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(Outside Online)   Losing weight is tough in part because of decision fatigue, a cognitive phenomenon where the more choices we're presented with, the worse we become at making...oooh, donuts, you say? Hmm, powdered or chocolate? Better take one of each to be sure   (outsideonline.com) divider line 39
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1208 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Oct 2013 at 2:53 PM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-18 03:00:33 PM
That's true. All the beer choices I have are responsible for my weight gain.
 
2013-10-18 03:35:14 PM
Finally! An excuse for being fat!
 
2013-10-18 03:43:18 PM
Its glands and society, dummy.
 
2013-10-18 03:43:24 PM
Weight loss is hard because food is yummy. There's really not any other good reason- I'm surrounded by stuff I want to eat pretty much 24x7.
 
2013-10-18 04:11:16 PM
I lost 20 pounds this year by following a lot of this advice.  Taking some time early in the process to plan out a daily breakfast and lunch that were high nutrition and filing without being overly carby/caloric took most of the pressure off food decisions for the rest of the day.

Although, I only worked out the morning because then I could do it before my shower.  Trust me, you're all happier that I do that.

People who actually want to lose weight will use these findings to craft effective strategies that take advantage of how our brains work, instead of just trying to fight the impulse to be lazy and overeat by brute force.  People who just watch to complain will use it as an excuse.
 
2013-10-18 04:17:57 PM
I lost 30 lbs using a food diary. It's a little tough to get used to at first, putting down everything I ate into a website...but once I got into it, I found myself planning out meals and actually thinking LESS about food because I knew I had eaten what I needed until the next meal.

Also, it encourages exercise. You see your run as a way to get more food, or in my case, alcohol. I burn, say 400 calories running, that buys me a couple glasses of wine/bourbon with some to spare. Tough to drink beer though, you really can't drink beer consistently and expect to lose weight.
 
2013-10-18 04:22:47 PM
I lost 40 pounds by cutting back on beer. And the only reason I cut back on beer drinking was to save money. Now I need to get new clothes.
 
2013-10-18 04:27:09 PM
FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

I'm down 147 pounds as of weighing this morning. It's been a steady, pain in the ass of a fight but it's been worth it. I don't know where my psychic energy sits through any given day but I do know that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and 20 minutes more in the evening keeps my metabolism jacked enough that I don't have a lot of tired issues. Losing weight sucks because you have to make that right choice day after day after day, not just one time on one day. It took me a few years to breach that plateau of 357 pounds by consistently making the wrong choices. It stands to reason it may take a few years making the right choices. There in lies the rub. It's easy to choose to sit on the couch and eat bad food day after day than it is to jump on the treadmill and eat better food day after day.
 
2013-10-18 04:29:12 PM

UnrepentantApostate: Although, I only worked out the morning because then I could do it before my shower.  Trust me, you're all happier that I do that.


You sound repentant to me.
 
2013-10-18 04:34:27 PM
My job is all about making little decisions, if decision fatigue had a physiological aspect you'd think I'd be immune.
 
2013-10-18 04:41:46 PM
The day morning exercise becomes mandatory is the day I'm going on a killing spree. It is hard enough to wake up to get to work on time, now I'm supposed to wake up earlier to go and exert myself? Screw that, and whomever decided that I can't work 10:00 -18:00 instead of 9:00 - 17:00.

Conspicuously absent: never go shopping on an empty stomach. Eat some bread or something because it will make it much easier to decide not to buy cookies. Also: deciding not to buy something is a one time effort, not eating something you bought is a continuous effort.
 
2013-10-18 04:49:52 PM

rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

I'm down 147 pounds as of weighing this morning. It's been a steady, pain in the ass of a fight but it's been worth it. I don't know where my psychic energy sits through any given day but I do know that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and 20 minutes more in the evening keeps my metabolism jacked enough that I don't have a lot of tired issues. Losing weight sucks because you have to make that right choice day after day after day, not just one time on one day. It took me a few years to breach that plateau of 357 pounds by consistently making the wrong choices. It stands to reason it may take a few years making the right choices. There in lies the rub. It's easy to choose to sit on the couch and eat bad food day after day than it is to jump on the treadmill and eat better food day after day.


I try to fit in an hour to an hour and a half cardio every day. With 1-2 rest days a week. Its hard to stay fat when you are doing double or triple runs per day. Also your liver will thank you for flushing all of the water through it - which you will be doing to replace perspiration losses.

/ End result: More eating and drinking
 
2013-10-18 05:37:42 PM
I started making better decisions at the beginning of the year, and I've lost nearly 30KG.

I've changed my diet (what I eat, and how much), taken up exercising. I never made any sudden drastic changes, but over the past 10 months, I've made subtle changes all the way. I don't have perfect self control, but anything helps, especially when you have supportive friends and family, and some tangible goals.

I eat food I like, but don't have too much variety.

It's something I knew I could do at any time, but I couldn't tell myself to do it, I needed a friend to tell me to do it.

Now I want to get the required fitness to enlist in the Air Force reserves. Something I never thought possible, as I'm 34, and never been fit in my life.
 
2013-10-18 05:42:38 PM

DerAppie: The day morning exercise becomes mandatory is the day I'm going on a killing spree. It is hard enough to wake up to get to work on time, now I'm supposed to wake up earlier to go and exert myself? Screw that, and whomever decided that I can't work 10:00 -18:00 instead of 9:00 - 17:00.

Conspicuously absent: never go shopping on an empty stomach. Eat some bread or something because it will make it much easier to decide not to buy cookies. Also: deciding not to buy something is a one time effort, not eating something you bought is a continuous effort.


I would get up at 5:30am of a morning to go to work during the week, and 6-7am on the weekend. And walk/run/gym in the evenings, but that was pretty ineffective, as I was generally busy in the evenings and couldn't commit to regular exercise.

So I've made the decision this week to get up 30-60 minutes earlier and go for a run before I shower and breakfast.
 
2013-10-18 06:32:28 PM
I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever get up early to exercise. With respect to that idea, the author can go fark himself with a rusty spoon.

However, I do find that I make better food decisions now that I have the same thing for breakfast every day, with said breakfast planned out so it contains fruit, fiber, protein, fat, and complex carbs. I only have to think about lunch or dinner.
 
2013-10-18 06:46:05 PM

rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

I'm down 147 pounds as of weighing this morning. It's been a steady, pain in the ass of a fight but it's been worth it. I don't know where my psychic energy sits through any given day but I do know that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and 20 minutes more in the evening keeps my metabolism jacked enough that I don't have a lot of tired issues. Losing weight sucks because you have to make that right choice day after day after day, not just one time on one day. It took me a few years to breach that plateau of 357 pounds by consistently making the wrong choices. It stands to reason it may take a few years making the right choices. There in lies the rub. It's easy to choose to sit on the couch and eat bad food day after day than it is to jump on the treadmill and eat better food day after day.


Congrats! I'm down 120ish from my high point, and have about 30 to go 'til I clear the 'overweight' bar into 'normal'. It may be the only normal thing in my life, once I get there.
 
2013-10-18 06:56:26 PM

SordidEuphemism: rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

I'm down 147 pounds as of weighing this morning. It's been a steady, pain in the ass of a fight but it's been worth it. I don't know where my psychic energy sits through any given day but I do know that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and 20 minutes more in the evening keeps my metabolism jacked enough that I don't have a lot of tired issues. Losing weight sucks because you have to make that right choice day after day after day, not just one time on one day. It took me a few years to breach that plateau of 357 pounds by consistently making the wrong choices. It stands to reason it may take a few years making the right choices. There in lies the rub. It's easy to choose to sit on the couch and eat bad food day after day than it is to jump on the treadmill and eat better food day after day.

Congrats! I'm down 120ish from my high point, and have about 30 to go 'til I clear the 'overweight' bar into 'normal'. It may be the only normal thing in my life, once I get there.


Umm, I hate to break it to you chief, but right now you're actually "normal" thanks to all of the fatties around you. Sadly, normal != healthy anymore
Congrats on the weight loss, though!

/FWIW, I'm probably "big" on Gabriel Iglesias' fatness levels
//Was once in the "husky" category
 
2013-10-18 08:02:36 PM
People like to eat. simple.
 
2013-10-18 08:57:47 PM

rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?


Bad choice of words in TFA.  Teeeeeeeeeechnically, the terms "psychic" and "psychological" are synonymous, but hardly anyone does that anymore, seeing as how everyone else now thinks that "psychic" only applies to spooky mental super powers.  Don't pay it any mind; Roy Baumeister is a legend among research psychologists, and his work on self-regulatory "strength" as a limited resource is solid stuff.
 
2013-10-18 09:41:53 PM
Small, subtle changes are the way to go.  Five years ago, i drank beer and gatorade and lived off shelved carbs like ramen and Stove Top Stuffing.  Now, it's all lean meat, eggs, salads, avocadoes, green tea, fiber drinks, and sugarless coffee.

/still fat, but feel a lot better.
 
2013-10-18 09:57:39 PM
Losing weight is easy. The problem is that gaining weight is also just as easy.


/not obese anymore, again.
 
2013-10-18 10:03:32 PM
Seems like simple diets (Slim Fast, grapefruit diet, etc.) eliminate the decision fatigue. There's only one option so you don't really have to think. Problem is, they only tend to work in the short term.
 
2013-10-18 10:30:24 PM

Son of Thunder: rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

Bad choice of words in TFA.  Teeeeeeeeeechnically, the terms "psychic" and "psychological" are synonymous, but hardly anyone does that anymore, seeing as how everyone else now thinks that "psychic" only applies to spooky mental super powers.  Don't pay it any mind; Roy Baumeister is a legend among research psychologists, and his work on self-regulatory "strength" as a limited resource is solid stuff.


This.  Good psychology is fascinating.
/don't even know the guy, but I'm familiar with decision fatigue
Hell, right now, I'm tired.  I want to go to bed. It's been a long week.  Instead, I'm sitting here on fark.  Can't decide if I want to look at geek or entertainment, or check on all my last posted threads, even though I know I just want to shut it down and go to bed.  My brain is just fried.

I just started a new job and learning is taking it's toll.  An overtaxed mind will retreat and operate at a lower level.  You know you're farked when eating takes less energy than getting up and going to bed.

It's not a problem because it's friday.  I'm actually enjoying it, almost like being a little drunk. I think it's a major driver in some insomniacs, a problem I had years ago but managed.  You condition your brain to constant activity and it has problems letting go, even if you're doing mind-numbingly stupid stuff, it's better than doing nothing, like staving off withdrawl.

And after that sleep deprived ramble, I've had my snack and water, I'm going to bed. This 4am shiat is for crazy people(and people who need money).

/I sound fat.
//and poor
 
2013-10-18 11:04:58 PM

Fonaibung: That's true. All the beer choices I have are responsible for my weight gain.


I stopped drinking beer and lost 35 pounds in six months.

/jack Daniels has no carbs ;-)
 
2013-10-18 11:41:01 PM
I just watched a TED talk about how having too many choices.  It was pretty interesting.

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.htm l
 
2013-10-18 11:41:44 PM
*having too many choices isn't always a good thing.

/whoops
 
2013-10-19 12:34:11 AM
This is why I rolled my eyes when friends of a friend decided to interrupt a get-together in order to offer their overtired (hadn't slept all night) toddler choices of what he wanted to do instead of sending his ass to the spare bedroom and telling him to cool it.
 
2013-10-19 01:29:55 AM

UnrepentantApostate: I lost 20 pounds

danfrank: I lost 30 lbs

funzyr: I lost 40 pounds

rudemix: I'm down 147 pounds


We had something going here, and rudemix had to fark it up with his 147 lbs.

/kidding
//Good job to everyone that lost weight
///Including me: down 30 lbs since April 1
 
2013-10-19 01:54:25 AM
And yeah, I don't like saying "I lost weight" as if it was somehow accidental and if I couldn't somehow find it again.

But I prefer to say "I am getting rid of weight" as that sounds more purposeful.

And I don't say "I'm on a diet" or "I started exercising" I just explain that I decided to start making better decisions.

I also started hanging out with other people (outside of work) and have several projects on the go.

Basically, I decided to change my whole life, and I feel so much better.

Stage 2 is much harder, attaining a higher fitness level and then maintaining it.
 
2013-10-19 01:56:23 AM
Also, for the metric-phobes, 30kg woks out to about 66 pounds, pounds sounds like a more impressive number.
 
2013-10-19 03:56:18 AM
I've been losing an average of 2.5 pounds per week for the last 16 weeks (179 lbs to 139 lbs). Much more of this and I won't be visible come Christmas! I've just can't seem/don't want to consume more than 700-1100 calories per day. Ah, who cares. Eating is for losers!
 
2013-10-19 04:20:47 AM

dprathbun: I've been losing an average of 2.5 pounds per week for the last 16 weeks (179 lbs to 139 lbs). Much more of this and I won't be visible come Christmas! I've just can't seem/don't want to consume more than 700-1100 calories per day. Ah, who cares. Eating is for losers!


I hope you've seen a doctor to find out what is going on because if you haven't you really should.
 
2013-10-19 05:23:04 AM

smadge1: I just explain that I decided to start making better decisions


healthier, sure.

Better?

Elitist.
 
2013-10-19 05:36:13 AM
I started at about 215 at my heaviest. Got on WW; what I love about them is they teach you two things: habits and substitutions. That's one of the reasons WW has some of the best stats long term; it's not meal replacement, so when you're done with the program (you're never done with the program), you aren't left going, "Oh no, I'm at Chili's and don't have a Jenny Craig meal with me." Bounced back up when I moved back to LA: the culprit then and now is sodas. I am so addicted to Pepsi it's not even funny. I am reasonable if they are caffeine-free, but I will suck back a 12-pack without even thinking about it if they are regular.

Then poverty. Pretty effective diet, and between that and having two intestinal issues about a year apart, I dropped down my lowest weight ever as an adult. I also had a cool encounter with an old-timer pharmacist, who handed me this paper with a metabolism diet. I need to find the paper, but the key thing I remember is that you eat nothing but eggs for the first three days. Omg it sucks. I never thought I could look at food as something to endure. The nice part is that the results were that I have a normal metabolism, so the old timer looked at me and went, "Well, you can be whatever weight you want to be, you just have to control for sugar." Seems easy (ha!) enough, and at this point, although I'm not my ideal weight, I certainly can't say I "struggle" with it. I am where I am happy with the effort level I'm willing to put out, and fortunately that's low enough to make my fiance drool over me and make guys offer me drinks when I go out.

Oh, one more key point in there: Having a therapist go, "Either be okay with the weight you are, or do something about it. The hemming and hawing is what's making you nuts." It's good advice for things other than weight loss that people like to complain about while at the same time refusing to do anything about, and something I keep in mind in general.
 
2013-10-19 06:07:17 AM

Peki: The nice part is that the results were that I have a normal metabolism


That is a real issue for a lot of people who want to shed weight.  Everyone has a different metabolism, and human's can get their system stuck in a rut.  It's an evolutionary trait.  People who don't eat right, even if it's the right things, still don't lose weight.  Much of it is about pacing.  Most people's biggest problem is scheduling.  It forces them to not eat when they should, and the body kicks into a starvation mode, where it actually saves every shred of fat and calories that it can, to hold over the lean times when food isn't plentiful.

Bears have managed to take advantage of that and go into hibernation.  Human's haven't adapted to make special use of the phenomenon, so we keep eating.  It never gets to the food is sparse stage, so we keep packing on the pounds, because our system still thinks starvation is right around the corner.

/not that it "thinks", purely representative language

Figuring out the cause and effect of our complicated biology is shadowy work because we're dealing with such a complex system that is highly variable between individuals.  That is how we have ended up with a million and one stupid diets.

Again, thanks evolution.

Any links to a good(Ie actually explains the processes with science, not near religious or new-age myth) metabolism diet would be appreciated.  Not that I'd use it, though I should.  My new job is quite demanding on my schedule.  But if I can employ some of the measures, it could help some.

/ok with being fat
//it'd be nice to reduce it some though, and it's always good to learn
 
2013-10-19 11:14:38 AM

Phil Clinton: I just watched a TED talk about how having too many choices.  It was pretty interesting.

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.htm l


Another fun consequence of decision paralysis is that people with an abundance of choice tend to pick the same thing more consistently than people with little choice.

Example:
Do people have a choice between 50 different flavours of potato chips? Chances are they are buying 1 specific kind from one specific brand about 80% of the time, a second flavour maybe 15% of the time and a third flavour 5% of the time. All the other 47 kinds won't even be considered, even when you know you like them. People with 5 flavours to choose from have greater variety.

/Numbers are fictional
 
2013-10-19 12:36:17 PM

omeganuepsilon: Peki: The nice part is that the results were that I have a normal metabolism

That is a real issue for a lot of people who want to shed weight.  Everyone has a different metabolism, and human's can get their system stuck in a rut.  It's an evolutionary trait.  People who don't eat right, even if it's the right things, still don't lose weight.  Much of it is about pacing.  Most people's biggest problem is scheduling.  It forces them to not eat when they should, and the body kicks into a starvation mode, where it actually saves every shred of fat and calories that it can, to hold over the lean times when food isn't plentiful.

Bears have managed to take advantage of that and go into hibernation.  Human's haven't adapted to make special use of the phenomenon, so we keep eating.  It never gets to the food is sparse stage, so we keep packing on the pounds, because our system still thinks starvation is right around the corner.

/not that it "thinks", purely representative language

Figuring out the cause and effect of our complicated biology is shadowy work because we're dealing with such a complex system that is highly variable between individuals.  That is how we have ended up with a million and one stupid diets.

Again, thanks evolution.

Any links to a good(Ie actually explains the processes with science, not near religious or new-age myth) metabolism diet would be appreciated.  Not that I'd use it, though I should.  My new job is quite demanding on my schedule.  But if I can employ some of the measures, it could help some.

/ok with being fat
//it'd be nice to reduce it some though, and it's always good to learn


If I find it, I'll photocopy it for you.
 
2013-10-19 05:06:32 PM

rudemix: FTA:"As a result, they run out of the psychic energy to consistently generate enough self-discipline to exercise, watch what they eat, and follow health guidelines".

Psychic energy?

I'm down 147 pounds as of weighing this morning. It's been a steady, pain in the ass of a fight but it's been worth it. I don't know where my psychic energy sits through any given day but I do know that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and 20 minutes more in the evening keeps my metabolism jacked enough that I don't have a lot of tired issues. Losing weight sucks because you have to make that right choice day after day after day, not just one time on one day. It took me a few years to breach that plateau of 357 pounds by consistently making the wrong choices. It stands to reason it may take a few years making the right choices. There in lies the rub. It's easy to choose to sit on the couch and eat bad food day after day than it is to jump on the treadmill and eat better food day after day.


Wow. Good for you!
 
2013-10-20 02:03:40 AM

smadge1: Also, for the metric-phobes, 30kg woks out to about 66 pounds, pounds sounds like a more impressive number.


Has Dr. Freud been stir-frying in your kitchen lately?
 
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