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How Calories Creep Up

No one goes to bed skinny and wakes up fat. But it is possible that one becomes 20 pounds heavier in just one year.

There are times when we know we have over eaten and know we should have stopped eating way before we actually did… the days when we feel the belt buckle really dig in! And then there are the very rare occasions when we know we have not eaten enough. But most days we have very little idea whether we have eaten 50 calories too much or 50 calories too little. Infact, most of us wouldn’t even know if we have eaten 200 or 300 calories more or less than the day before.

This is the ‘Mindless Margin’. Coined by Brian Wansink (PhD) in his book “Mindless Eating” he explains that Mindless Margin is the margin or the zone in which we can either slightly over eat or slightly under eat without being aware of it. And this plays a major role in us gaining those extra pounds.


Good news is that this can work in reverse as well. A few less calories everyday can lead us to gradually lose weight without us feeling terribly deprived!

However, since it is the “Mindless” margin we cannot judge it for ourselves. But we can definitely apply this knowledge to our loved ones. Slightly smaller food portion sizes or slightly smaller plates might just do the trick. Being aware of this mindless margin kind of defeats the purpose. The trick is to shave off those margins without the person being aware of it.

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