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Eliminating 200 + Daily Food Decisions: Key to Maintenance

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Ian Brown has published a terrific article today in the Toronto Globe and Mail, highlighting the reality that most of us make over 200 food decisions a day.

And explaining (see 3:45 p.m.) the brain science which makes it so hard to sustain good food choices all day long.

And reminding us that 200 extra calories a day means 20 extra pounds a year.

It doesn't take many poor food decisions to generate that extra 200 calories! Thank goodness the Spark Nutrition tracker makes it possible to track today what we're going to eat tomorrow . . . which helps eliminate a whole lot of "on-the-fly" decision making.

Gonna have that brownie? No choice. It's already been decided what I'm going to eat today. And entered into my food tracker.

Engineering "no choice" is the best choice to sustain weight loss.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PHOENIX1949
    Enjoyed the article. Thanks for sharing.
    1892 days ago
    Cool article! A little bit ago, I decided to do 30 days of a super-strict Paleo diet. It was actually the easiest thing to stick to because basically anything I didn't make for myself was just not an option. There was no decision to make. In fact, I think that's part of the reason why I stick to that diet as a template; fewer decisions.
    1893 days ago
    Thank you! That writer is funny, and full of insight. The battle of (not) eating is far more complex than I thought.
    1900 days ago
  • NANCY-
    This average North American got hungry reading the article. :)
    Already deciding what is on the menu for the day, does help with directing our actions.
    WTG on engineering success.
    1903 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Hey!! How did you know I went 200 calories over my limit today??? I am afraid it might not get any better in the next few days. Playing in a bridge sectional this weekend starting tomorrow. Its one long food fest of everything you should never be eating. Great hsopitality in a bridge tourney means trotting all the home baked goodies at every seesion. Offering meals and snacks after the games like pizza, pie and ice cream, you get the picture. Being manager of the club, I have to hang around to the bitter end to make sure everything is locked up and the alarm set properly. Yep, my food descisions will be like, ginger cookie, nanaimo square or date sqaure??
    Timbit or fudge square. Oh boy. Just a feasting bonanza for someone who never cooks or buys this stuff :PP Self control? Moi? Stressed with lack of sleep, pressing health issues and looning deadlines knida does lower one's resistance to the good old comfort foods..
    Thanks for sharing this great article!!
    1903 days ago
    I find I do best when I have certain meals set (like bkfst and lunch) and then know approximately how many cals I can have for dinner - I tend to rebel against too strict an outline........

    But that writer is hysterically funny!
    1903 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/7/2012 9:53:22 PM
    absolutely true.

    I do track ahead and it helps immensely.

    And some days I just know I'm going to have issues so I'm extra careful. Like today - so I stayed extra low on the sugar (27g) and didn't even eat any fruit.

    So not only do i apply this to overall calories but macronutrients, too...
    1903 days ago
    It was hilarious! This is a guy I would love to know.

    At first I was skeptical about the number of decisions but it could be possible. I'm going to try to check it out tomorrow. However, I eat at home 99% of the time so it's only a matter of choosing between an apple or a pear, an egg salad sandwich with lowfat mayo or turkey. Either way they are NOT between a good choice and a bad one!

    Thanks for sharing the link.
    1903 days ago
    Great article. Thanks!

    It also reminds me that successful maintainers have 'menus' - go to meals that they eat most of the time, know the nutritional value of.

    95% of the time I have the same breakfast. I have about 5 lunch choices. Dinner time is probably about 10 different meals. I might change it up with different spices, different fruits/vegetables etc, but the main ingredients are the same.

    The idea of taking the decision making out of the equation is good.

    1903 days ago
    Great article, thx for the share!


    ps...sorry too long in catching up...sounds like your flus have flown? :-)
    1903 days ago
  • DALID414
    Since I started working (since Friday actually) I've been packing left overs for lunch AND inputting it in my food tracker for the next day, to avoid any lunch catastrophes!!
    1903 days ago
    Brilliant blog! I'll go check out that article, too. Sounds relevant to my life and my struggles from time to time. It is frustrating that I can make good decisions 23 hours and 50 minutes per day and blow it in 10 minutes or less!!
    1903 days ago
    You know, I just may have to fork over for the G&M - I've used up my 10 free articles already (or more accurately, my DH did!) :)
    1903 days ago
    Thanks for the link, a good read!
    1903 days ago
  • LADYJ6942
    Great article, thanks for sharing. I don't track ahead but I track current. If I want the brownie I ask myself how hard I want to work in the gym and decide from there.
    1903 days ago
    Great info. Thanks!
    1903 days ago
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