Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

As an accounting major in college, I had to take several economics classes. The study of economics includes the study of human behavior. One concept in economics that has always intrigued me was the law of diminishing marginal utility. Simply put, the law of diminishing marginal utility states that the second unit of a product does not give the consumer as great a level of satisfaction as the first. It continues to say that the third unit is not as satisfying as the second and so on.

When we put this concept into weight loss, it can lead us to more mindful eating. Think about a food you love (for me, I am choosing chocolate cake!) First, look at the food and take it in with all your senses. It looks great, it smells fabulous. You take a piece. As the law of diminishing marginal utility teaches us, the first bite will be the most satisfying. When you are ready to take the first bit, make sure you are in a place physically and mental to enjoy it. Yum! Now, on to the second bite. Wow, it was great too, but not quit as good as the first. Time for the third bite, then the fourth. Are you still getting a high level of satisfaction? If so, have another bit! But if not, put your fork down and walk away. You do NOT have to clear your plate. If you are not getting a high level of satisfaction from each bit, then it is time to stop. Make each bit worth the calories you are taking it. This method can save you hundreds of unenjoyed calories.

I have put this concept into my eating habits over the past few days. Over the weekend, my husband and I went to dinner to a local place that has my absolute favorite chocolate cake (that is why I chose it as my example.) It has layers of mouse, cake and chocolate slivers….soooo good! After dinner, my husband and I ordered a piece to share (another good option to slim down.) When the waitress brought it to our table, it looked so good. I picked up my fork for the first bit. Wow, so good! Then the second, third, then forth. It was time to ask my self, was I still getting a high level of satisfaction out of each bit? Yes, I was! So it was time for a few more bits. Then, it was time to ask my self again. This time, the answer was no. It was time to put my fork down and push the rest of the cake to my husband.

This concepts really works for me. What do you think? Have you tried it? Please tell me about you experience with it.

A dream is a wish your heart makes......


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1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy - I found your link to your blog on a post from the DIS boards. I admire your energy! My friend and I have the same goal to do the Princess Half in 2012. With hard work and a little pixie dust, we can all make it. I look forward to following your progress.