A new Approach to Weight Loss: Slim by Design

Excess weight and obesity are problems that plague many of us in today’s world with easy access to plentiful food.  Excess weight has severe health implications leading to a high incidence of diabetes, heart conditions and even cancer. Obesity also has an impact on a persons self esteem and can lead to emotional problems.

We are all aware of the challenges of losing weight.  A huge industry has sprung up around weight reduction and countless books offer miracle diets that promise quick fixes. The real challenge of maintaining a healthy weight is not only to lose excess pounds but to keep the weight off over time.
Brian Warnsink offers a somewhat different approach to the issue of maintaining a healthy weight. In his approach, called slim by design, and book by the same name, Dr. Warnsink suggests simple steps to adjust our surroundings and tweak our behaviour so that we will eat less, without conciously having to exert will power to achieve that goal.
Dr Warnsink points out that trying to constantly exert will power to overcome temptaions , while seemingly laudible, is exhausting and when we are emotonally depleted by other demands we easily lose the self control required to monitor our food intake. His ideas have been experimentally validated and have been implemented in school cafeterias, restaurants, homes, and even at Google. The book is funny, easy to read, easy to implement. It is  a leisurely afternoon read.

The premise is that we are  unconsciously manipulated by our physical environment and so we should use it to our advantage.

There are some obvious changes to our environment such as making healthy food, such as fruit and vegetables, easily accesable and in sight while keeping less healthy snacking food such as cereals in a harder to reach cupboard.

There are other less obvious changes to our eating habits that make a measurable change to the amount we eat. Dr Warnsink has found that the size of the plate we eat from has a large influence on the amount we eat. He suggest eating from a smaller plate.

Dr Wansink offers strategies for reducing food consumption at home,  in restaurants and for negotiating shopping in a supermarket so as to eat a more healthy diet. While some of this may seem obvious, the value of the approach is to find ways in which we do not have to consciously work at reducing calories.

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