Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Impulse Eating

Normally, the grocery store routine goes like this. I come back from the store, put everything from my grocery bags in its proper place in the kitchen, and that's that. But what happens when I don't put everything away?


Here is the case of the Target-brand fruit snacks left out on the counter top, in plain sight. Over the last couple of days, I've found myself taking a bag or two every now and then that perhaps I wouldn't eat otherwise. Why? Because I see the box and think, "Hmm, that sounds good. Besides, each individually wrapped bag is only 80 calories!"

This begs the question: how much faster will the fruit snacks get eaten by leaving them out on the counter, as opposed to putting them away and out of sight? I'm thinking, 50% faster. But I can't really perform this experiment on myself, because it only works if the participant is in the dark.

This is how "impulse eating" works. See something yummy, eat it! This is precisely why I make an effort to not have too many snacks in our house at one time, in particular the more fattening/sugary snacks. Sure, riding my bike 40 miles a week helps, but I think not having a large selection of snacks at my house is one of the biggest reasons why I've been able to maintain a pretty low weight over the last few years.

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