Posted On 11 Sep 2009
The most important mistake about eating is the same as the most important mistake about living in general, namely, that we do it too mindlessly.
Even some scientists are figuring this out! Brian Wansink, Ph.D., is a researcher at Cornell. His popular book MINDLESS EATING is very interesting. As he points out, the English word “diet” comes from a Latin word that means “a way of life.” A reducing diet usually is like “die” with a “t” at its end! (I’ve argued that it’s foolish ever to go on a reducing [starvation, privation] diet. )
Wansink argues that all of us are unconsciously fooled by our environment. Food marketers are skilled practical psychologists who cleverly provide us with subtle messages or cues that trick us into overeating. If you are, like most of us, too fat, it’s possible to manipulate those cues in the other direction and lose half a pound a week while hardly noticing it.
A bit more exercise can do the same thing. “Burning” some energy that you wouldn’t ordinarily use simply by walking an extra mile or two daily can, over time, cause significant fat loss.
He argues that it’s a bad idea to try to eliminate your favorite foods; instead, just eat slightly smaller portions of them. The book is full of practical advice on how to eat less food without even noticing it.
In light of the 6X program I suggest for your consideration, I particularly like his idea of never having a meal of more than two items (p. 72). I think in terms of a natural source of protein and a vegetable once every few hours. Also, he notes that evolution has equipped us to prefer a wide variety of foods, which certainly squares with my experience.
He also advocates establishing beneficial eating habits, because “A standardized rhythm to one’s dining patterns means fewer cues to overeat” (p. 239).
His theme is that we’d be wise to pay more attention to what we are doing when we are eating. Absolutely! In fact, we’d be wise to pay more attention to what we are doing when we do anything. We should investigate this further.