Looking to make a few changes to your diet without feeling like you’re missing out? The mindless margin is the answer.
When it comes to mindlessness, few of us can say we haven’t experienced it. Maybe you’ve operated on autopilot as you walk from bus to work or vise versa, or perhaps you have simply not paid attention while a friend or family member was talking to you. While mindlessness is common, many of us are clueless to the extent that it feature on our lives. The thing is that once we can do something automatically, we start to tune out, and the thought process can almost get in the way.
As we race from one thing to the next, many of us are rarely present in the now. We speak on the phone as we type busily on the computer, trying to be as quick as we can so that the person on the other end of phone thinks they have our fully attention. We sit down in front of the television and snack straight out of packet of chips or chocolate, totally oblivious of whether we are actually hungry in the first place. Or perhaps we always purchase (and finish) a large container of popcorn when we’re at the movies irrespective of the time of day or when we last ate. Our days are full of mindlessness and when we take part in mindless eating, we gradually gain weight. Fast forward a few years and we’re oblivious to how our weight crept up. Sound familiar? Well, the good news is can you use similar small changes to help you lose the weight. American Professor Brian Wansink calls it the mindless margin.
According to Wansink, weight gain occurs gradually over time with an extra 420-840 kilojoules (100-200 calories) here and there slowly adding up to a few extra kilos from year to year. This gradual weight gain Wansink calls the mindless margin. All it takes is one glass of wine a day and you’ll add nearly 4kg one year from now. But, the good news is, the mindless margin can also be used to easily change our eating habits and switch from mindless eating to mindful eating. The best bit is, by reducing your energy intake by just 420-840 kilojoules per day, you’ll be 4-8kg lighter and won’t feel like you have deprived yourself along the way.
20 Ways to Cut 420 Kilojoules From Your Day
Add two of these kilojoule cuts to your day and mindfully lose weight.
- Use smaller plate to dish up your dinner. It will help you eat 20 per cent less food.
- Switch from a large latte of a skim piccolo latte.
- Enjoy one glass of wine instead of two.
- Stop at one Tim Tam instead of two.
- Drink sparkling water instead of soft drink.
- Choose a fruit-free muesli and top with blueberries instead of dried fruit.
- Use fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream.
- Switch to low-fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
- Munch on air-popped popcorn instead of potato crisps.
- Dip vegetable sticks into your favourite dip instead of crackers.
- Half the amount of rice you have with your stir-fry.
- Season steamed vegetables with lemon and herbs instead of oil or butter.
- Switch from a regular almond Magnum to a mini almond Magnum.
- Have Vegemite instead of jam on your toast.
- Top wafer thin crackers with cheese instead of rice crackers.
- Stick to two pieces of fruit per day instead of three.
- Have two pieces of Lindt chocolate instead of serving size of four pieces.
- Snack on four dried apricots instead of two sweet biscuits.
- Turn off the television when you’re eating and research shows you’ll eat 500kJ less.
- Replace your daily juice with a piece of fruit.
What other ways can you cut 420 kilojoules from your diet?