Is it just me or is there food everywhere?
Many of you have told me there is FREE FREAKIN’ FOOD EVERYWHERE these days. I guess the Halloween spirit is here early. Ughhh.
FREE is a very powerful word, especially when it comes to food.
And, unfortunately, it’s not going to be any different for the next few months as we’re gearing up for the holiday season. (How is it almost November already?)
Let’s explore this pull that free food has on us.
I know how hard it is when there is Free Freakin’ Food Everywhere – here in after referred to as “FFFE”.
Want to know the hardest word in the world to resist?
Wait for it…FREE!
We love free. We can’t get enough of it. Give someone a free piece of junk, and they’ll take it. Actually, they’ll wait on line for it!
Give someone free food, and not only will they wait on line for it but they’ll get their friends and they’ll ALL wait on line together!
First, let’s explore why we have such a hard time resisting free food — which is usually sugary/salty/fatty food.
We’re hard-wired to like sweets. Give a baby something sweet, and they’ll like it more than something unsweetened. (This has been proven. I’ve also conducted my own study. Zachary, my son, loves his apples more so than he does his peas.)
Now give anyone a combo of sugar, salt and fat and that becomes irresistible.
Our brain loses its ability to regulate itself when we eat a combo of sugar, salt and fat. As humans we’re programmed to focus on the most ‘rewarding’ stimuli – because back in the day – - we actually had to worry about surviving.
BUT the combo of sugar, salt and fat (pick anyone of our favorite unhealthy tasting foods and snacks) has a pull on us. It overrides our brain’s natural ability to regulate itself.
There in lies the true problem.
Give me a bowl of broccoli and I’ll feel satiated after a while.
Give me a bowl of cookies and I can keep eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them (you think I’m kidding?) – no matter how much I already ate!
We lose our ability to feel full when we eat irresistible foods.
If you put a plate of cookies in front of me, it’s going to be very hard for me to focus on anything else.
Well our dopamine (chemicals that make us feel good) levels rise in anticipation of the reward. We can’t stop thinking about it…or can we?
Our brain works like that, unfortunately.
Now, without having to pay for it – which is an act that makes us STOP and think, “Wait, do I really want this?” we lose that precious time to pause.
There is nothing in our way. The floodgates are open!
So, besides me telling you the obvious to avoid situations where there is free food, we CAN fight back, and have a game plan.
In fact, having a game plan is the most important strategy.
Many times, we’re either going to a party, or a work event or some sort of planned function that we can prepare for. The key is to mentally prepare for it.
For example, if we’re going to our friends house who makes the best xyz – let’s decide before we go how many we’ll have – if we decide it’s really worth it. (That means it passes the, “Will I remember this in 2 weeks?” test.)
Mentally rehearsing what we’re going to do before we go is a great strategy. Because when we mentally rehearse, we’re thinking with our long term, rational mind.
When we’re tempted, we’re thinking with our short term, irrational mind. In fact, that is my definition of a temptation — anything that makes us think irrationally.
Whether it’s picturing the ball going in the hoop before we shoot a basketball, or envisioning what we’ll order and eat, it helps a lot.
But what happens if out of nowhere there’s just FFFE?!?! Ahhhh!
In this case, do not teeter. Do not waver. Do not pass go. If someone put a plate of xyz in front of us right now let’s choose immediately.
“No. I don’t want this. It’s not going to make me feel good. It won’t make me look or feel better.”
“If I eat this now, I won’t feel good about myself later and tomorrow.”
But the second we start to entertain the idea, “Hmmm…well maybeeeee if I have just 1….”, we’re going to lose. Never negotiate with yourself.
It can’t be a negotiation. It has to be a quick decision.
“Nope! Not for me!” “It’s not a part of my plan!” Next thought…
If we’re watching TV with a little kid and a commercial comes on that’s really disturbing what would we do?
Quick! Change the channel!
We can do the same. Think about something else. Talk about something else. Snap a rubber band on your wrist. Text or email your Tutor.
Remember: Change that channel.
But, here’s my favorite question I ask myself (yes, I ask myself lots of questions because questions are the best way to see things in a different light, and that’s the idea) when there’s FFFE: “If this weren’t free, would I pay for it?”
And 95 times out of 100, I wouldn’t. By asking myself that question, I’m able to pause looooong enough to quiet my short term, irrational mind.
Without fail, whenever I meet someone and tell them what I do, the conversation turns to all of the diets they’ve done in the past, including the one they’re currently on.
We all know people like this…
One month they’re eating ONLY xyz. “Nope, I can’t eat any of that. It’s not a part of my plan!” The next month, they’re eating only what they were just avoiding the month before. The next month, they’re only eating grapefruits.
“This is working so well! I lost 2 pounds in the first 2 days! Can you believe this?!?!”
The next month, “The best part about this is that I can eat as much fat as I want AND lose weight?!” as they’re chomping down on a triple bacon cheeseburger.
The next month, “Ya know, I’ve decided I’m going to become a vegetarian. I’m never going to eat meat again!”
The next month…
I can keep going if you’d like?
We all know these people…
…they go from one shiny new fad diet to the next without ever sticking with ANYTHING.
Consistency isn’t sexy (but it’s ridiculously effective). And because it’s not “sexy” or the “it” diet of the moment, people might feel bored or even left out while some of their friends are eating “cookies” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because of this, they’re always in search of the newest fad diet, instead of focusing on what actually works.
We all know deep down, the secret to success is —–> doing the right things over and over and over and over again. And doing the right things over and over and over and over again.
No matter what diet we follow, or what ‘magic pill’ we take (they don’t exist!), if we want to be successful, eventually, we’re going to have to do the actual work.
And the actual work means eating right, eating less, and moving more…consistently.
There is no escaping this.
We can’t escape the work if we want sustainable results. While the majority of people are searching for the “latest and greatest fad diet” our clients are doing the right things day in and day out. While the majority of people are searching for the “new and shiny diet” MBT-ers are staying consistent week after week. While the majority of people are trying to avoid cravings, we’re helping them figure out why they’re getting them in the first place.
Change by nature is uncomfortable.
If we’re doing what we always do like saying, “I’ll start tomorrow,” or, “Ah, I’ll start fresh on Monday,” we won’t feel or look any different. But, if we don’t give into those rationalizations we’ll feel discomfort. Discomfort means we’re doing things differently. It means we’re changing, and therefore getting closer to where we want to be.
Hence, discomfort is our compass.
We can’t escape the discomfort, we just can’t. Change by nature is uncomfortable. Nor can we escape the day to day consistency, which isn’t sexy – even though, it’s ridiculously effective.
It’s so easy to avoid the inevitable: being consistent and sticking with a sensible eating and exercise plan.
Here’s the brutal reality of this all. Change – real sustainable change – is uncomfortable. Real change requires consistent effort, support and a willingness to be vulnerable and uncomfortable. That is not easy to maintain without any help.
After all, if it was so easy to change, we’d all do it. And we’d all be in amazing shape. I don’t say this to be self-serving either. It’s just reality.
I’m 100% convinced, though I’m admittedly biased – daily and personal accountability and support is what makes all of the difference. I’ve seen what it can do. It makes the discomfort way more tolerable and dare I say – enjoyable. It makes the consistency very doable. It’s why we get the results we do. It’s why we have the track record we do.
“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting.” – Siddartha Guatama
There are 3 reasons why it’s very hard to go all the way. If you’re interested in learning them simply email me with the subject line, “What are the 3 reasons sticking with it is so hard?” This is very powerful. It’s the reason why people can’t stick to a diet. You can message me here for it.
Also, while you’re at it…let me know the following:
1) What diets have you tried in the past? What are you currently following (if anything)?
2) What was missing from those diets? Why weren’t you able to stick to them?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Your Body Tutor,