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Secrets from the Eating Lab: Chapter 6

Monday, January 20, 2020

Part Three: How to Reach Your Leanest Live-able Weight (no Will-Power Required)

Chapter 6: Lessons From a Lean Pig

The author tells a story about a man who raised a pig for a county fair. His pig did not have a self-feeder, but was fed twice a day, during which time the pig could eat as much as he wanted.

The pig owner used the principle for himself whenever he wanted to lose weight. He ate 2 times a day. He learned if the food was in front of him all the time, he’d eat all day long.

“If it’s not there, you can’t eat it and if it’s there, you will.”

The author goes on to state that we need to rely on our brain rather than the brute strength of will power. She refers back to the Marshmallow self-control studies: “Converting the difficult conflict from requiring acts of self-denial and grim determination to a more playful enjoyable time.” The children turned their backs to the marshmallows and sang songs about a “cloud” or played games with their hands and feet. “They succeeded at self-control by changing the situation so that self-control was not needed.

SMART REGULATION STRATEGY 1: Encounter less temptation by creating obstacles
When do you encounter tempting foods? Create obstacles to make it difficult for you to see those foods. For example, instead of going out to eat lunch, pack your lunch. One thing hard to resist is the food you put on your plate – only serve yourself portions that you’d feel good about eating. (In a restaurant setting, you are not in control of how much you are served and will often clean your plate). Restaurants have large portions and the larger the portion, the more you will eat.

People often decide on how “full” they are based upon what they see not how they feel. Hence, the concept of eat from a smaller plate so it will look like you have a lot of food.

No Obstacle is too Small
People are lazy in general – make the tempting foods inconvenient for you. In other words, make “efforts” an obstacle: keep the candy dish away from you. Use chopsticks instead of a fork. Home bake your cookies and cakes and cover then and put them away after each serving.

SMART REGULATION STRATEGY 2: Make Healthy food more accessible and noticeable.
For healthier food choices remove the barriers to them and make them easier to access and unavoidable. Fruits are easy to make accessible and to keep in sight, Vegetables need a bit of preparation.

Think about the things that consistently prevent you from eating healthy food, then come up with creative ways to knock those barriers down: 1) Shop online 2) Buy precut vegetables 3) Buy canned beans 4) Use your slow cooker to have meals ready when you return home

SMART REGULATION STRATEGY 3: Be alone with a vegetable
a.) Start every meal with a vegetable (salad). Before you eat anything else or put any food on the table. Or, maybe try to eat a salad BEFORE you prepare dinner.

The idea is to replace foods that are less nutritious with healthier foods.

Remember, “If it’s not there, you cannot eat it.”
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a powerful chapter! I like that this book doesn't pretend to motivate a person to greater discipline or will power. I don't appreciate moderation, since it requires a stopping point. I'm, by nature, passionate and inclined to over-the-top reactions. It's just too hard to fight natural tendencies. If only it were more expensive to eat out, we wouldn't be so tempted. This is a somewhat harsh reality for those of us in the "first world" who find it too easy to access more food than we need.
    23 days ago
    Not only a salad before you eat, but vegetable soup, also! And by salad I mean one with lots of dense vegetables: carrots, green peppers, beans of any kind, starch (rice, quinoa), apples, etc..

    I try to send my guests home with the things I make for them (but not us). If that doesn't work, I freeze it to have on hand if nonMcdougall friends and family stop by.

    ll Plan Coleader
    34 days ago
    I find this to be the main problem with having guests over. There is food left in the house that I don't want to eat, but it's there and readily accessible. I either need to try purchasing these things in smaller quantities (i.e. not at Costco) or be willing to throw the left-overs out after the guests leave.
    Thank you for sharing your books with us. emoticon
    34 days ago
    You can expand that to " If you don't buy it, bring it home.... You won't be tempted to eat it". Keep reading Nancy, love your reports!
    34 days ago
    Very good ideas. Thank you for sharing.
    34 days ago
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