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.”