A bland food "diet"?


#1

Every lent, I give up carbonated soft drinks for my lenten sacrifice, and every year, I lose 5-10 pounds by drinking water instead of soft drinks. I also gave up cheese and spices on everything. For the first few weeks, my brain craved the pleasure of the tastier food that I previously ate to the point that it was almost painful. Eventually, the brain pain decreased.

It's no wonder that diets and diet soft drinks don't work. If we have just ONE or more very tasty foods per day, it seems that our brains REMEMBER the high pleasure center stimulation, the more we "miss" it when it's not there. Why drink diet soft drinks over water if both have no calories? Answer : taste (pleasure). A stronger case can be made for water since it's free. Diet soft drinks = high pleasure = positive reinforcement = want more taste at dinner. Water = no pleasure stimulation = not "missing out" on a potential high next time = don't care to have another non-stimulation episode = intake less calories because there's no reward. It seems many people reward themselves for choosing diet soft drinks by indulging at dinner because their brains "miss" and crave the pleasure. It's no wonder that diets don't work. People basically crave pleasure and want to avoid pain. The brain doesn't like to be teased by ups and downs. The brain wants to avoid the downs at all costs. Avoiding the ups altogether (very tasty) is the key. Healthy food is still possible this way.

I think the key to weight loss is to eat blander food ALL the time, once weaned. The Govt. telling people to exercise more is a help, but few people have the time nor the motivation to run the mini-marathon needed to burn 10,000 calories per day! What say you? :thumbsup:


#2

I think it depends on the person. Some people get “addicted” to food, and others don’t. There are plenty of very thin people who will eat utter junk like chocolate cake every day with their high calorie Starbucks coffee, and nothing.

Kind of like some of us are able to have a bit of wine and stop, and others can’t.


#3

I work in Disease Management and end up giving a lot of diet advice, since over half the country are trying to lose weight.
It seems that just the taste of sweetness stimulates insulin release, even if it’s no calorie sweetness, so avoiding diet soda helps people lose weight.
Once you get used to it, water is actually delicious. It’s what most people drink all over the world, after all.
What works best for weight loss for many people is eating frequent small meals, like every 3 to 4 hours, with a little protein in each one. Protein won’t raise your blood sugar, and will control your appetite. Eat lots of vegetables for the micronutrients. Cut way down on starches, like 6 servings a day. (thats 15 grams a serving.) Eliminate sugar.
Spices are fine, they don’t put weight on, in fact spices can take the place of sugar and salt, that we get too much of.
Take a half hour walk every day, outside or in a mall, or use the WiiFit, or lift small weights if you can’t walk. We don’t need to kill ourselves exercising. Walking is better than running, because it’s harder work, and you stand less risk of injuries.


#4

Sorry, but I’d hate to see the cholesterol levels of people who live on junk food. Those are the folks who keel over with a heart attack on their morning jog, and no one can figure out why.
We should all know our cholesterol levels, we want the good to be above 60 and the bad under 70 . . . working on that.


#5

Yes, but the level of vanity or budgets of those skinny people who eat junk is just slightly stronger than their desire to eat pleasurable food. Weight is gained once the opposite occurs. Some people choose to attribute their skinniness to metabolism when they simply have more willpower to eat rich foods in small doses rather than large doses.

I find it peculiar that the Govt. is advocating more exercise to lose weight, but not a peep about reducing the intake of pleasurable, rich foods. With the healthcare debate, prevention of heart disease could really cut h.c. costs. It’s almost like the Govt. wants to create dependency.

Bland food has worked very well for me. Anything that makes food taste better (like spices, even though spices don’t raises caloric intake much), creates another event where the brain craves better tasting food. Why tease you’re brain like that if you’re trying to lose weight? Why voluntarily make it harder than it needs to be? It doesn’t make sense to me.


#6

I joke that I’m 25% pure garlic. Insted of going bland check into superfoods…garlic, blueberries, green tea, beans, broccoli, yogurt, whole oats, honey…etc. If you can’t stand wheat bread get locally made Italian bread. While it contains bleached flour (all white flour is bleached) it almost never has preservatives.

Many bland foods like bread, white rice, potatoes, etc. can actually do the opposite of what you’re trying to do.

Oh and if you go TOTALLY “natural” and just eat rice, beans, etc and drink just water and eat NO prepared food you WILL need some salt. I found that out the hard way.


#7

In order for me to lose weight (especially when I have broken foot, so the cardio exercise I love is out since it hurts to put weight on it), I have to eat less than 1000 calories. And before anyone suggests it, I can't swim, because of the cast. I do lift weights and use this really cool thing that is like a stationary bike for your arms.

So I eat one egg with fruit for breakfast, a tiny piece of cheese with a small apple for snack, a veggie patty with a small salad with no dressing for lunch, an orange with three cashews for a snack, and for dinner one half of an whole grain english muffin, with a egg, veggie cheese, and veggie canadian bacon. It's pretty bland, but if food tastes good, I want more. :mad: I've lost 30 pounds so far.


#8

with my current mindset of the gubmint says, eat this, I will probably, eat That instead.

it is however official, just came from morning at the doctors’ (plural) the new diet, starting now, this minute, won’t even wait for lent, is low sodium. that means if it comes in a package with a label of more than one ingredient, I won’t be buying it or eating it. I had a piece of dark chocolate (which is low sodium, who knew) to celebrate.


#9

[quote="CountrySinger, post:7, topic:184307"]
In order for me to lose weight (especially when I have broken foot, so the cardio exercise I love is out since it hurts to put weight on it), I have to eat less than 1000 calories. And before anyone suggests it, I can't swim, because of the cast. I do lift weights and use this really cool thing that is like a stationary bike for your arms.
So I eat one egg with fruit for breakfast, a tiny piece of cheese with a small apple for snack, a veggie patty with a small salad with no dressing for lunch, an orange with three cashews for a snack, and for dinner one half of an whole grain english muffin, with a egg, veggie cheese, and veggie canadian bacon. It's pretty bland, but if food tastes good, I want more. :mad: I've lost 30 pounds so far.

[/quote]

Woah, WOAH, WOAH! Three WHOLE cashews? You GLUTTON! Can't you control yourself?! You have those WITH an orange? At the same time?!!! How can you eat dinner after all that?

The OP does have some food for thought. I never looked at it this way....perhaps that could be of help.


#10

I’m a fat pig. I know. This will blow your mind, I had a 6 inch veggie sub today with Non Fat Ranch. wink So I can’t eat for the rest of the day, too many carbs. I’m ashamed of myself.
laughs at my attempt to be witty


#11

[quote="Viki63, post:3, topic:184307"]
I work in Disease Management and end up giving a lot of diet advice, since over half the country are trying to lose weight.
It seems that just the taste of sweetness stimulates insulin release, even if it's no calorie sweetness, so avoiding diet soda helps people lose weight.
Once you get used to it, water is actually delicious. It's what most people drink all over the world, after all.
What works best for weight loss for many people is eating frequent small meals, like every 3 to 4 hours, with a little protein in each one. Protein won't raise your blood sugar, and will control your appetite. Eat lots of vegetables for the micronutrients. Cut way down on starches, like 6 servings a day. (thats 15 grams a serving.) Eliminate sugar.
Spices are fine, they don't put weight on, in fact spices can take the place of sugar and salt, that we get too much of.
Take a half hour walk every day, outside or in a mall, or use the WiiFit, or lift small weights if you can't walk. We don't need to kill ourselves exercising. Walking is better than running, because it's harder work, and you stand less risk of injuries.

[/quote]

Wow, good to read insights from someone who knows a bit about this. I am quite thin, but have been implementing some of these suggestions for awhile... healthy proteins, frequent, smaller meals, etc keep my mood and overall feeling of health more stable throughout the day than carbs and sweets. Interesting about the sweet taste having an effect on insulin even if no sugar is present.

I will say I've never been able to acquire a "taste" for water lol. I will enjoy drinking it at first, and actually lose the taste for it over time.. almost develop a gag reflex. Not sure if it's the local water (different waters "taste" slightly different) or what. But the same happens with any one food I eat a lot of... for example, I have Celiacs, so eggs are a common breakfast meal for me since all the traditional carb options are not realistic for me. Sometimes I have to take a break from eggs though, because eating them regularly makes me nauseous... same with salad. For awhile, I couldn't stand the taste of lettuce after having to eat salad at so many restaurant when others were free to order a wider variety of foods. Like I would rather starve than eat lettuce, eggs, or drink water... that's how bad it gets!

I will say, experimenting with spices has helped me eat healthier, big time. :) Blander foods for some reason are the foods that give me the most trouble over time. Spices add needed variety to my diet without any negative side effects.


#12

[quote="CountrySinger, post:10, topic:184307"]
I'm a fat pig. I know. This will blow your mind, I had a 6 inch veggie sub today with Non Fat Ranch. wink So I can't eat for the rest of the day, too many carbs. I'm ashamed of myself.
laughs at my attempt to be witty

[/quote]

Why are you doing this? Do you plan to eat this way the rest of your life? If not, it's just a yo-yo diet. Such drastic measures (1000 calories a day) doesn't sound safe.


#13

I agree… bland CAN be bad if it’s the wrong kind of food. :slight_smile: And as I learned recently, yes we do need some salt!!! Not good to completely cut it out. I love the “super foods”… garlic has a lot of health benefits, as does cinnamon and many other truly natural “strong” flavors. :slight_smile: I’ve also heard (and definitely believe this) that eating a colorful diet is a great way to make sure you get the nutrients you need. For example, many naturaly orange foods contain Vitamin A, dark colored foods (like berries or beets) contain certain antioxidants, green foods have their own set of nutrients… :slight_smile: So don’t go bland on the color… because a lot of empty-calorie, processed foods are white and brown.


#14

[quote="ManOnFire, post:5, topic:184307"]

I find it peculiar that the Govt. is advocating more exercise to lose weight, but not a peep about reducing the intake of pleasurable, rich foods.

[/quote]

The fact that you think "rich" foods are the only pleasurable ones points to your basic problem.

Bland food has worked very well for me. Anything that makes food taste better (like spices, even though spices don't raises caloric intake much), creates another event where the brain craves better tasting food. Why tease you're brain like that if you're trying to lose weight? Why voluntarily make it harder than it needs to be? It doesn't make sense to me.

Well, your position makes no sense to me. You are saying that we shouldn't eat good-tasting food that is healthy because it might makes us want good-tasting food that isn't healthy? Instead, we should attempt the much more difficult (and probably blasphemous) task of eliminating pleasure from food altogether.

Good luck with that. Your suggestion seems to reflect a rather twisted attitude to life in general. God made food to taste good. It seems ungrateful not to enjoy it.

Edwin


#15

ManOnFire… lol, ummm, I can tell you right now, as a skinny person (5’3" under 100 lbs) that it’s not willpower for me. :slight_smile: It’s straight up body chemistry and metabolism. That may change one day, and I am trying now to teach myself discipline and healthy habits so I won’t be caught totally off guard. But, all that said… if bland food works for you, then stick with it!!! It would never work for me (as I mentioned in a previous post)… but taste and eating patterns are extremely personal. I do agree that as a society we’ve lost sight of what it means to live simply and when we cut back to more basic, natural foods, it’s amazing how tasty those foods become (when there is no highly processed dish to compete with). I actually have gotten to the point where I crave healthy, natural foods. :).

I’ve also found that exercise, when possible, is great for keeping me healthy but it does increase my hunger by a lot. So, I am glad I am now craving the “good stuff” because I can put down a fair amount!


#16

[quote="adstrinity, post:12, topic:184307"]
Why are you doing this? Do you plan to eat this way the rest of your life? If not, it's just a yo-yo diet. Such drastic measures (1000 calories a day) doesn't sound safe.

[/quote]

I'm trying to lose weight (doctor's orders), and since I'm injured (broken foot with cast), I can't do conventional exercise (running, walking, kickboxing, swimming, etc.) And my metabolism is so slow, that looking at junk food causes me to gain weight. If I eat what is "normal", I will blow up to over 250 pounds. Once I can exercise again, I will eat more, but until then, it's this plan (was draw up by my doctor).


#17

[quote="Contarini, post:14, topic:184307"]
The fact that you think "rich" foods are the only pleasurable ones points to your basic problem. I didn't say rich was the only one. I also said diet soft drinks and spices. I wouldn't consider those to be rich. Didn't you read the post?

Well, your position makes no sense to me. You are saying that we shouldn't eat good-tasting food that is healthy (Where did I say we shouldn't eat healthy food?)because it might makes us want good-tasting food that isn't healthy? Instead, we should attempt the much more difficult (and probably blasphemous) task of eliminating pleasure from food altogether.

Good luck with that. Your suggestion seems to reflect a rather twisted attitude to life in general. I want to save people from dying from heart disease at a young age, so their kids won't grow up without parents. I want to give them another tool to achieve weight loss, if that's what they choose for their health and the happiness of their loved ones. THIS REALLY WORKS. How is that twisted? God made food to taste good. It seems ungrateful not to enjoy it.

Edwin

[/quote]

Healthy, bland food absent of high stimulation of the taste portion of the brain will make the brain crave less tasty food over time. It makes people stronger and less a slave to food. It worked well for me. If you want to prove my point about how people's brains are addicted to tasty food to the point that they believe they can't do without it, just ask people to give up chocolate. Yeah, I thought so.


#18

[quote="ManOnFire, post:17, topic:184307"]
Healthy, bland food absent of high stimulation of the taste portion of the brain will make the brain crave less tasty food over time. It makes people stronger and less a slave to food. It worked well for me. If you want to prove my point about how people's brains are addicted to tasty food to the point that they believe they can't do without it, just ask people to give up chocolate. Yeah, I thought so.

[/quote]

The idea that spicy foods are more addicting is really, really silly. I think it comes from the idea of Irish and Polish eating very bland foods. But people from India eat VERY spicy food as well as people from other middle-eastern, Asian and Middle American countries.

And often we crave food beucase our body "needs" a certian chemical. For instance chocolate contains anti-depressant qualities that go far beyond the sugar fix we recieve.


#19

[quote="ManOnFire, post:5, topic:184307"]
Yes, but the level of vanity or budgets of those skinny people who eat junk is just slightly stronger than their desire to eat pleasurable food. Weight is gained once the opposite occurs. Some people choose to attribute their skinniness to metabolism when they simply have more willpower to eat rich foods in small doses rather than large doses.

I find it peculiar that the Govt. is advocating more exercise to lose weight, but not a peep about reducing the intake of pleasurable, rich foods. With the healthcare debate, prevention of heart disease could really cut h.c. costs. It's almost like the Govt. wants to create dependency.

Bland food has worked very well for me. Anything that makes food taste better (like spices, even though spices don't raises caloric intake much), creates another event where the brain craves better tasting food. Why tease you're brain like that if you're trying to lose weight? Why voluntarily make it harder than it needs to be? It doesn't make sense to me.

[/quote]

I think there really are some people who don't struggle with overeating. Just like there are some people who don't struggle with alcoholism.

Those people just don't need tremendous willpower to stop eating, they can eat some junk and stop whereas an obese person might eat the whole cake so to speak (just like some people can drink a bit of wine and stop, and others can't).

As for the government, they're not going to do that because think about how much money is spent first on fattening foods, then on diet programs, and then on medications to fight the effects of obesity. Businesses are making billions on this, and food + diet + medication are a huge part of the economy. Believe me, those drug companies who are getting filthy rich selling cholesterol/blood pressure/diabetes medications to fat people don't want Americans to get healthy. :p

Some government money does go to healthcare, and I would be curious to see what the numbers are. Would they make more from the sales of the drugs, diets, junk food, or from having to pay less since people would be better off? Government is heavily influenced by those special interests anyway, and they would really lose out if people were healthy.


#20

[quote="CountrySinger, post:10, topic:184307"]
I'm a fat pig. I know. This will blow your mind, I had a 6 inch veggie sub today with Non Fat Ranch. wink So I can't eat for the rest of the day, too many carbs. I'm ashamed of myself.

laughs at my attempt to be witty

[/quote]

How much weight have you lost so far?


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