Wave Surf for Weight Management


Wave surfing by “hanging ten” is a smart weight management strategy.  Surfing puts the pause in your response to food cues and emotional triggers to eat when you may not be hungry. Brian Wansink, Cornell University professor and author of Mindless Eating, found that we make over 220 food decisions everyday. Mindless eaters are more apt to respond to these food cues with “Yes, lets pick up the fork and eat.”  Here’s where the wave analogy comes in.  You can’t stop your appetite from growing and the wave from peaking but you can learn to surf.

Successfully surfing your reaction to all of the food cues you are exposed to puts a pause in your first response, which maybe an impulsive or mindless one.  Food cues include everything from what’s on the kitchen counter to your employee break room, a neighbor’s work desk, vending machines, your child’s after school snack and television ads.  shutterstock_117914794There’s a lot of munching that goes on around us all daylong.  Liken these food cues to the wind that blows across water causing friction.  Eventually this energy creates multiple ripples that build upon each other creating a wave or a desire to eat.  Waves like your appetite are unpredictible and if you’re not careful you can get caught in the middle. Are you really indeed hungry or just responding to all of the ripples in your environment that beckon you to eat?

The safest and healthiest option is to stay surf side up. Do this by “Hanging Ten.”  Ride the crest of what is often times emotional hunger (tired, angry, lonely, stressed, bored) by “Hanging Ten” minutes before responding to the food cue.  Adjust your footing on the board and drink a glass of water or chew gum and surf the peak.  Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself successfully riding out the wave into calm waters where your appetite has subsided and you’ve avoided mindless calories. Enjoy the stillness and your newly found ability to surf.

Full Disclosure: I’ve never been on a surfboard, I’m certain I’d drown.

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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