Mindfulness 1st Quarter Wellness Education 2008 Directions: Read through the packet and answer the questions on the last page. Bottom Line Challenge Participants: Keep your completed quiz until the weigh-out where you will turn it in. At that time, you will receive 10 bonus points and 1 punch on your Highways to Health card. Non-Bottom Line Challenge Participants: Turn in your quiz in to your wellness leader anytime during the first quarter to receive 1 punch on your Highways to Health card. We often make decisions about the foods we like and dislike based on many reasons other than how they taste. Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family, friends, packages, plates, names, numbers, labels, lights, colors, candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances. All of these distractions can make us think something tastes better or worse than the way it actually does. We all think we're too smart to be tricked by packages, lighting, or plates. We might acknowledge that others could be tricked, but not us. That is what makes mindless eating so dangerous. We are almost never aware that it is happening to us. The average person makes around 250 decisions about food every day – breakfast or no breakfast? Pop-tart or bagel? Part of it or all of it? Kitchen or car? Yet out of these 200+ food decisions, most we cannot really explain. Take a look at the examples below about how mindless we can be. Mindless eating examples from Cornell University researchers describe food studies: • Movie-goers served free popcorn in large bucket ate more - an average of 173 calories more - than those given small buckets … even though the popcorn was stale and five days old. • World War II sailors who complained that the ship's kitchen offered no cherry Jell-O stopped griping when the cook added red food coloring to the lemon Jell-O; to them, because it was red and they didn't know otherwise, the Jell-O tasted like cherry. • Diners served free glasses of the same red wine rated it less favorably when it was labeled as "North Dakota" wine rather than "California" wine. The "North Dakota" wine-drinkers also ate less of their meals and left their tables sooner than those served "California" wine. • More than half the people told they were taste-testing a new type of strawberry yogurt in the dark reported the sample had a good strawberry taste … even though they were all actually served chocolate yogurt. Our 'taste' resides in our head as well as our mouth. We often taste what we think we will taste. In the same way that mindless eating can lead us to overeat, our expectations about the taste of a food can 'trick our taste buds,' making us think a food tastes much better or worse than it actually does. Even after we are told how our perceptions alter what we taste and how we eat, the effects of presentation, color and other factors still has an impact on our eating habits. Knowing this we can all change the way we serve, dine and snack to eat more healthfully and, if we need to, lose weight without feeling deprived. The best diet is the one you don't know you're on. Most Influential Environmental Factors WHO YOU EAT WITH Who you eat with can influence what you eat, and how much you eat. Eating with familiar friends and family can encourage a longer meal time, and can distract you from paying attention to your food. Also, just seeing how a role model –parent or friend-can provide insight on your eating habits as well. In contrast, eating with unfamiliar people can decrease food intake in situations where people are self-conscious or aware such as during job interviews or first dates. LIGHTING Dimmed or soft lighting (including candlelight) generally causes people to linger and enjoy an unplanned dessert or an extra drink. People are less inhibited and less self-conscious when the lights are low, they are likely to eat and drink more. The effect of lighting may be particularly strong when dining with others. NOISE AND THE SOUNDS OF MUSIC Soft music generally encourages a slower rate of eating, longer meal time, and higher consumption of both food and drinks. When music (or other noise) is loud, fast or otherwise uncomfortable, people spend less time in a restaurant. A shortened meal time can lead people to quickly clean their plates and overeat without monitoring how full they are. Overall, these extremes increase food intake, but do so in different ways. Research shows that meals eaten with another person were 33% larger than those eaten alone. The Mindless Margin Just 10 extra calories a day can make you one pound heavier a year from today. That’s three jelly beans or a stick of gum a day! Fortunately, the same thing happens in the opposite direction. The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on! So, try to eliminate that 100-200 extra calories a day—that can translate to up to 20 pounds a year without doing anything extra! These 100-200 calories a day will leave us to not feel deprived of our favorite foods, and they are not calories we will miss. We can trim them out of our day relatively easily –and unknowingly. Herein lies the secret of the mindless margin. This can also work for exercise. Walking an extra mile a day (about 2,000 steps) is about 100 calories which equals about 10 pounds a year. This 100 calorie difference per day will lead you to loose weight without feeling deprived of your favorite foods. Exercise also has other benefits such as reducing the risk for heart disease and cancer. It can also lower blood pressure, increase your HDL’s (good cholesterol), decrease your LDL’s (bad cholesterol) and relieve stress. Being mindful of your excuses to workout can be helpful too. We all have hectic lives, but making your health a priority is necessary. Walking is free, easy and can be enjoyed in groups or alone! Need help getting started? Coming this May, Provena Health will be offering a walking program. Stay tuned for details! The Prison Pounds Inmates typically gain 20-25 pounds per 6 months. Why? It’s not the awesome food?! The jailhouse fat can be blamed on those big over-sized orange jump suits they have to wear. Because these jump suits are so loose-fitting, most don’t realize the progressive weight gain-averaging a pound a week. If we gain 10 pounds we usually notice because our clothes don’t fit. Most people use their clothes as an external cue. Stay mindful of how your clothes are fitting. Why the French Don’t Get Fat Generally speaking, the French can eat whatever they want and not gain weight. This includes wine, pastries, cheese of all sorts! Research suggests the French typically rely on internal clues such as feeling full, and paid less attention to external clues like finishing a plate of food. A study between Parisians and Chicagoans had all participants fill out a questionnaire asking them how they decided it was time to stop eating a meal. Parisians reported that they usually stopped eating when they were no longer hungry. Not the Chicagoans. They stopped whey they ran out of a beverage, or when their plate was empty, or when the television show they were watching was over. Yet the heavier the person was-American or French-the more they relied on external cues to tell them when to stop eating and relied less on whether they felt full. Mindful Eating Strategies Strategy #1 SEE ALL YOU EAT See it before you eat it. We find that when people preplate their food, they eat about 14% less then if they take smaller amounts and go back for seconds and thirds. Put everything you want on your plate BEFORE you start eating-snacks, dinners, ice cream, and even chips. Your stomach won’t have to count and you won’t have to remember how much you took. Instead of eating directly out of a package or box, put your snack in a separate dish and leave the box in the kitchen. You’ll be less likely to eat more. See it while you eat it. When you are eating chicken wings or ribs you’ll eat less if you see what you have already eaten—all those bones. Don’t get rid of that evidence! The same is true with beverages. It’s easy to forget how much soda you’ve had if there are free refills. One way is to count empty beverage glasses. For example, if you want to keep friends from drinking all the wine, keep the empty wine bottles out as a reminder of how much has been drank, and pour fresh glasses for everyone. The visual or external cue of the empty bottles and wine will keep people mindful of how much they have had. King Sized Packages = King Sized Waistlines This is an age old marketing tactic… These bigger packages can save us money and save us an extra trip to the supermarket because we ran out of something. They also lead us to make bigger meals and eat more food! The bigger the package the more we eat. For example, 40 adults at a PTA meeting were to watch a video and provide feedback about it. As a thank you, they were each given a bag of M&M’s-either a ½ pound bag or a one pound bag to enjoy while watching the tape. In reality, the feedback on the tape was unimportant, what was important was the amount of M&M’s consumed. Those that were given the ½ pound bag ate an average of 71 M&M’s. Those who were given the one pound bag ate an average of 137 M&M’s- almost twice as many! We can eat 20% more or less without really knowing it. This is that pesky mindless margin. Because of this, we look for cues and signals that tell us how much to eat. One of the signals is the size of the package. When we bring a big package into our kitchen, we think it’s typical, normal, and appropriate to mix and to serve more than if the package were smaller. Although we may not finish the 2 pound box of spaghetti when we make dinner for two, it makes us think it’s normal to take few more bites than we would if it were a one pound box. It bumps up our consumption norms and lead us to bump up how much we serve ourselves. Strategy #2 THE “SEE-FOOD” DIET “You must be on the see-food diet, because you eat everything you see!” Out of sight, out of mind! If the candy dish sits on your desk, you consistently have to make that heroic decision whether you will resist the chocolate that has been giving you the eye all day. The easiest solution is to lose the dish, move it, or replace it with something you don’t like or a healthier option. Same things goes for the cookie jar. You can easily replace it with fruit. Cover the cookies; uncover the carrots! You can easily make the “see-food diet” work for you. Make healthy foods easy to see, and less healthy foods hard to see. Fruit bowls can replace cookie jars. Healthy foods can migrate to the front, eye-level shelf of the refrigerator. The more hassle it is to eat, the less we eat. Would you walk a mile for a caramel or cookie? Convenience leads to consumption. Strategy #3 MAKE OVEREATING A HASSLE, NOT A HABIT Leave serving dishes in the kitchen or on a sideboard. Having them at least six feet away gives us a chance to ask ourselves if we are really that hungry. Turn this around and put veggies, fruit and salad in a convenient spot. De-convenience tempting foods. Take those tempting foods down to the corner of the basement or them then in a hard-to-reach cupboard. Reseal packages and wrap the most tempting leftovers in foil. Snack only at the table and on a clean plate. This makes it less convenient to serve, eat, and clean up after an impulse snack. Watch for the "eating pause." This subtle cue is related to the body indicating that it's had enough food. During a meal, most people unknowingly take a break, put their fork and knife down, and stop eating for a few minutes. This is the "eating pause." What usually happens next is mindless eating. The best way to avoid those tempting foods is to not bring them into the house at all. Eat before you shop, use a list, and stick to the perimeter of the store where the freshest foods are located. Strategy #4 SCRIPT YOUR DINNER We can get lost in the fun and excitement when we eat with friends and family. Set yourself up for success when eating with others by scripting your meal. Try to be the last person to start eating. Pace yourself with the slowest eater at the table. Build the habit of starting your meal by taking very small bites and paying attention to all the details of the food, including the temperature, texture, and seasoning. Avoid the “just one more helping” temptation by always leaving some food on your plate as if you’re still eating. Decide how much you’re going to eat prior to the meal instead of during the meal. Strategy #5 RESTURANT RULES: ENJOY MORE, EAT LESS If the breadbasket is on the table, you’re going to eat the bread. Ask the waiter to remove it or put it on the other side of the table and save room for your entrée. Portion sizes at restaurants are huge! Split an entrée, have half packed to take home, or order two appetizers instead. Soft music and candlelight can increase your enjoyment of a meal, remember that they can make you eat more if you linger, and prompt you to give in to the temptation of dessert or another drink. If you want dessert, split it with someone. The best two bites are the first two. Establish a Pick-Two Rule: appetizer, drink, dessert—pick any two. REFERENCES Environment and Food Consumption, University of Illinois; Annual Review Journal (2005) “Mindless Eating”, Brian Wansink, Ph.D. Mindless Eating, WebMD The 200 Daily Decisions We Unknowingly Make,” Brian Wansink and Jeffrey Sobal, Environment and Behavior (2007) Mindfulness 1st Quarter Wellness Education 2008 Quiz #7 Name:________________________________ Ministry:______________________________ 1. How does who you eat with affect your food intake? 2. What is the Mindless Margin? 3. Why do inmates gain 20-25 lbs per every 6 months? 4-6. Give two examples of external cues? Do you use external cues? If so, what are they? 7. What is the “eating pause”? 8. TRUE or FALSE Most people eat more from bigger packages. 9. How can you make the “see-food” diet work for you and your family to eat healthier? 10. How can mindfulness help you with exercise? Reminder: Bottom Line Challenge Participants: Keep your completed quiz until the weigh-out where you will turn it in. At that time, you will receive 10 bonus points and 1 punch on your Highways to Health card. Non-Bottom Line Challenge Participants: Turn in your quiz in to your wellness leader anytime during the first quarter to receive 1 punch on your Highways to Health card.