Brian Wasnik, Professor at Cornell University did research on why we overeat and how external cues influence us. Here are some revealing facts:

·LARGE BAGS. For moviegoers: when people were given a larger bucket they ate anywhere from 34 to 45 percent more, depending on the freshness of the popcorn.
·DISTANCE. Secretaries who had Hershey Kisses sitting directly at their desk ate about 9 candies each day. If the candy was placed six feet away from the desk, they only ate about four pieces.

·NAMES. Some cafes revealed that if they called their “Italian pasta” “Succulent Tuscany Pasta” sales jumped 27 percent. Same goes for “chocolate cake” and “Belgian Black Forest Cake”. If you see a fancy name, you will be led to believe that tastes better.

·ENTERTAINING. When you entertain, make sure that the first thing your guests eat is your best thing that you cooked. It has a powerful halo effect on everything else you will serve.

·EXPECTATION. People perceive a brownie or any other foods served on fancy china to be remarkably better, than served on napkins or paper plates. Next time you have people over for dinner, put out the nice china, pretty tablecloth and candles and people will think the dinner is amazing.

·FAMILY STYLE. If you leave food on the table, as in family style people will eat more.

·SPEED. If you are paired with a person who eats fast, you will eat about 50 percent more during your meal, than if you were sitting across somebody who eats slowly.

·REFILLABLE BOWLS. People were given unknowingly refillable soup bowls and ate 73 percent more than others. Their explanation was, “how can I be full? I have half a bowl of soup left.”

·ORGANIC. If people are given food labeled “organic” they estimate the caloric content to be 15 to 20 percent lower than nonorganic food.

·LOW FAT. If you give people a food that they think is low-fat, they eat 21 to 46 percent more calories. Their explanation is that if you eat something that isn’t as good as the real thing, you deserve a little bit more.

·EXERCISE. People who exercise frequently consume more calories, in particular from dessert, because they feel they deserve a treat.

·EXCUSES. People seem to always find a rationale to eat more. We are influenced by thoughts like, “I wanted to start my weight loss program today, but today was a difficult day”, or “today is a day to celebrate”, or “it’s Friday”…..or whatever.

·DRINKING. You will serve 20 percent more beverage in a short, wide glass than a tall one.

·BUFFET. People ate significantly less at a buffet if the food was covered.


  • ·Use smaller bowls
  • Use smaller dinner plates
  • Package things in smaller containers, especially if you shop in bulk
  • Store foods that are healthier in front and center of your cupboards, so it’s the first thing you see
  • Don’t serve family style
  • Use smaller spoons
  • Use 100 calorie packs instead of eating out of large bags
  • Put your fruit bowl on your counter instead of in the refrigerator

95 percent of the population has a hard time with “mindful eating”. Our lives are way too chaotic to accommodate that. Screaming kids running around our homes, endless to-do lists, thoughts about work, and other distractions make it difficult to stay in control. The solution is to set up your environment to eat less, by ridding your closets and refrigerators of junk food.

References: Nutrition Action Healthletter, May 2011


Accelerate your weight loss

You are obviously reading this because you are motivated to lose weight. Are you just starting your path on getting slimmer or have you hit a weight loss plateau? Either way I have some very effective tips for you. I promise that if you start implementing these strategies into you daily life you will be successful in lowering your body weight and get healthier too.

Remove these six unhealthy foods from your diet.

1. SODA. Soda is the number one source for empty calories. If you drink soda you are more prone to diabetes. Research has shown that by drinking just one twelve-ounce soda a day, you can gain 15 pounds in one year. What about diet soda? The goal should be to wean yourself off of super sweet foods and diet sodas happen to taste sweeter than anything found in nature. Drinking diet soda will perpetuate your desire for intensely sweet flavors.

BETTER CHOICE: Drink WATER or unsweetened iced tea. Green tea boots your immune system and aids in weight loss.

2. FOODS WITH TRANS FATS. Cookies, baked goods, French fries, microwave popcorn, movie popcorn, frozen meals, crackers, cake mixes, candy and many salty snack foods all contain trans fats. Look for the words partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil on the label. These fats are artery clogging and raise your LDL cholesterol. Research suggests that you are more likely to gain weight if you eat trans fats and they cause body fat to be stored in the abdominal area.

BETTER CHOICE: Olive oil, canola oil, butter. Sesame oil (great for stir fries), walnut oil (excellent in dressing) and peanut oil are some of my personal flavorful favorites. Especially olive oil is rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat.

3. FRIED FOODS. First you should know that restaurants deep-fry their foods in trans fats. See note above. Trans fats are much cheaper than natural oils and therefore very lucrative for businesses. Eating these fats will not help with your weight loss efforts or enhance your health. Fried foods are highly addictive, they will age you and they are loaded with calories.

BETTER CHOICE: Oven fried foods. I love oven fried fries and sweet potato fries. Simply cut potatoes into strips (or any kind of root vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, onions…), toss them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them in a 425 degree oven until toasty brown. You can cook chicken, fish and other vegetables the same way. Your food develops a delicious crispy outside.

4. and 5.WHITE BREAD and REGULAR PASTA. Not all carbohydrates are the same. White “fluffy” carbohydrates, as I like to call them, will add fluff to your body. These fluff foods are made from refined grains without any nutritional value. Healthy fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E and disease-fighting phytochemicals have been stripped from these foods.

BETTER CHOICE: Whole Grain Bread and Pasta. These carbs are a good source of energy and fiber. High fiber foods are bulkier and processed more slowly by the body than other types of foods, which helps keep you fuller longer. When you add fiber to your diet, you will eat fewer calories and shed pounds. Just remember to drink lots of water in addition. When you check the ingredient list, make sure that the first ingredient always has the word “whole” in front of it.

I can not end this message without urging you to INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL. Exercise, just like food and water, is the best nourishment for you body. By exercising for an hour a day you will not only expedite your weight loss tremendously, but you will also gain strong muscles, bones and increase your metabolism.

If you think one hour is a long time, think about how you make time for everybody and everything else. Put yourself first and make a commitment to yourself. It will pay off big time and benefit everybody who’s around you.

Recipes: Putting It All Together

What you have: 6 different meals with enough food to make 16 meals.

8 Roasted chicken breasts
2 large trays of roasted cauliflower and broccoli
4 cups of Tuna salad
4 cups of Egg salad
5 cups of pre-mixed salad
1 Lb. of Turkey breast

Meal Ideas

Tacos, 4 ways


• Pick your protein. 1) Chicken breast, 2) Egg salad, 3) Tuna salad, and/or 4) Turkey breast

• Heat up 3 corn tortillas, add ¼ cup of shredded cheese, and ½ of an avocado. Place your protein on each tortilla. Add 1 cup of roasted broccoli and cauliflower as a side dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Big-Bold Salad, 4 ways


• Pick your protein. 1) Chicken breast, 2) Egg salad, 3) Tuna salad, or 4) Turkey breast
• Prep a large plate with the pre-mixed salad (from step 8 above). Place 6-8 ounces of protein on top of salad. Add ¼ of a large avocado.
• Quick and easy dressing: Mix 1 TBSP olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add the juice from a fresh lime or lemon and mix well.

You can also spice up your salad with the following easy add-ons: Sunflower seeds, Feta cheese, Sliced almonds, Peanuts, Olives, Diced apple

The best part about meal prep mastery is that once you have a solid foundation of the proteins and veggies, you can mix-and-match to find a winning combo that you love.

Maybe you want to add some tortilla chips to your salad?
Maybe you want some extra carbs, so you bake a huge potato to go with your pre-made protein and veggies?

The options are really endless.

As long as you’re eating protein and veggies with each meal, you’ll have a solid foundation to live a fit, lean lifestyle.

This one rule alone will have a dramatic effect on how you feel, how you look, and how you think.