
* Tomato – The affectionate reader. Often a pet owner, and a creative, bookloving thinker.
Other resources:

auth=Wansink, Brian
sub=Why We Eat More Than We Think