Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thin thoughts

Found an article that explains 6 Of Your Favorite Things That Are Secretly Making You Fat. In a nutshell:

  • Caffeine
"This gets to be a problem when drinks like Starbucks' famous Frappuccino have around 500 calories per cup. Even worse, the human brain has a logical disconnect when it comes to liquid calories. That is to say, it doesn't acknowledge them at all.

So for instance, a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut has 610 calories. Therefore, your Starbucks beverage is like a little pizza transformed into a little fruity coffee with training-wheels. The difference is that the pizza will make you feel full. The Frappuccino won't.

The biggest thing caffeine does is jack your stress level through the roof, which steers your metabolism straight into "Survival/Conservation" mode. While it's doing that, it also increases your appetite, which makes you seek a whole pile of comfort foods to swallow in order to cope with that stress we just mentioned."

  • Saving Money
"All that careful, thrifty shopping you're doing isn't only making you fatter, but it's also probably wasting your money. You can bulk-shop in two different ways; you can either buy a single huge unit of a foodstuff (say, an eight-gallon tub of pretzels) or you can buy a whole bunch of single-serving packages (a pallet of 48 juiceboxes.)

What you're thinking at the time of purchase: "For the price of one trip to a restaurant, I can have a year's worth of pretzels and juiceboxes!" You then cart your purchases home and immediately start devouring them at twice the rate you would if you didn't have so damn much of them (according to a survey published in the Journal of Marketing Research)."

  •  Air-Conditioning
"The body has to burn energy to maintain its temperature. Make it too cold or too hot, and the body has to burn calories to adjust. But put the body in a room that's 72 degrees all the time, and those processes don't run. No energy is burned and no calories are spent.

This energy burning varies from person to person, but it's generally works out to a couple hundred calories a day, which adds up over the lazy summer months. And that's not even the whole story, according to a report published in the International Journal of Obesity, whose valiant researchers of all things pudge-related recently found a link between being hot and not eating very much. Go figure, right?"

  • Your Friends
"In a study that the Psychological Bulletin briefly titled 'Effects of the Presence of Others on Food Intake: A Normative Interpretation', it was discovered that each additional person at the dinner table means another 20% or so consumed by all present.

Think about it: assuming you actually like the people you're eating with, chances are you're going to engage in some form of pleasant conversation over the meal. A happy mind is a distracted mind, one that pays less attention to food intake and feelings of fullness.

Of course there's also the way people reinforce each others' bad behavior ("No desert for me. Unless you wanted something... okay, waiter, we're both having the bacon ice cream cake").

Since these folks are your pals, you're probably going to want to linger over your meal, get a dessert or some booze, or coffee. Three slices of stale cheesecake, a bottle of vinegary red, and 90 minutes later and you find yourself wishing for larger pants (when you should probably just wish for healthier friends.)"

  • Your Mom
"Remember when your mother told you to clean your plate? You know, because of those starving kids in Africa? Most of us are programmed to eat until we see the bottom of the dish.

But why are we still following Mom's advice well into adulthood? Well, basically your stomach is an idiot. It has absolutely no way of quantifying exactly how hungry you are. Your brain is the smart one, it handles the numbers and shit. Except for the little fact that your brain has no idea how hungry you are either, because your stomach, the stupid one, is pretty much completely in charge of the whole diet operation.

It takes your stomach about twenty minutes to even signal to your brain that it has received food."

  • Using The Internet
"There are these neat little communiques between your stomach and your brain called 'orosensory signals of satiation'. They're the signals your stomach sends off when it's full to let the brain know when it's time to stop shovelling Cheetos down.

Unfortunately, orosensory signals are like anemic little schoolgirls when pitted against all the other things that constantly vie for your brain's attention, and have a nasty habit of getting shoved aside by bigger, stronger signals. Distracting signals like these clog up your brain all the time when you're doing something fun, like surfing the net.

So you're sitting there, eating chips with one hand and moving the mouse with the other. Have you had four handfuls, or five? How full was the bag when you started? Don't ask your stomach, it's retarded. And your brain is too busy handling the sensory information provided by that .gif of the dramatic hamster to care.

So that pretty much leaves... well, no one. According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the damage works out to eating about fifteen percent more of your snack while distracted. You might as well have a monitor that fires little sausages into your mouth."

By Chester with 1 comment

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