It is that time of year when you start pulling out some of your spring and summer clothes.

Unfortunately, if you’re like a lot of people, you don’t feel super confident or comfortable as you did at the end of last summer. When you try on those old pants or swimsuits they seem a little snug around the hips and thighs.

So what happened?  According to Dr. Brian Wansink, the mindless margin happened!

Dr. Brian explains that the Mindless Margin is a Zone where we can slightly over eat or slightly under eat and we don’t even realize it.  He explains this concept in a book called, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

As I am sure you know, it’s pretty easy to slightly over eat.  

Just think about it. How many times have you walked through the kitchen and saw some snacks or cookies laying out? And when you saw those yummy treats you thought to yourself, “It’s only one little cookie, it’s only a handful of crackers. Surely, it won’t make that big of a difference if I grab it and eat it and just keep walking.”

It that analogy doesn’t hit home, how about this one? Refilling your soda cup on your way out of the restaurant after lunch? Just a little extra for the road if you will…how about another 100 to 400 calories for road?

Or how about this one, I won’t lie, this one hits a little bit close to home : ). Have you ever cleaned your plate simply because the food was left on it? I know I have numerous times. Truth be told, we weren’t even really hungry, but it was there so we ate it.

How about you? Do you fall under those same traps?

In short, scenarios like the above demonstrate the Mindless Margin. In each of the scenarios above, you are not consuming the extra calories because you need them, it’s not that you are even hungry. It’s that you saw them, they were present, and you ate them. Truth be told if you would have resisted, you really wouldn’t even have miss them. Regardless you just slightly overate and the price that you and I pay for this is relatively High.

As Dr. Brian puts it, “Eating just 10 extra calories per day results in a one pound weight gain over a year’s time.”

I know! That’s just crazy! 10 measly extra calories a day?!

To give you some better perspective I’m going to list some foods that you might mindlessly eat that are 10 calories each.

  • One gummy bear
  • 2 Skittles
  • 4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • two and a half Jelly Belly jelly beans
  • 1 shoestring french fry…I am crying at that one : (
  • one peanut M&M
  • three plain M&M’s

I could go on, but I believe you get the idea.

So, if you can gain one pound in a year by overeating a measly 10 calories per day…imagine what will happen to you in a year if you overeat by 100 or 200 calories each day?

You would likely gain several pounds each year, if not more. And that is exactly what happens to most Americans the weight slowly, but surely creeps up on them. Especially, if they’re not working out, in particular not using resistance training and trying to retain their muscle mass, which enables them to burn more calories and keep their metabolism high.

This is one reason why I like my weight loss clients to log their food.

It gets rid of this mindless eating. When you log every little thing that goes into your mouth you become much more careful about what goes into it. Plus, if you have additional accountability of me checking in on you, on a day-to-day basis and seeing if you ate too many calories, it helps keep you accountable and slowly but surely the weight will come off…And it definitely won’t creep up anymore :-).

Next week I’ll write an article that will show you how to use this mindless margin to work for you instead of against you. So stay tuned :-).

Go be awesome!

KELLEN LAKE – One stinking peanut M&M….I love those!

PS – Want a customized plan and accountability? Let me know : ).

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