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Once You Start, Can You Stop?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

Recognize the 5 W's we were taught? I haven't used it in ages. However it showed up to help me narrow my focus and identify my specific problem area.
who - me
what - the issue is snacking,
what (specifically) - not stopping until the package is empty, food is gone, plate is clean. or taking more taking another package. Not satisfied, start and cannot stop
when - Snack times are mid morning, mid afternoon, and the problem area is the evening snack.
where ... seated at the kitchen table.
why- to take with meds or to keep my blood glucose from dropping too low.
why (problem) - I continue eating is because I do not feel satisfied.

There are many things I am doing right. But the problem is stopping. I rely on external cues to tell me when I am done. Switching on internal cues and paying attention to them will improve my ability to snack appropriately.
There is where my focus needs to be.

Here are the cues I plan to work on for August:
∎ Place an appropriate serving on a plate, then put the rest away.
∎ Wait 20 minutes before taking additional serving.
∎ Before I take a bite, ask myself, 'Am I eating this mindfully? Am I hungry, and would I really enjoy it?' say -- out loud -- "I'm not hungry, but I'm going to eat this anyway."

The above may get revised/refined before August 1, but I will use these techniques to help me change my evening snack habit of not being able to stop.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 7/29/2010 1:15PM

    Wow, you have done a great job analyzing the problem area. If you can stick to this plan, and NOT reach mindlessly for the next package, the next serving, I think you will have this licked!

Great plan! Can't wait to see how it works for you.

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SANDYLH1 7/29/2010 11:52AM

  I have definitely been there. Love your plan.

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BALLOUZOO 7/29/2010 11:42AM

    Been there, done that. Why are those ben & jerry's so big anyway-I need itty bitty containers!!

Jillian Michaels books on metabolism is very helpful in understanding Leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) and gherlin the hormone that makes you feel hungry and a bunch of other hormones that help us.

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LIZNIX1 7/29/2010 11:14AM

    I really like that last one. "I'm not hungry, but I'm going to eat this anyway." I think saying that would make me put whatever it is away.

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Area of Focus

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I figured out why I got overwhelmed. I was addressing everything instead of focusing on my "dietary danger zone."
According to Brain Wansink dietary danger zones are:
- Meals
- Snacks
- Parties
- Restaurants
- Desk or Dashboard dining.
(hey Vandal, he didn't mention Costco's as a problem area)

In my role as Gatekeeper I need to focus on the main problem area... which for me is snacking.
I can wait till my snack time...but I will consume double of what I should. Sometimes once I start snacking I have a hard time stopping, especially at night.

Being aware of my problem, I can now begin to address it by tweaking my environment, having food rules/tradeoffs, and preparation.

Snacks
∎ Plan and schedule snacks.. so healthy stuff is on hand.
∎ At the market stay out of the snack aisles.
∎ Portion control Make serving sizes official - snacks in sealed baggies, small containers, measured, etc… it is not open-ended nor negotiable
∎ Plate the food, then put the rest away

I hope to come up with more snack ideas, then select three to focus on for the month of August.

Do you have any ideas?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGLITTLEWOMAN 7/28/2010 10:04PM

    I didn't think "snacking" was a problem area for me. But I find I am popping something quickly in and it's gone before I even know what I did. Almost like I think if I down it quickly or don't think about it; it doesn't count.

So you are on your way with the action plan you have set forth. My enlightenment project this week is getting down and dirty HONEST with myself. If I don't control what goes in, I certainly can't walk off all that excess!!!

I have challenged myself to streak on this issue for 7 days. Everything in my mouth gets recorded. Since I'm using this program and it isn't always convenient when I've "popped" food, I have an index card in my pocket that I can scribble it down lest I forget it later when I am recording.

Will this craziness every stop??? Here's to our efforts. emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 7/28/2010 10:02PM

    When I did WW, I would buy snack foods and then immediately portion EVERYTHING out. So when it was time to snack, I could just grab a baggie with the appropriate number of almonds, crackers, raisins, etc. Kind of like making my own 100-calorie packs. It worked for me for a long time.

When I was visiting my parents earlier in July I noticed that my size-4 mother NEVER snacks. Just saying.

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ID_VANDAL 7/28/2010 10:20AM

    I too suffer from all of the above and COSTCO!! That should be on everyone's watch list!!

The snacks have been killing me lately. I have them scheduled but then I start thinking about them an hour or so early and by the time I get to the snack I go overboard.

So my solution is to allow myself to graze pretty much anytime I want - except that I eat celery and laughing cow. Now that may not sound like a good idea but I can relax when I have given myself permission to eat celery. It tends to fill me up and is low calorie and I think the metal aspect is the biggest help. I love the pre-measured nuts and things like that but looking at and eating 10 or 20 almonds just doesn't do it for me but unlimited celery - that works for me.

I like this series of blogs it really sharpens the thinking.

Later,

Vand
al

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FLUENTFROG 7/28/2010 8:46AM

    My favorite go-to snacks are 10 raw almonds and a small apple, celery with almond or peanut butter, or a small hunk of leftover meat and handful of veggies.

Like you list, I do best when I measure out what I want and put the rest away before eating. I also have a tall glass of water to finish after to slow me from mindlessly returning to the kitchen to answer the mouth impulse for more.

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MSKITYOCAT 7/28/2010 8:28AM

  my snacking isn't a problem until I enter the kitchen. I moved my computer off of the kitchen desk to the family/TV room so that I wouldn't have a snack every single time I went into the kitchen. Its working better.

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All Hail, The Official Gatekeeper

Monday, July 26, 2010

My favorite of Brian Wansink's Re-engineering Strategies states that I should
Crown myself as the Official Nutritional Gatekeeper.
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Woo Hooo!!!! I like this role and the self importance it imposes. I control the environment; not only do I buy food, I prepare it;
I shall also institute "Food Policies and Trade-offs" to to transform "bad" Mindless Eating into "good" Mindless Eating for me and my family.

I started listing all this stuff and got overwhelmed in my role as Gatekeeper. (insert slow deep calming breath) So I'm going to break it down into External Cues, Food Management and Behaviors.

In my next blog, I'll focus on environment.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILEYBEE 7/26/2010 6:11PM

    I love your enthusiasm!

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FLUENTFROG 7/26/2010 5:14PM

    Love the application already, looking forward to reading more!
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FREELADY 7/26/2010 3:55PM

    This is so helpful. I love how you think it through. Your ideas spur me on!

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ID_VANDAL 7/26/2010 3:00PM

    Hi Nancy - I like the sound of "Nutritional Gatekeeper" It's a very impressive and important title.

More importantly I like what it represents!

I'm anxious to hear more about this and looking forward to the next blog!!

Keep on going!! I've got to run (well walk) it's lunchtime and I've committed to a 50 minute walk.

Later,

VandalR>
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WHOAMOMMA 7/26/2010 2:09PM

    OK, this sounds interesting. The Nutritional Gatekeeper sounds more impressive than mom or cook.

While I ate my lunch today (healthy) I told myself to chew and enjoy the flavors - no mindless gobbling.

Congrats on the new title and keep it going.
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Make Overeating a Hassle, Not a Habit

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am responsible for the day I create for myself. - Wayne Dyer

In Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Brian Wansink writes about how overeating is encouraged by:
-The destructuration of meals (snacking, eating-on-the-go, dashboard or desktop dining…)
-The power of food and beverage marketing
-External cues (plate size, convenience, etc.)

First I will speak to my dietary danger trap. It is snacking. Wansink suggests Re-engineering Strategies.
After identifying my behaviors like:
I tend to eat more that I should when snacking. (double portions)
Commercials get me salivating.
Auto-pilot snacking. ( did I just put that in my mouth?)

While I do need snacks to keep my blood glucose on target, quality and quantity are imperative.

Overeating a Hassle, Not a Habit
∎ “De-convenience” tempting foods, put it in the back of the cupboard, frig or basement, or do not bring tempting snacks into the house.
With the distance it gives me an opportunity to ask “Am I hungry?”or to find a healthier, better snack
∎ Find and convenience healthy foods( like Celery and Hummus, prepped veggies, fresh fruit)
Another way is through Food Tradeoffs & Food Policies
∎ Make snacking a ceremony.
∎ Watch portion size (I purchase pre-sized cheese portions, because I usually am too generous when I cut it myself.)
∎ If you're going to snack, serve your snack on a plate,( do not eat from the box/bag) and eat it at the table - don't "grab and go."
∎ Mindfully enjoy and savor your snack. This awareness will help you determine whether you really like that snack.

For commercials I need to remind myself that I am not always getting what I think. A nice cup of fragrant sassafras tea usually takes away the desire. Or remind yourself that you just ate, or wait until it is time to snack and get something healthier.

If you do not bring tempting snacks into the house in the first place, it is less likely that I will make a special trip to go get it.

Also with Dr. Beck's statement that "Hunger is not an emergency", I'd like to add neither is desire. The last few evenings, I thought my tummy was rumbling, so I exercised that resistance muscle.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ID_VANDAL 7/26/2010 8:11AM

    Nancy - you are so right on with this blog. I'm going to print it and put in on my wall this week - just as a reminder.

I needed this one so much - it was perfect for me!!

Vandal

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BALLOUZOO 7/25/2010 2:01PM

    These are GREAT tips! Thank you!

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Mindless / Mindful? Blame Game

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Snap, Crackle, Pop,"
"They're GRRREAT!"
"Uh, oh! Spaghetti-o's"
"what would you do for a klondike bar?!"
"Sometimes you feel like a nut, Sometimes you don't"

Sound familiar? Sorry if I made you salivate.
I blame marketing, the food industry, my "food environment", my mother, grandmother, the school system, I blame them all for conditioning me, taking advantage of my trusting nature, I believed what I was told.(no wonder I have some trust issues now, LOL) Gullable, perhaps, but I was raised to be compliant.
Now this is not an excuse for where I am today, it is the reason.
I've been brainwashed.

"We over-eat not because of hunger but because of family and friends,
packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and
containers," - Brian Wansink in his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

It is my responsibility to put a stop to it. Yes ,it is a battle with much to overcome, but it can be done. Becoming aware of hidden persuaders/scripts is the first step. (Uh Duh!!!) Brian Wansink's book opened my eyes to behaviors that I CAN CHANGE. I'll be sharing my changes over the next few blogs.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ID_VANDAL 7/25/2010 10:37AM

    Spot on Nancy. I think I share some of the same traits about believing things and being too trusting.

What you describe in the food industry also holds for the gaming industry where they have all the lights and sounds scripted to create exactly the environment they want.

Food industry, as you point out, same thing!!

We have to be non-believers and find places where we can get good solid and honest data so we can make the right decisions.

I do enjoy your insights - keep up the good work!

Vandal

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FLUENTFROG 7/24/2010 11:17AM

    So right on. I've been reading different books about how much what we've been told is healthy for us really isn't. I haven't heard of this book or author before. I'm looking forward to seeing your blogs about how this has affected you, I always appreciate your insights.
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GRANDKATZ 7/24/2010 11:13AM

    Nancy, you have reminded me to find this book and read it. I had heard about it a year ago or so and meant to reserve it at the library, and it slipped my mind. Now I am reminded again. Thanks so much!

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