I like to consider myself a pretty healthy person. I mean, I coach others on the topic and talk about it on the Internet, so I better be right? Unfortunately, this is not the sight I see when I visit some big box gyms. You know what I am talking about, the overweight trainer coaching fat loss. Nice! Rant over! Nonetheless everyone falls at some point. What if we could prevent falls in the first place?
I have just one simple rule to ENSURE that I stick to my plans and stay with my body composition goals.
I don’t have any junk foods in the house.
This makes life easy. I don’t have to make any decisions “in the moment.” You know what I am talking about, that time when hunger strikes and you will simply eat anything in sight, even if it was created in a laboratory and will stay fresh for the better part of a century.
I set up my environment so the decision is made for me. I don’t have to fight temptation because I simply remove it in the first place. Quite simply, if it’s in my house I can eat it, and if I want something special like a double chocolate sundae supreme cookie dough blizzard from DQ I have to consciously go out and get it.
This conscious effort eliminates almost all non-conscious eating. You know the “did I really just finish that whole bag of chips during my favorite tv show; no wait, it was half empty before I started, right?” syndrome.
Plain and simple we eat more than we think. Science has proven it. Don’t believe me CHECK OUT THIS STUDY of people who ate a ton of stale popcorn. Yes, stale.
Self-control is overrated.
Let me repeat that again, self-control is overrated. It sounds good in your safe place (i.e. your head), but once you hit the real world all preconceived notions get thrown out the window.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. If the candy dish is on the counter, each time you walk by, you will have just one little piece. Over the course of the day just one little piece turns into the whole bag.
To give more evidence to my point, I ran a study of one, me. Recently I had a visit from my mother and with her she brought the devil itself, grandma’s oatmeal raisin cookies. Not just a few, but enough to feed a small army. Being the smart person I was, I left them out on the counter.
Do I listen to the advice I give?
All is well though, I vowed to have just one every once in awhile. I am so valiant. See how I said “once in awhile.” Using this ambiguous phrase I cannot fail because if I manipulate the phrase enough it could mean every time I walk past the counter.
Well, they were a gift, from my grandma of all people. I don’t want to disappoint grandma, do I? Long story short, I had already downed a handful by the time I finished thinking of my vow.
Up to this point, I never thought of cookies. Never. I have adjusted to life without extra sugar. I find this new life rather pleasant. When those cookies entered the house though, it was on. Remember the vow: just one….handful.
Needless to say the box was gone in about two days. Every time I passed by the box, hungry or not, I HAD to have a cookie. I even tried putting them in the cupboard. Now every time I saw the cupboard I thought cookie.
I am actually craving a cookie right now writing about it.
Just for the record, I just ate and am not hungry. The mind plays funny games, but can I cheat, nope, no cookies here anymore (I ate them all).
Moral of the story: Even seasoned veterans, when tempted with temptation over and over and over again, will eventually give in. We are human.
Get the crap that is directly sabotaging your diet out of the house. You know, the sodas, the cookies, and that stuff growing mold in the back of the refrigerator. Start with that for now, and I will be back to discuss some more specifics soon.
If you are serious about your health, take this first step to setting up a healthy environment. IMMEDIATELY!