The Instinct Diet

A very cheerful book by an honest to goodness nutritionist, Susan Roberts, who’s been doing research at Tufts for the past 20 years. Roberts gets into some basics of nutrition, with emphasis on fiber intake for weight loss (it makes you feel more full). She breaks down the five instincts, then gives you a 8-week meal plan which restricts your calories to ~1200/day. Naturally, anyone will lose weight on a low calorie diet. The whole genius of this book is the emphasis on reprogramming your brain to use the five food instincts to your advantage in weight loss. This diet will recalibrate your taste buds so that you crave healthy food in lieu of the junk that surrounds us.
Five instincts around food have been passed down through evolutionary survival:
* Hunger – we eat until we feel full. If we’re not full, we’re going to get hungry at some point.
* Availability – we eat because the food is in front of us, and when there’s more food in front of us, we eat more. Buffets can be killers, since you’re faced with a variety of foods in massive quantities.
* Calorie density – we prefer foods that have more calories per ounce, since that ensured our survival. Instead of weighing a cupcake versus a salad, change your caloric scale so you’re only looking at foods in the healthier range.
* Familiarity – we enjoy foods that we know, associating them with feeling safe, and our triggers cause us to eat them over and over.
* Variety – we’re attracted to a wide variety of food and when we have lots of choices we eat lots more (another reason the buffet is bad)
How to confront cravings:
* Tap your forehead. Yeah. According to Roberts, “One scientifically proven way to stop cravings is the ‘forehead tapping’ technique. Since our working memory is small, we can displace craving thoughts with other mental activities… Place the five fingers of one hand on your forehead, spaced apart. Tap each finger in turn at intervals of one second while watching each one carefully as it taps. Keep repeating until your thoughts go elsewhere and the craving disappears.”
* Tell yourself to wait, then distract yourself for 15-20 minutes.
* Take a walk
* Brush your teeth
* Keep your eyes and nose under control – avoid looking at and smelling tempting foods
* Relabel troublesome food as “garbage” in your mind.
Instinct Crib Sheet:
* Hunger – make sure every meal and snack satisfies you and has high fiber, high volume, high protein/low carb, mixed high & low GI carbs
* Availability – take control of your food environment, get rid of temptations, eat out sparingly, “spring clean” your mind and control what you see and smell to prevent temptation.
* Calorie density – sandwich high calorie foods in between portions of low calorie foods high in fiber and protein; make low calorie foods more appetizing.
* Familiarity- eat at regular times so your body knows when to expect food. Eat healthy foods when you’re hungry to reinforce their pleasure
* Variety – keep a low variety of unhealthy foods, keep a high variety of healthy ones


auth=Roberts, Susan
pub=2009
sub=Use your five food instincts to lose weight and keep it off
isbn=0761150196