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The secret to not over indulging
It’s lunch time. You’ve brought a packed lunch. You didn’t actually make it, it was made by a “friend”.
You open your packed lunch. OH NO !
It’s a peanut butter sandwich.
You’re hugely disappointed.
You’re stuck with the peanut butter sandwich
Now let’s assume your options are limited. You cannot go and buy something else or “SWAP” with a friend. This is probably how you solved this problem, when you were 10.
One of two things will happen.
- If you’re not particularly hungry, you won’t even bother to take a bite.
- If you’re REALLY hungry, you’ll take a few bites of the sandwich, then stop. The signal to STOP, will be your brain telling you “I AM FULL”.
Let’s be honest, boring food fills you up quicker
Hungry for nice things
This is not just something you’ve personally experienced, it is a scientifically validated fact. A duo of researchers from the University of Buffalo, poured through the scientific literature to confirm, there is such a thing as sensory-specific satiety.
Put in plain English – some foods are more filling than others.
It’s NOT about calories
And it has NOTHING to do with calories, it has to do with exactly what is on the plate. Is there just one thing or are there options.
As a rule, the more culinary options there are, the more you end up eating ?
Let’s go back to the lunchbox…..
A lunchbox with options
This time a different “friend” packed you lunch. When you open it, you are pleased to discover there are three different sandwiches. The peanut butter one is there, but in addition to the peanut butter sandwich, there is a ham with tomato one, and one with chicken and cheese.
You’re much happier.
And tuck in straight away.
You’re full but you keep eating
You’ve had enough half way through sandwich number 2, but can’t taking a bite out of the last one, even though it is the peanut butter one.
Go figure ! What happened ?
The variety circuit
The fullness message was overridden by the sensory regions of the brain because something packed with different flavours, became available.
It wasn’t a failing of WILLPOWER.
You just activated a neuronal circuit buried deep within your brain.
It’s the variety circuit.
You see, we don’t just eat to fuel up, it is a pleasurable experience.
Eating feels GOOD
Mother Nature made it FEEL good. She had to. She wanted to motivate you to go out hunting. In days gone by, hunting for food was SERIOUSLY hard work.
There had to be a pay off.
She also wanted you to be adventurous. So she made it especially rewarding for you to experience different flavours and textures on your tongue.
Her thinking……………. if you enjoyed LOTS of different foods, you would be more likely to consume all the micronutrients needed for optimum health.
The love of variety
Is hard wired into us.
We love different foods and we love people who serve us different foods.
Great people feed us
Be honest, in our sandwich story, which “friend” will you be hanging out with more.
The one who served you several different sandwiches.
This friend is clearly a gracious host – their abundant provision has bumped up their social status.
Variety is the NORM
Now variety is the rule in modern eating situations.
It happens at most social functions (and many dinner tables).
Your host/hostess put on a spread. There are several plates of eat. You sample everything and then go back for an additional piece of your favourite, favourite.
It happens when you pass the dish of jelly beans around. There are 10 different colours in the dish. Be honest, they all taste pretty much the same, but you still try at least one of every colour.
Variety is FATTENING !
Helping yourself to one of EVERYTHING…………….add up.
It leads to wobbly bellies !
It’s not a WILLPOWER problem, it’s a wiring problem.
Hearing the “I am full message”, is a challenge at the best of times. Throw in a sensory delight of multiple flavours, so that the taste buds never tire of the flavour and overeating is inevitable.
So what can you do about it ?
The McDonalds diet
Limit the options.
Only eat at McDonalds.
Seriously, there is a guy who did this. He only ate at McDonalds and he managed to lose weight on a fast food diet.
Even McDonalds can become BORING.
Now I am not going to recommend this as a diet strategy, but you can apply the principal.
Simply the food offering
If you have to cater something – simplify, serve only one :
- one type of cake or cookie
- one type of dessert
- one type of sandwich
- one colour jelly baby
- one course
It will be a whole lot easy on you. And if you tell the people why you’re doing it, they’ll thank you and it won’t end up, detracting from your social status.
Variety as a tool ?
Of course, you can use variety to your advantage.
You want your family to eat vegetables ? Up the odds they eat some vegetables, by serving multiple OPTIONS.
Take only one
If you’re not the host, but an attendee at an event, you need to be tuned into your biological urges and then exercise the incredible power of the human brain, by overriding your biology.
Look around at the options, then take ONE.
Don’t feel obligated to restrict how much of the one you take. You’re not calorie counting, you’re variety counting. That one slice of chocolate cake will satisfy the nibbles, without packing on the pounds.
On second thoughts
If you’re seriously watching your weight, you will probably be better off taking NOTHING.
Calories do matter.
Even just one slice of chocolate cake maybe too much !
Buffets are variety, on steroids.
The multitude of dishes each advertising their wares, coupled with the economic “benefit” of eating as much as you can for a fixed amount, means the “I am full message” WILL NOT be heard
Remember what you save in food bills now, you’ll end up paying in doctor’s bills later, obesity costs more than just a beach holiday in a bikini.
Variety is not the spice of life
It fires up your sugar gremlin…. which in the long run, can contribute to obesity and a long list of health problems.
You need to Tame your sugar gremlin
A little CANDY FLOSSing will do the job. Fortunately, it doesn’t require ninja psychological warfare or enormous amounts of WILLPOWER – to Tame your Sugar Gremlin.
Observer your triggers
What you need to do, is Observe your triggers.
Some are unique to YOU. Some are built into your biology.
Variety is a trigger WE ALL HAVE !
Decreasing food options will help create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
Seems that frequent religious participation is not just feeding people spiritually, they’re feeding their bellies, leading to middle age obesity.
The actual calories in the pizza aren’t causing the trouble, it’s the fact that your brain doesn’t have a clue, how many calories are in THAT PIZZA
When you’re bored, you have NO PURPOSE. To feel more meaningful you need to FEEL something. Make what you eat FUN……