Saturday, March 21, 2015

Want to avoid weight gain? Make snacking inconvenient!

Like most of us, I have to work at keeping my weight at a reasonable level. Especially in the last 5 years or so, it seems like any indulgence causes the scale to go up more quicker than previously. My conclusion is that I need less indulging in indulgences!

But my strategy in many areas of life is to make things easier and more efficient. At one point I thought I'd be efficient and frugal, stocking up on snacks, while keeping them somewhat inaccessible.

No surprise - that's not a good idea. Stocking up is for staples, and regarding snacks as a staple causes too much snacking. Even keeping the snacks in a relatively inaccessible upper pantry wasn't inconvenient enough.

What is inconvenient enough? Making it fresh, each time I want a snack!  So, instead of making a family-size pan of brownies, and having them sitting on the counter for as long as it takes to polish them off, I make a microwave mug cake. It's still rich and delicious, but it involves getting out all the ingredients, measuring everything out, using the microwave, etc. Even if I give myself permission to make it whenever I want, I don't go to the trouble more than once a week.

I recently saw a recipe online for a version that only has 2 ingredients - cake mix, and water. I was tempted to try it. But then I realized - no! The point is not to make it convenient and easy, the point is to make it more difficult - effort-FULL instead of effort-Less.

For a salty snack, I either make microwave popcorn (with a special microwave popcorn bowl that we've had for years, and that works fantastically), or these cheddar cheese crisps in the microwave.

People today are much, much heavier than we were 100 years ago. That's not because our nature has changed to become more slothful and gluttonous. It's because our environment has changed, and being slothful and gluttonous is so much easier. When treats take more effort, we're changing our environment to be more like it was 100 years ago. And that's good for our health.


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