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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Playing Hide and Seek with Your Food



My mom used to always hide tin of cookies or brownies in secret locations throughout the house when I was growing up. We were strictly forbidden to find or eat those goodies. It was a while before I understood that she wasn't hiding them from me or my siblings...her kids...but instead was hiding them from herself. We, of course, thought it was a great game. We loved finding and secretly consuming the forbidden delights. Sometimes we would find tins that had been long forgotten so the sweets were mummified and inedible.

Dr. Brian Wansink in his book, Mindless Eating, talks about benefits from putting food, like sweets, out of sight or inconveniently located to make it more difficult for us to get them and eat them. He sites research that shows that the more effort it takes for us to find and reach a food, the less frequently we are likely to go for it. This is particularly true for those who are obese. So the lesson here is that my beautiful and svelte mom was on to something-- anything you don't want to consume all the time and that is not "good for you", place in an out of the way place and/or out of sight.

My new "out of sight" method is to bake  my muffins, cookies & brownies, then individually wrap them and put them in my freezer. That way I can't just grab and eat it. There is a thawing process that has to occur first. I am also just accessing one sweet or goodie at a time...no more whole tins of sweets sitting on the counter calling my name every time I pass by.

I also like the idea of storing my baked goods in the freezer because they last longer. I am not falsely compelled to eat more than I should because the food will be "wasted" or "go bad"...a cardinal sin in my family.  It appeals to my frugal side of "waste not, want not".  A tactic that relieves the internal conflicts and eliminates time honored excuses.