Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Losers Had No Control

** Biggest Loser talk if you don't want any spoilers..."

Biggest Loser quote of the week, "We had no control over our food choices."

Welcome to the real world! This week the Biggest Loser cast was taken off campus and dropped at Ft Pendleton for some marine boot camp. Workouts were tough, but the true test came when the cast had to learn to eat. I mean really eat. We all have to eat, but as I see it, there are 3 types of eating (this is totally made up by me, so don't google it later for more info...)

1. Comfort eating: Comfort eating is done in my home. I can take time to look at packaging, know my choices, weigh my foods, get on the Internet for more information, etc. When I comfort eat, it can take time. I take time not only to prepare my food, but I also work to prepare my mind. I work to teach myself about eating in the real world in the comfort of my home. I learn to look at my food. What does 3 oz of chicken look like for those times when I don't have a scale. How many calories does a serving of mashed potatoes have so I can figure it out when I'm out of the house. Take time to comfort eat. Enjoy the meal, and educate yourself.

2. Discretion Eating: The second type of eating is discretion eating. This eating is done usually at a restaurant. You are still in full control of this situation. The best way to head into discretion eating is with a plan. If at all possible, it is best to know where you will be eating, and pick some choices before you go. If you are one who tends to waiver towards a more unhealthy choice once the menu is presented, I recommend writing what you are going to eat on the palm of your hand. No one has to see it but you, but it is a reminder of your resolve to eat healthy. In this type of eating, you must exhibit some control. You must first make the best choice, and in some situations, you may have to even portion control your options since most restaurants make their dishes several servings.

3. Superior Eating: The last type of eating situation that I, and many of us are OFTEN put in is superior eating. That is, you must choose the most superior of the foods that are presented to you and make the most of them. This often happens at cafeterias, buffets, parties, etc. This is the time when all of your preparation of learning calorie counts and portion sizes come into play. When presented at a holiday dinner party with a cheese tray, a veggie tray, and cookies, what do you choose... I'm not trying to insult any one's intelligence here. I think the superior choice is quite clear, but it's not always that way. That is why you must be educated and confident before you go out and superior eat.

I logged on to a random campus website and here was there breakfast menu (a situation that the biggest losers were shown being put in):
eggs, bacon (2 pieces), hash browns, pancake, biscuit, sausage, muffin, burrito, cold cereal, hot cereal, orange juice, apple juice, coffee

Healthy, not necessarily, but not unbearable. The problem with most of us (me included) is not in the lack of healthy choices, it's in the lack of will power to resist the unhealthy (but often tastier choices), and the lack of knowledge to do better.

Eggs are a safe bet usually. One egg comes in at 70 calories, and is packed with protein. Eat an egg, with 2 slices of bacon on a biscuit, and you have a 340 calorie breakfast sandwich... better than that if you can get egg whites or turkey bacon.

The point is look at each food individually. Which foods are superior to the others? Which foods are just processed junk? When the contestants on BL were talking about eating french toast sticks, you just have to wonder what part of that food did they expected to meet their needs for weight loss and vigorous exercise?

So when they say they had no control, it really was not over their food, but over their choices. They had control over whether or not to put the food on their plate, or to put the food in their mouth. Some of them obviously took a week off from clean eating. They gained weight for it. Shocked? No. Concerned? Yes. I think it shows a major flaw in their weight loss journey, and it shows that some are not ready to be put into the "real world" where choices are put before them each day.


  1. I appreciate your definition of "comfort food," Mandy. I've always associated comfort food with indulgence and a lack of control. For me, comfort food = emotional eating; eating with my heart and not with my brain. I had never thought to view the opportunity to eat smartly, learn about my food and food preparation as a form of comfort. This new perception will stay with me. Thanks!

  2. Great points, Mandy! The other day I was watching Dr. Oz about grazing (totally guilty of it) and how a grazer usually takes in MORE calories than someone who fills their plate up, sits down and eats. It was eye opening, because I am totally a grazer and sometimes don't even sit down to eat a meal fully! Yikes! Those calories definitely add up before you know it.