Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Think Yourself Skinny

 I just watched a DVR episode of Dr. Oz (so I have no idea when it aired–probably this week–March 25 maybe) who presented two doctors who were talking about studies they had done with people and how much food they ate.

The gist of it was this: they had their subjects pretend to eat a whole plate of food (they had an empty plate in front of them), "tasting" it in their mouths, "feeling" it on their tongues and savoring every "bite." Being very mindful of the "food." The subjects then were given a plate of real food and were told they could eat as much as they wanted. These subjects ate 40% less than the subjects who hadn't had the "air" meal. They were satiated (felt full) much more quickly.

Sounds like a pretty easy thing to try before each meal–and I did it tonight. I cheated a little...I stuck my spoon in my curry and rice several times and licked the spoon without really eating anything. We'll see over time if this helps me to lose weight more quickly or I feel full with less. Important to not load up the plate or bowl and keep my real portions small and make myself go back for more if I truly am not full yet.

Sounds safe (no side effects except the intended one), cheap (air is still free at my house), and easy (I'm happy to imagine myself eating a slice of carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting!).

The ethical question is this...what if want to imagine eating real cream cheese, or brie on crackers or some other thing I know I like the taste of, but no longer eat for allergy or ethical reasons? Hmmm...maybe I can settle that question by pretending it's vegan and only tastes just like the real thing...

This technique reminds me of a story...
One day a poor man who was often hungry – on account of his being poor – walked past a cafe where meat was being grilled. He ate his bread, which was all he could afford, outside the cafe so that he could smell the delicious smell of the meat while he ate. But the owner of the cafe came outside and was angry. He demanded that the poor man pay him for smelling the meat! When it became clear that the poor man could not pay, the cafe owner took him to Goha who had become a judge. After hearing the story, Goha paused and thought. He asked the man how much he wanted to charge for the smell of the meat. “5 piastres,” he replied. So Goha took a 5 piastre coin out of his pocket and span it on the table. When it fell, he asked the cafe owner, “Did you hear the sound the coin made?” When the cafe owner said he had, Goha said, “Take the sound of the coin as payment for the smell of your meat.”

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