How Your Food Choices Are Influenced by Outside Factors

Following a healthy diet can be hard. From deciding when and what to eat to how much food you actually put on your plate, the average person makes over 200 food-related decisions each day, most of which are automatic. These automatic choices – dubbed “mindless eating” by some experts – happen when we eat and drink without consciously considering what kind of or how much food to consume. We’ll keep eating from a bowl of chips past the point of fullness simply because they’re in front of us.

Source: Hungry? Food choices are often influenced by forces out of your control

One thing something we need to stress on is that the companies that makes junk food and fast food, their main concern is to market their products and less care about your health being.

At the end of the day, they need to make a profit and sales and so they spent a huge amount of money on marketing and advertisement. It is very hard for an average person who cannot resists the junk/fast food when they are cheaper, readily available and the ads are attractive.

I see it is our own individual responsibility to make sure that what I am putting in my mouth is not junk.

Nutrition Tips I Learned from Using a Meal Service

Finally, I decided to do something about it and called my friend Nick McNaught who owns one of Toronto-based meal service Fuel Foods. Despite the connection, until then, I had never considered doing a delivery service. I don’t know if it was a pride thing, a cheapness thing or a laziness thing, but suddenly it made so much sense: why not invest in a system that would help my energy, health and physique and make life easier during this transitional time? So I did. Turns out there was a lot to be both gained and discovered from having healthy meals delivered to my doorstep. Here’s what I learned from my time on a meal system.

Source: Nutrition tips I learned from using a meal service

It depends on your lifestyle, but I could see meal service working for myself or anyone doing a lot of training.

Everyone in my beginner program talked at some point about how difficult it was to deal with meals – prep, cooking, consumption and issues with consumption.  Nevermind with respect to having a family…  We all came to learn about ourselves – what foods we can and can not tolerate with respect to training.

I’ve become very economical about how I prepare food, mostly with respect to time.  I will cook a batch that will last me a week, portioning as I need.  Variety suffers, as any would imagine.  But there’s a lot of value to me in foods that I can serve quickly.

Food for thought 😉

Dieting With Your Partner Probably Won’t Go So Well

We also found that among 50 overweight, romantic couples who made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, the more successful a partner was at restricting his or her diet and eating healthier, the less confident the other partner was in controlling their own food portions. Why might this be the case?

Source: Going on a Diet With Your Partner Probably Won’t Go So Well

The article fails to mention that men typically loose weight faster than men.

Timeline: How Our Sodas Got So Huge

When McDonald’s execs first struck up their lucrative business partnership with the Coca-Cola Company in 1955, they were thinking small—literally. At the time, the only size of the beverage available for purchase was a measly 7-ounce cup. But by 1994, America’s classic burger joint was offering a fountain drink size six times bigger.

Source: Too Big to Chug: How Our Sodas Got So Huge

Study: The Effect of an Eating Companion’s Appearance on Food Intake

There are a lot of things that can influence our food intake: marketing, mindset, and that slowly spinning cheesecake in the glass case. A recent study found that who you’re eating with—and whether they’re larger than you—may also affect how much food you actually end up eating.

Source: Your Fellow Diners’ Appearance May Influence How Much You Eat

Statistics are like bikinis: What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

Meal Planning: Portion Control/Cutting

In an age of bulk food and value meals, limit your intake with a little preparation.  Rather than eat directly from the box/container, dole the contents into smaller containers.  In addition to calorie control, it can make grabbing food on the fly easier.

Despite what you read on the covers of magazines, there are no special workouts.  To loose weight means reducing your caloric intake.  “But that’s starving yourself” is often the response.  We accumulate fat by consuming more calories than we need, so no – you are overeating in the first place.  And all your exercise won’t work if you are “eating it back” – justifying foods and quantity “because you’ll work it off”.  Body builders call it “cutting” when you are working towards a weight and/or body fat percentage goal – a daily limit of around 1,500 calories.  It’s to make a calorie deficit, so you’re eating less than what you use throughout the day.

Obligatory warning here about going beneath 1,500 calories can have health consequences, and a long term “cutting” diet might be anorexia/bulimia.

There are studies to support that exercise makes us happy.  “Runners high” is a well known term for the euphoria that can come with running – lots of reformed addicts become long distance runners.  Most of the studies I’ve seen to support the chemical reaction aspect, but I think they miss that exercise means goals and social interaction.  Joining a club (running, cycling, etc) can be very social and humans by nature are gregarious.  This motivates us to continue exercising, and can lead to a better lifestyle.

There’s various ways to implement cutting.  I was very scientific at the start: I picked one aspect and focused on it for a period of time.  Progress was slow, but I knew what was responsible for the results.  The other benefit was that with enough time, the change became normal to me so my lifestyle evolved.  I came to see that I was eating because I was bored, and choosing food that was easy (little to no preparation) to make satisfying the boredom easier.

Looking to make a change?  Try the local marathon or triathlon groups.  Triathlon is nice because of the crosstraining/variety.  My next marathon is Netflix.  Joking aside, marathon training is social and decent amount of time to chat with people and make friends.  Both marathon and triathlon are largely comprised of women.