My name’s Becky, and I’m a good friend of Ashley’s. We met back in 2010 while training for a half marathon and have been friends ever since.
In general, I never worry about what I eat, and I’ve never dieted. I just generally try to be mostly healthy and stay active. I’ve maintained my weight for over 10 years without much issue. But back in May of this year, I was getting dressed and my pants were tighter than they should be. Some pants didn’t fit at all. What the hell happened? I couldn’t even remember the last time my pants didn’t fit, and I couldn’t pinpoint any exact thing that was radically different. The idea of trying to lose weight after years of never having to worry seemed overwhelming.
So a couple months later when I was browsing my friend’s bookshelves, I noticed the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think and borrowed it from her. I figured I could use whatever help I could get. It turns out the author studies food psychology and performs a lot of experiments related to how we eat and how much under different circumstances. The stories about his food experiments are fascinating- and funny!
One of the main points of the book is that deprivation diets do not work, and he’s looking at it from an evolutionary perspective. The “I’m only eating salad” diet doesn’t work because the body will change its metabolism and hold onto calories. The body thinks it is starving and will go into a conservation mode. Instead, the author suggests mindlessly omitting 100-200 calories from out diets each day. Such a small change is barely noticeable (mindless), but over a year, we’ll weigh 10-20 less pounds.
I looked at my favorite go-to, protein-heavy breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal (150 cal) cooked with a cup of skim milk (130 cal), a couple tablespoons of cheese (50 cal), a piece of turkey bacon (30 cal), scallions (0 cal), and an egg (80 cal). Delicious and filling, yes, at clocking in at about 440 calories. So I tweaked this.
1/3 cup oatmeal (100 cal), cooked with a 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. water (65 cal), a couple tablespoons of cheese (50 cal), half a piece of turkey bacon (15 cal), scallions (0 cal), and no egg. This new go-to breakfast is just as delicious and filling, and now I don’t feel totally full by the end- and about 230 calories. Just with this minor change, I saved myself about 200 calories. According to the book, making no other major change to my eating, I’ll lose weight.
Even though a lot of what’s in the book is stuff we’ve heard before, I thought it was well explained and insightful, and I’d definitely recommend the book. Come back next week for a full review of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think!