Kessler’s “Food Rehab”

Recently I’ve read David Kessler’s “The end of overeating: Taking control of the insatiable American appetite.”  It talks about why most Americans eat the way we do, (he basically blames the food industry and chain restaurants) and then touches on combating that behavior.

This book is full of information, studies and statistics.  (Personally, I thought too research/study laden)  And actually, I have a problem with reading books that have a lot of information presented in a case study way.  The problem being that I can’t remember.   I should’ve taken some notes because now I can’t remember all the specifics.  But anyway, I’ll continue to blog about the topics this book covers, as I remember them.

For now, one snippet- “Food Rehab.”  The rehab this refers to is the rehab of that negative habits you have with food.  Most specifically the negative habits of overeating.  Kessler shares different ways you can stop overeating.  There’s a whole section in the book dedicated to this topic.  Essentially, there are 4 main principals.

  1. Engage in planned eating.
  2. Replace chaos with structure.
  3. Make simple yet specific rules about what and when to eat.
  4. Be predictable with food.

To me, it seems that all 4 principals are entwined within each other, or rather, they can be all boiled down to principal #2:  Replace chaos with structure.  Planned eating (#1), Rules (#3) and Predictability (#4) are just subunits of (#2) which is structure.

Even though each are a building block of structure, I think focusing on each one individually can help the overall process in a more specific way.  So first, I’m going to begin with (#1) planned eating.

Planned eating will be a fully new process for me physically, and a fully new concept for me mentally.  I’ve never, ever, ever engaged in planned eating.  Well, I guess in the most general ways I have.  Either:  eat a lot of “unhealthy” food in an unhealthy way OR eat a lot of healthy food in a limited (or otherwise, unhealthy) way.  So, for me personally, planned eating will be very involved.

I’ve always grazed throughout the day.  Sometimes during the 3 main meal times, sometimes not, and often in between.  But more often, I’d eat 6-7 times a day at any odd time.  Sometimes skipping 1-2 meal times and eat 1 very large meal with several snacks to follow.  What kinds of food I ate always varied, of course. On some days the first actual meal I’d eat would be at 7am, others at 4:30pm.  Planned and regularity?  Nope!

Back to the main point.  My plan is to first focus on planned eating.  But I’m also taking baby steps.  And for now, my 1st step is to eat at “scheduled” times. I say “scheduled” because I’m not a clock.  I’m not setting specific times for me to eat (i.e. 8am, 12pm, 6pm etc.)  Rather, I’m just making a goal to eat the 3 meals a day (at “normal” meal times).  This seems pretty simple and non-specific, however I feel that setting this goal alone will intuitively dictate the quantity of what I eat at each meal time. We’ll see.

The other baby steps of planned eating are still to come.  In due time.


  1. Small steps | makings of a better life - February 24, 2012

    […] too long ago I posted about the concept of planned eating as part of Kessler’s Food Rehab.  My first baby step of planned eating was to eat at […]

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