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Friday, June 24, 2011

The Diet Danger Zones

According to Brian Wansink, Ph.D in his book Mindless Eating there are 5 Danger Zones for Mindless Eating. They describe types of people and their mode of mindless eating. He challenges us to look in the mirror and discover what type of mindless eater we may be. The descriptions are-

#1. The Meal Stuffer
Stuffers eat primarily during mealtimes, but then they eat to excess, cleaning everything on their plate. They often eat so quickly that they're uncomfortably full after they finish. Meal stuffers consider themselves to have "healthy appetites." They often take second helpings at home.

#2. The Snack Grazer
Grazers reach for whatever food is available, typically about three times a day. While they love the 4 C's, convenience is usually more important to them than taste. They seldom pass up a candy dish. For these people, snacking can be a nervous habit, something that gives them an excuse to get up and walk around, or something they can do with their hands while watching TV or reading. They might be hungry when they snack, but it's almost done more out of habit than hunger.

#3 The Party Binger
Parties--buffets, receptions, tailgates, and happy hours-- these are high-distraction environments where the food is the backdrop for either business or fun, and it's easy to lose track of how much they've eaten or drunk. Party bingers are often professionals who frequently wine and dine, or single, stay-out-late people.

#4 The Restaurant Indulger
While many of us eat lunch away from home, the restaurant indulger also eats dinner out at least three days a week. Like party bingers, restaurant indulgers are often on an expense account. They might also be affluent gourmets or DINKs (double income, no kids) in their thirty-something years.

#5 The Desktop Diner (or Dashboard Diner)
Both speed-eat while multi-tasking at their desk or in their car. Desktop diners eat at their desk partly to save time, but more often to save the hassle of getting a real lunch. It's not that they are overly busy-- they're under-motivated. If the right person were to stop by to ask them to lunch, they'd probably go. But more often, they snack out of the vending machine or grab a donut from the mail room.

For each of these mindless eaters, Dr. Wansink offers eating changes which can help defuse each of their eating danger zones.