All you can eat…

October 24, 2009

There has been some interesting research of late looking at the relationship between BMI and eating behaviours in all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurants.

In short, the research hints at some interesting observable behaviours that we can use to help us with our weight.

Some of the behaviours observed in the overweight group were using larger plates, using a fork instead of chopsticks, and just serving themselves rather than first observing the buffet. While there is no direct relationship between these behaviours and being overweight, we can use this knowledge to help us lose weight.

Whenever you go out, do all of these three things:
1. Select a smaller plate. That might mean you order entree sized meals or even tell the staff to make you a smaller portion.
2. Use chopsticks in an Asian restaurant. If you don’t know how – what better way to learn!
3. Look over the menu or buffet first. Consider your choices before making your decision.

And as an added extra, leave more food on your plate than anyone else at the table. If you think you’re wasting food, you’ll be waisting food either way (I love a good pun ;-)).

Are there any other behaviours that you’ve observed in yourself or others that might be useful?

restaurant
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It’s somewhat old news now, but here is the link to the Time article describing the research. Exercise doesn’t make you thin, and might actually be making you eat more.

Sure exercise helps you in many different ways; however as a method to lose weight, it makes no difference. Think of your own life, how do you feel after a big gym session? Do you justify eating that extra dessert with a longer gym session? Or the other way around, justify extra dessert because you had a longer gym session.

Read the article. Then become more curious about how that affects you.

Not enough willpower?

October 1, 2009

Recent research suggests that maybe you have too much!

To save you the trouble of reading it, I’ll summarise: They suggest the best way to deal with eating (drinking, smoking or other addictive behaviour you’re trying to stop) is to avoid situations that tempt you.

When I was helping smokers, many had difficulty when they went out for a drink with friends. The environment made it very difficult to resist the urge. While at other times, there was no urge to smoke. This holds with eating, and everything else.

If you think you have strong willpower, the research suggests that you overestimate your ability to resist the temptation. In short – stay away from tempting situations!

The article also goes onto to suggest that if you’re not hungry, you overestimate your ability to resist temptation. So again, avoid walking into the cake shop will vastly improve your chances when compared to using willpower to resist the cakes.

Of course, if you’ve joined the program, you’ll already know that I don’t believe we can change using willpower, anyway.