Monday, October 26, 2015

Food On The Counter, Counts

Hey, wanna lose 13 pounds the easy way? Great, change out the food on your kitchen counter (in my house that includes the top of the fridge). In a study published just last week researchers found that the food on your kitchen counter is a strong indicator of whether or not you are overweight.

Brian Wansink, PhD and professor at Cornell University along with a couple of other brain-pan-all-stars examined 200 photos of various kitchen counters in and around Syracuse, NY. They inventoried the foods they saw pictured on the counters and cross referenced those with the weight of the women who lived there.  

The women who had breakfast cereal on the counter were 20 pounds heavier than those who didn’t.  That’s 20 pounds H-E-A-V-I-E-R.  Those with soft drinks on the counter were 23-26 pounds heavier. Holy crap. Now before you start with smarty-pants questions like ‘What kind of cereal?’ or ‘Was is diet soda?’ or ‘Were these people fat already?’ you should know the study did not mention what types of cereal or soft drinks, or anything like that, it simply noted whether they could see cereal or soda on the counter. Oh, the good news is that those with fruit on the counter weighed 13 pounds less than the average. 

The researchers break it down to what you see is what you eat.  We are likely to munch on whatever food is consistently in our view. We know this to be true in poorer neighborhoods where fast food is most prevalent there is also a greater population of obese people. According to this study the same is true in our own homes.

Sure, I know that this study is simplistic and everyone is different, but it’s hard to ignore its’ basic wisdom. Most of us can benefit by adopting the behaviors of others we want to be more like. For instance, I was a poor student in high school but when I went to college I decided to follow the lead of good students (sitting in front, joining study groups, reading ahead) and ended up doing much better. How many of you post reminders on the refrigerator or your bathroom mirror? Same thing. 

So if you want to be smarter, pick up habits of people smarter than you. If you want to be happier you should hang around happier people and pick up some ques from them.  If you’re trying to drop a few pounds replace that jar of yummy granola with food you‘ll never eat – like kale.

That’s my two cents, and it’s worth every penny,
Jake Holmes

Pilates of La Jolla

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