This the first in a series of 10 blog posts on the situational, behavioral and emotional conditions that influence what we eat, how we eat and how much we eat. Each post puts forward everyday ways to reduce the influence and change eating habits so we can enjoy food without dieting, eat nutritiously and manage or lose weight.
The 10th is a commentary on my experiences in putting the everyday ways into practice.
Setting the Stage
- One third of Americans are obese and many others are overweight. The health consequences are enormous. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- A study of restaurant meals (entre only) found that 73 percent of the meals ordered had over half of the 2,000 daily calories recommended for adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and 12 meals contained more than the full daily recommendation. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University
- We overeat because there are signals and cues around us that tell us to eat. Most of us are blissfully unaware of what influences how much we eat. Brian Warsink, Ph.D., Mindless Eating
- Our hectic modern lives certainly don’t help us make wiser food choices. We rarely pay attention to what we eat, how we eat, why we eat what we eat, and how much we eat. In other words, we eat mindlessly. Susan Albers and Lillian Cheung, Eating Mindfully
- 95% of all people who lose weight on a diet gain it back. McGuire, Wing, Klem and Hill, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
My Situation and Trials
I am solidly amongst the 95% who have lost weigh on a diet only to have it return. In my most recent episode I was highly motivated to trim down for my daughter’s wedding. I did. I lost 43 pounds over a 10-month period. It was not fun but I did look good, fit in my tuxedo and felt great. Sadly, old habits took hold and in less than 3 years I have gained back two-thirds of the weigh – even though I vowed not to let it happen.
This was not the first time the cycle has played out but I hope to make it the last. Not by dieting but by tackling the unconscious habits and patterns that lead to weigh gain. After considerable research, I have identified 8 major habits or patterns that contribute to overeating in America. It is my intention to be conscious of them, and to present actionable everyday ways to combat them.
My goal is to post a new blog on roughly a weekly basis. To get an email notification of new posts, register here.
The 8 Habits or Eating Behaviors
Food Portions You Are Served and Serve Yourself
How Mood Affects Eating Pleasure and Health
Savoring Food – Beyond the Act of Consumption
How Stress Undermines Healthy Eating
Feel Full Sooner, Feel Full Longer and Eat Less
Eating Alone, Eating with Others
Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Unhealthy Eating