Weight Watchers came out with a new ad campaign and I love it!
They really nail all the emotions that lead me to eat for sure.
If you’re …
… eat a snack.
My favorite line in the commercial is:
If you’re human, eat your feelings, eat a snack!
It really is how I deal with everything.
Funny enough, The Institute of Food Science and Technology also recently posted: The Psychology of Food Intake and Portion Control. It’s a fascinating look at how some factors affect how much we eat.
Three observations in the paper really stuck out to me as they are things I have done or do battle.
1. The ‘Might As Well’ Mentality
“…resulting in what is often described as a ‘what the hell’ effect, where a dieter who has already broken their diet, might as well carry on and eat as much as they like.”
Basically the paper highlights how when people consume something that “has already broken their diet” they might as well keep eating.
Ummm, yeah. I’ve been talking about this for YEARS. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote in 2008 called Stateless Dieting…
Then one meal or even a snack, sometimes something as small as one M&M, took you “off plan.” It “broke” your diet. That was it? That’s all it took, one piece of food and I’d be in an eating frenzy. All bets were off, my diet was broken. There’s no saving it now, I might as well eat that 5th piece of pizza and try that new Ben & Jerry’s flavor by downing the whole pint in one sitting.
This mentality is what caused me to gain more weight in my yo-yo era. I really would have been better off not dieting at all. In essence I was giving myself permission to binge on food because I already “ruined my diet.” I was stuck in the on plan/off plan mentality. If I was on plan, only “diet approved” food was being consumed. The “diet approved” items could be anything from only vegetables, no carbs, even nothing at all.
My hypothesis is that this mentality stems from a perfection gene. There’s no reason to make a good choice if we’ve already made a bad one. We might as well give up today and just wait to try again tomorrow, or next week, or next year.
I’ve been battling The Husband about this recently. He keeps saying he’ll eat better in the new year and I’m like no, no, NO! Make small changes now! They all count!
#wycwyc is my response to the “Might As Well” mentality and I mumble it to myself daily about everything from food choices to fitting in more movement.
2. Always Small. ALWAYS!
“….individuals given 100%, 125% or 150% of a meal they previously self-selected typically consume all … In a series of studies by Wansink and colleagues, participants served themselves and ate 14.5% more ice cream using a 3oz vs. a 2oz spoon, and 31% more from a 34oz vs. a 17oz bowl. Forty students at a Super Bowl party served and ate 53% more chips from 4l vs. 2l bowls, 161 moviegoers served and ate 53% more popcorn from 240gm vs. 120gm buckets, and 158 moviegoers served and ate 34% more stale popcorn from 240gm vs. 120gm buckets. Importantly here, participants were not given more food which they then consumed, they were simply given a larger popcorn bucket into which they served themselves and from which they subsequently consumed.”
I may get in trouble as this is something we cover in the #wycwyc book but it’s so important!
We can laugh all we want at the small plate trick (use a smaller plate to fool your brain that you ate more) but it really does make a difference.
Almost every time I go to the movies I order a small popcorn and when I do the cashier will inevitably try to up-sell me to a large because it’s only 50 cents more or whatever.
My response is always the same:
If I order a large I’ll eat a large. Small, please.
I know myself. I have NO off switch when it comes to things like popcorn. All I can do is control what I make available to myself.
3. Make it Hard: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
“… the more effort required for consumption, the less is likely to be consumed. In a cafeteria setting, where crisps were available at the check-out for the main cafeteria, crisps were selected on average by 70% of consumers. When crisps were placed at the far end of the dining hall and required queuing at a separate check-out solely for the purpose of purchasing crisps, crisps were selected by an average of only 10% of consumers. In similar studies, consumers chose ice cream less often (5% time) from a chiller with the lid on compared to a chiller with the lid off (16% time), consume less nuts if they are shelled vs. unshelled, and consume less sweets if they are wrapped vs. unwrapped.”
This one blows my mind — 70% will buy chips only because they see them and they are convenient?! Think about that and the Weight Watchers commercial and now think about how many times food is easily accessible to us — gas stations, break rooms, supermarket check-outs, malls, even the gym. For Pete’s sake, my son’s small pool, where he took swimming lessons, had a vending machine. Why? Kids go for an hour swim class, do they really need that bag of Doritos to fuel their workout? And don’t get me started on Gatorade or post-sports game snacks. It’s like we can’t escape it!
At home I specifically avoid keeping ice cream in the house, again, because I know myself and I know I can’t be trusted. I don’t want to give up ice cream forever (never going to happen) so I simply make it less convenient for myself. I do this with bread and most sweets I like as well. I reserve them for when I’m out instead of making them available to myself at home all the time.
Actually, I do this with things like juice for the kids too. Since it’s not available at home they always reach for water. And since they mostly drink water I don’t feel like I have to pull my hair out when they get that post-soccer Gatorade from the coach.
We are our own worst enemies when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. We eat our emotions, then battle the “might as well” mentality and our culture/environment just keeps supporting all our bad habits.
Once you become aware of these things, once you see your own patterns of self-medicating with food and choosing new “start days” every week, once you realize that little things like ordering a small or making certain foods less convenient actually matter, then you can start to change your relationship with food.
It is possible. It just takes time and persistence.
Now that I got all that out of me, here’s today’s Food Journal!
- 5:45 a.m. Costco baby head sized Pear
- 7:00 a.m. Post-workout protein shake – Nature’s Bounty Protein made with 1% milk
- 8:00 a.m. Homemade waffles with the kids made with pretty much this recipe put in the waffle iron but I ran out of flax.
- 11:00 a.m. Hummus with grape tomatoes, peppers and green beans. I buy single servings of hummus in little containers because I can’t be trusted.
- 1:00 p.m. Hot and sour soup, green salad with ginger dressing, spicy salmon roll with brown rice, tuna avocado roll with brown rice. Out to lunch with The Husband.
- 5:45 p.m. Whole wheat pretzel — I had one left from a bag I bought from a farmers market.
- 6:30 p.m. Dinner was slow cooker experiment — turkey sausage with sorghum, tomatoes and peppers. It was awesome! I’ll try to post to GreenLiteBites tomorrow!
- 9:00 p.m. Small Dark Chocolate bar 85%
In other news…
- I posted some fun gift ideas on TheUnwordlyTravelers
- FitBloggin’ has a new social team! — Translation: I’m getting really good a delegating!
- The Olympic Lifting coach I see on Tuesday’s told me I was “coachable” today and it totally made my night as I was feeling really insecure.
- Making sleep a priority again. Hopefully this time I won’t have kids talking in their sleep and waking me at 3 a.m. like last night!