Thursday, 9 September 2010

Obsessed with Food?

I have long known that I am obsessed with food and that is one of the major contributory factors in my weight. I mean, look at the title of my blog! There seems to be trick to learn how not to be obsessed with food. Nobody really tells you how, though, do they?

I am not being critical here, just observational...but quite a number of weight loss blogs are also all about food. Healthy food. Low fat food. Nutritious food. But still all about food. There are some great recipes and ideas out there and while some of us are busy contemplating ridding ourselves of the obsession with food, there are lots of calories to save, lots of good fuel to give your body, that will help along the way.

The other day, in the breakfast room of my hotel, I observed a group of German tourists. I can be particularly sneaky with them, since I usually read an English book as I eat my breakfast on my own (aah!!!) but I speak German (hee hee!). So I could understand everything going on around me but nobody really suspected due to the bad reputation of Brits never speaking foreign languages...

Quick side story. German friends of mine once stayed in a B&B in England, and thoroughly enjoyed their full English breakfast (food, food, it's always about food...) while discussing the other guests, obviously in German so as to not be understood. Towards the end of breakfast, a man rose from the table next to them, walked past them, nodded and said "Ein schonen Tag noch" (Translation: "Have a nice day!"). Embarrassed? Nearly choked on a piece of black pudding.

So, back to my hotel. One particular table was occupied with 4 Germans; 3 women and 1 man. The conversation ebbed and flowed between the people and topics. I was reading - or maybe pretending to read - my book, so I wasn't looking at them. One particular voice always seemed to switch the conversation back to food, no matter what the previous speaker had been talking about. I made a small bet with myself that I would have only soup between breakfast that day and breakfast the next day if she turned out to be fat. I looked up with some trepidation to identify the source of the voice. Clearly it wasn't the man (who was thin and fit). Woman number 1 spoke...not her either (thin). Number 2 woman next (no, thin). Finally, woman number 3 spoke up, changing the subject to a blackberry cake ("with lots of lovely icing sugar on top") that her mother had baked last weekend. Kerching! Jackpot! Fat woman!!!

Soup is great. In fact, I am wondering if I shouldn't have somehow included soup in my list. There was a BBC documentary a few years ago called "The truth about food" and one of the tests they did showed that soup makes you feel fuller for longer, even if it contains exactly the same ingredients. They took a normal meal of chicken, potatoes and veggies and a glass of water and served it to one group. They took exactly the same meal, liquidised it with the water and gave the resulting soup to the other group. They all then had to record their hunger levels over the next hours (simple 1 to 10 scale of how hungry they felt). The soup group lasted much longer!

Other ideas to be considered in the future (only if this one doesn't work, of course):
  • Sprinkling poison over every meal
  • Occasional spot fasts for a day
  • Installing an alarm system on my stomach so that every time I eat something a loudspeaker goes off saying "Fat Moose is eating again" in the voice of Gillian McKeith
  • Taking up smoking
  • Only eating when someone else suggests that it's lunch or dinner time etc
I am sure there are lots of cognitive behavioural therapists, NLP practitioners and hypnotists out there that would also claim to have the answer to this obsession thing, and are making lots of money in the process. Maybe they do have the answers. But for most normal overweight people and moose, including me, the trick lies in recognising that you don't have to act in accordance with your obsession. You can be obsessed with food and yet still only eat (healthy good stuff) when you are hungry. You have a choice. And for one day only, I choose only soup.

No comments:

Post a Comment