REMINDER: Sign in for Open Gym    If you use the studio for exercising on your own, please remember to sign in on the list that is located on post by the front entrance.  We need to know how the studio is utilized during the non-peak periods by clients when they are not with their trainers. If you have questions about the location of the sign-in list, contact Julie Cohen.


Chances are you’ve been pulling out some of your spring and summer clothing—those favorite pieces from last year.  But if you are like many people, they don’t feel quite as comfortable as they did at the end of summer.  The zipper is a little harder to zip, and the fit is a bit too snug to be attractive.

What happened? The mindless margin happened.

The mindless marginIn his book, Mindless Eating:  Why We Eat More Than We Think, Dr. Brian Wansink defines the mindless margin as that margin or zone in which we can slightly overeat or slightly under eat without even realizing it.

It is very easy to slightly overeat, isn’t it?  Just a little food here and there; a cookie here, a jelly bean there. Have you ever cleaned your plate simply because there was food left on it?  You weren’t really hungry, but it was there, so you ate it.

This is the mindless margin. In each of these instances, you were not consuming the extra calories because you needed them: you weren’t even hungry!  And if you had resisted them, you would never have missed them.  In each case you ‘slightly overate,’ but the price you pay for this is high.

Dr. Wansink points out that eating just 10 extra calories per day results in a one pound weight gain over a year’s time.  Imagine how much weight you would gain if you ate 100 or 200 extra calories each day.  You would gain several pounds each year.  And this is what is happening to most Americans:  the slow creep.

Make the mindless margin work hard for you – The good news is that the mindless margin works in reverse.  While mindlessly overeating adds up to weight gain, mindlessly under eating leads to weight loss. There is a zone in which you do not notice if you eat more calories or fewer calories.  

Consider this:  if you eat 1,000 calories each day, you will feel weak, lightheaded and cranky.  You would notice this!  And if you eat 3,000 calories each day, you would notice this too—you would feel tired, slower and sleepy.

However, your body will never notice if you eat 1,900 calories instead of 2,000 calories, nor will it notice if you eat 2,100 calories instead of 2,000 calories.  That is why it is called the mindless margin—it is completely undetectable.  You don’t feel better if you eat it, and you don’t feel deprived if you don’t.

You can trim 100-200 calories from your diet and never miss them! And you can lose weight in the process. Here are a few ideas to help you start thinking about initiating this stealth fitness strategy in your diet.

You will come up with other ways that are specific to your particular lifestyle.  The objective is to trim a few calories every place you can without really noticing it.

  • Fill your glass only two-thirds full of calorie-laden beverage, rather than all the way full.
  • Dish out twenty percent less food onto your plate.
  • Ask the waiter to bring you one roll instead of a whole basket.
  • Never eat a whole dessert by yourself:  split it with someone.
  • Remove most junk food from your office
  • Replace one glass of calorie-rich beverage each day with water.
  • Never eat directly out of the bag or box.  Decide how much you want to eat, then put twenty percent of that back in and put the bag or box away.  Do not go back for seconds.

Keep in mind that the key to taking advantage of the mindless margin is to keep it under the radar. If you feel deprived, it is no longer mindless.  It’s a great way to lose a few pounds and not even know it.

THE JUNK FOOD-DEPRESSION CONNECTION  (from IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 13, Issue 4)

Step away from the refined carbohydrates. The sad irony is that consuming food we often describe as “comforting” actually has the strong potential to push postmenopausal women out of their emotional comfort zones and into depression.

A recent study conducted by the department of psychiatry at Columbia University, looked at the dietary glycemic index (GI), glycemic load, types of carbohydrates consumed and depression in data from more than 70,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study between 1994 and 1998.

Consumption of carbohydrates increases blood sugar levels to varying degrees, depending on the type of food ingested. The more highly refined the carbohydrate, the higher its score on the glycemic index (GI) scale. The GI scale measures the amount of sugar found in the blood after eating. Refined foods—such as white bread, white rice and soda— increase blood sugar levels and trigger a hormonal response in the body to reduce them. This response may cause or exacerbate mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression.

The investigators found that progressively higher dietary GI scores (from foods such as white bead, white rice and soda) and consumption of added sugars and refined grains were associated with increased risk of new-onset depression in postmenopausal women. Greater consumption of dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables and nonjuice fruits was associated with decreased risk. This suggests that dietary interventions could serve as treatments and preventive measures for depression.

CLIENT’S CORNER  – News From And About Our Clients

Our client, Dr. George Brent will be giving a talk about his experiences as a holocaust survivor, on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 7PM.  Location is 1616 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette. Parking is limited, so it is best to park at the Plaza Del Lago shopping center across the street.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Julie Cohen, and get specific location information.

About George Brent –  born in 1929 in Téscö, in an area of Czechoslovakia later turned over to Hungary.  George’s family was forced into the ghetto on May 21, 1944, and deported to Auschwitz three days later. As the Russian army advanced, Brent was sent on a death march and then on a coal train to Mauthausen. He eventually was liberated from Ebensee concentration camp in Austria, and traveled to the United States in 1947.