Monday, November 17, 2008

The importance of small changes

One of the best things about Eat Stop Eat is that it allows you to really take control of how you eat.

After all, once you have gone without food for 24 hours a couple of times, you really start to get a feel for the real reasons behind why you eat, what you eat and when you eat.

Often times, hunger isn't one of these reasons. Habit and emotional connection are usually the culprit.

If you take this new found wisdom, you can create a big difference in the way you eat by making SMALL changes.

Take coffee for instance.

One of the first things I noticed when I started fasting was how much I loved my coffee with cream and sugar (I put up with black coffee during my fasts, but I DEFINITELY don't like it)

Fasting also made me realize just how often I craved coffee...typically drinking 2-3 cups per day.

I realized very quickly that this was the perfect opportunity to make SMALL CHANGES for BIG RESULTS.

My typical coffee was (at the time) was an extra large with two cream, two sugar - which contains about 280 calories.

I slowly weaned myself down to a large coffee with 1 sugar and 1 cream, which contained about 110 calories.

After about a week of drinking large coffees with 1 sugar and 1 cream I realized I wasn't enjoying my coffee nearly as much as I used to, so I switched to 2 cream, 1 sugar..about 180 calories.

This did the trick.

So, thanks to one small change I reduced my coffee calorie intake by 100 Calories, 2 to 3 times per day, saving myself between 1,400 to 2,100 Calories per week without cutting out any of my favorite foods.

In my opinion this is much better than simply trying to stop drinking coffee all together. After all, I enjoy my coffee, so this would have been punishment, and weight loss and eating healthy should NEVER be about self-punishment. Plus, I know that I would have lasted about 3 days without coffee before going back to my old habits, so it would have been futile punishment at that.

Small changes, big results.


PS- the other day I tried a coffee with 2 cream, 2 sugar (for old time's sake)..I can honestly tell you I like my coffee with 2 cream 1 sugar better!

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Art Nelson said...

I don't need sugar, but I will be generous with the half&half when drinking coffee and tea. It's one of life's pleasures and the tea (without half&half) really helps with the fast.

I haven't been keeping up but are there any decent subs for sugar yet? I mean ones that don't have a terrible aftertaste? They've positively ruined chewing gum in the U.S. with artificial sweeteners. I'm with Linus Pauling that they are probably quite harmful besides.

Chris Keller said...

Brad, go try the new Clover coffee at Starbucks (I hate promoting a massive chain, but they bought the Clover company). It's a special type of machine with higher quality beans and it's the only coffee in my life that I've been able to drink straight bitterness whatsoever, it's unbelievable (let it sit for 5 minutes after brewing so you can taste it without being scalding hot)

Adam Steer, Momentum Training said...

Hey Brad,

I still don't understand someone who ruins a good cup of coffee with sugar or cream / milk! :)


Brad Pilon said...


I could not agree with you more about the chewing gum.

All I want, is a nice stick of Big Red gum.

You simply CANNOT do cinnamon flavored chewing gum any justice with artificial sweeteners.


Brad Pilon said...


I'll give the Clover a try this morning...


Brad Pilon said...



You must get the same pains in your stomach that I do every time I see someone put ice in a dram of scotch. It's practically murder!


Sara said...

I'm with Adam. I think it was time in Italy that did it. If you ask for a cappuccino or cafe latte (especially in the morning), the whole of Italy gives you a collective dirty look.

Now I only drink espresso. And, I'm really fussy about the beans.. and the grind.. and the beans have to be ground directly before making the espresso, with filtered water, at the right temperature.

It's just a matter of - if you are going to do something, do it right.

Tina said...

I totally agree with you about the "little things" adding up...things like my triple triple-with a shot of hazlenut syrup Tim Hortons (X large!) at least twice a week, breakfast at Mcdonald's a few times a month after work...despite myself eating in a perfect clean manner otherwise, 20lb crept up on me in the last 3 years or so.

I have cut this stuff out since July and have joined a weight loss program. The eating is not much different than I am used to, and eliminating these extras along with increasing activity has caused me to drop 15lb so far. I am TIRED however of the measuring, and such, and CONSTANTLY thinking about food and what they deem I should eat and when...I can't see myself keeping up with this long term. Your method is like a breath of fresh air! Eating well 90% of the time, with more fruits/veggies and whole "real" foods, yet not worrying about my upcoming hospital Xmas party as an example. I even had a Tim Horton's the other day and didn't feel too guilty about it, and savored every minute and then was satisfied and was so clued in that I didn't need more, just that small cup was enough. I am in my 2nd 24h fast, and I have found like others, already I am so much MORE cued in to what hunger feels like and to the other things that gave me cues to eat (not necessarily true hunger), not so when I was eating several times a day. And I feel very alert and a sense of well being while is not as bad as I thought. It will take some time to trust the process and not focus on calories so much and instead focus on the "overall" composition of my diet.

I am planning on participating in the upcoming 4th Turbulence Training contest, and plan to use your ideas Brad. Thank you SO much for your E book and your work spreading the word to all us "anal" dieters!

Brad Pilon said...


To my coffee council, I made the switch to espresso, and must thank you.

Not to sound like an alcoholic, but espresso reminds me a lot of scotch.

its strong, but once you can start picking out the complexity of the flavors, it really is remarkable.


Brad Pilon said...


I'm glad I could help simplify things, and I can't wait to see you in the next TT transformation contest.


Anonymous said...

I am on my first fast day and things actually easier then I thought. Just one thing I am not so sure of. Is it better to leave out milk completely on the fast days? I don't know what half and half is, I live in South Africa. Is that a long life milk? I use Fat Free milk (just a little) and Stevia sweetener for my tea.

speshul_k said...

...the infamous Timmy's Double Double.