Cris LaBossiere

Cris LaBossiere
Strength training and mountain biking. My two favorites

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mindful eating strategies can help people who dine out | CTV News

Mindful eating strategies can help people who dine out | CTV News

This CTV article is about a study that demonstrated that by navigating typical restaurant food choices it's possible to take actions that can result in not gaining weight, even losing weight, eating at restaurants.

I couldn't help but thinking that in order for such a study to occur, some interesting criteria is required; restaurant menus require careful navigation to avoid overeating, as the article points out a seemingly healthy taco salad contained 1,100 calories and 71 grams of fat.

What if most menu items in most restaurants were not laden with meals that have enormous caloric values? It would be hard to do this study, in fact there would be no point.

Allow me to digress with an apt analogy:

What if some astute researchers did a study on how to prevent getting wet walking through puddles.. the intervention group stepped lightly to prevent splashing, and wore big rubber boots. The control group stomped through the puddle wearing socks.

Wow.. the intervention group got less wet!

Someone comes along and says, "there are no puddles on the other side of the street. If you don't want to get wet, walk there". Kind of makes the puddle study somewhat useless, leaving the researchers all wet.

I think it's crazy that restaurant eating strategies are seen as the way to resolve overeating in restaurants. How about not having the majority of the menu items being high calorie? What, exactly, is the point of having almost all meal choices, save for a few, being so hyper-caloric?  How about not going to restaurants that serve mostly high calorie meals?

Delusion of choice

I think we are given a false sense of choice when presented with most restaurant menus.  How's that? Check it out.. the majority of the menu items will be high calorie, high sodium, and high fat.  Your choice is between how you want your fat bomb delivered, bottom line; most of the choices are obesogenic. It's a lipstick on a pig thing.  You can try as many different colours of lipstick as you want, but those are still pig lips you're kissing.  Those menus are not increasing your choices, your choices are restricted to choosing between fat bombs.

The other interesting criteria required for this study to have been conceptualized is that enough people in the population habitually overeat that it's perceived that the public may benefit from learning about how they overeat, and how to manage overeating.

So we have a large portion of the population seeking to overeat in restaurants, and a great many restaurants serving meals that are so huge that to eat just one constitutes overeating.

A proposed answer to this is not to reduce the size of restaurant portions, but rather develop food ordering strategies to try and compensate for the poor choices available in restaurants.

Personally I almost never go to restaurants that serve these 1000+ calorie meals. What for?

Instead I go to restaurants where the majority of menu choices are healthy and of reasonable caloric value. Of course the food has to taste good, that's part of why I eat out, when I eat out.

It's true we definitely need to exercise personal responsibility and choose to eat less, eat healthy, and learn to realize how much more gratifying it is to eat healthy while working on our contrived beliefs in crazy notions like; in order to taste good, food has to be bad for you, or that you have to stuff yourself in order to be satisfied. Those distorted beliefs cause us nothing but trouble.

If you've decided you're going to make a difference in your life, lose weight and get healthy, what is the point in going to restaurants where you need to pick apart every single meal in order to alter it to be a reasonably healthy meal? You are essentially remaking the meal yourself.  Why not just go to restaurants that are catering to those who are looking for healthy great tasting foods? Why support those who primarily serve obesogenic meals?

 If you read the CTV article and are interested in trying some of the eating strategies.. half those strategies are not needed if you go to restaurants that specialize in healthy eating.

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