Thursday, August 9, 2012

Do something Friday

Think about the term -- A Low Reward Diet.  How's that make you feel?

In the Paleo camp, that means a diet that doesn't drive you to eat than your body needs (think high fat, salt, and sugar).  How often to you CRAVE (and subsiquently over eat) celery?  Or apples? Or beets?

**disclaimer: I'm not super up on which veggies are actually included in the Paleo idea of low reward so these are my examples and may not follow the ideas of some Paleo advocates ... or maybe they do -- I just don't know.

The point is we tend to over eat on things like chips, pretzels and dip, nachos, pizza, cake, candy, warm, crusty french bread..... you get the picture.  Because, by definition, they are high reward foods. They make the reward centers in our brain light up and boogie!  That's why we seek them out -- not for themselves but for how they make us feel.

Being that I love lots of different (high reward) foods, even though I can see the merits (from a weight control perspective) eating in a manner where food is just fuel and plays a much, much (or maybe no?) role in my emotional well-being, eliminating a majority of the joy of eating seems a steep price to pay just to fit into the next size smaller pants.  Maybe I'll live longer or maybe it will just feel that way (as the old joke goes).

So back to the proposition of Mindful Eating:

Eliminating the greatest number of calories with the least amount of sacrifice.

What if, instead of getting rid of all the high reward food, we got rid of all the low reward food?

To do this, we're going to have to pay attention to see what is most rewarding to each of us individually.  (you may not find french bread as rewarding as a baked potato with sour cream -- in which case, french bread could be a low reward food for you)

Even though it's high in fat, salt and sugar, you could figure out that the Snickers bar  we talked about the other day is a low reward food for you.  Stop eating it and it's no great loss (except to your waistline!)

That 44 oz Coke you swear is all that's allowing you to get through your workday -- maybe unsweetend ice tea could do the same thing. 

Do you really know where your rewards come from?  Or do you just assume you do?  Maybe it's time you start investigating and really find out.

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