I used to be guilty of this common dieters mistake…are you?
In the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, a study known as the dieters paradox was featured.
It’s fascinating to me, and it’s something I used to do ALL the time. Well, ALL the time whenever I was out to eat, without even realizing it.
Ready for it?
I know the suspense is killing you.
I used to order a salad and/or veggies whenever I’d indulge. But here’s WHY I did it — I thought, somehow, that by adding healthy foods to my otherwise purely indulgent meal, it’d lower the overall calorie content of the meal.
In essence, I believed in negative calories.
It turns out that people intuitively believe that adding healthy foods in addition to unhealthy ones can DECREASE a meals overall calorie content.
Of course, that’s not true.
We want facts though, right?
Here’s the data:
As part of the study, 934 participants were asked to estimate the calorie content of several meals.
Some were shown a series of just unhealthy meals while others were shown the same series paired with a healthy option.
The results were prettyyy startling.
Those who viewed the unhealthy meal paired with a side salad perceived the meal to be on average, 43 calories less than those who viewed just the unhealthy meal. As if a salad will decrease the calories from the unhealthy food.
But WAIT! There’s more…
Those who described themselves as “weight conscious” underestimated the meal by 76 calories compared to those who just viewed the unhealthy meal.
The study’s author believes the problem is that not enough focus is put on the quantity of food we eat, and it’s created this allusion of negative calories.
As I always say, something is ALWAYS better than nothing BUT only when it comes to exercise. When it comes to food, 1 is better than 2. 2 is better than 3. 3 is better than 4.
Just because we have a little of something, it doesn’t mean we have to eat a lot of it. Many people think, “Eh, screw it! I already ate a little! I might as well eat the entire thing!”
Not true. Every little compromise and sacrifice we make pays off.
Introducing the most accurate score board in the ENTIRE world…
Ready for it?
Unfortunately (or fortunately) our body NEVER lies.
One more thing.
I always recommend that we eat a salad and/or veggies with meals, especially at a restaurant. But the purpose of that is to fill up on the salad and/or veggies first. So we eat less of the indulgent stuff.
The idea isn’t to just eat more food than you normally would have.
Are you guilty of constantly deluding yourself? The SINGLE best predictor of your future is your past behavior. People hate hearing this because it pokes a hole in the balloon of delusion that most of us use.
We say things like, “On Monday, I’m going to start exercising 3 times a week,” or, “I’m going to start eating healthfully…” but we’ve done this before, and our past evidence suggests that we never follow through.
People don’t like to hear this, but the past is actually the best predictor of the future. So if you keep doing what you’ve always done, like saying, “I’ll start tomorrow”… then where will you be 6 months from today?
What are you going to change to ensure that you’re not in the same spot you’re in today? Consider joining MBT – the proven program to help you stay consistent. Read all about our program by clicking here.