If I only had a nickel for the number of times I’ve heard, “I don’t have any willpower.”
Let that crazy belief go and let’s move on.
Eating in a manner that is nutritionally sound a.k.a. eating less junk food, has very little to do with willpower and motivation.
This game is really about your environment. When healthy foods are convenient and highly visible, you will eat them. When the foods that cause you to binge are not around, it’s tough to binge.
Here’s an experiment for you to try. Think of it as getting a head start on your spring cleaning, preparing for Lent, taking a stand for better health—whatever works for you.
The Experiment: DO A KITCHEN MAKEOVER
Step 1: Make a list of RED, YELLOW, and GREEN light foods.
RED light foods are those that you’d best not have anywhere around. Criteria for these foods: you always overeat them, you don’t feel good after you eat them (in body AND mind), you are allergic/sensitive to them, they don’t help you achieve your health goals. These are typically processed foods.
YELLOW light foods are the ones that you are moderate with when you’re eating out with others, yet when left alone, unattended…it’s not pretty.
GREEN light foods are great, nutritious, tasty, anytime foods that keep you on track. Eating these foods will definitely make you successful in achieving your goals. These are typically whole foods.
Step 2: Clean out anywhere you store food.
Unload the RED light foods. Toss them or give to a food pantry (if in date and non-perishable).
YELLOW foods may be totally removed, kept in smaller quantities, or somewhat hidden in a very inconvenient place. For example, if you love your homemade trail mix, yet have a tough time stopping at a handful or two when no one is looking, portion it out in small containers and make the rule that you only get ONE container.
Shop for your GREEN light foods. Buy enough for only a few days so they stay fresh, since most of these are in the produce section. Store them in easy to see and reach areas, and have them ready to eat when the hunger monster strikes.
Step 3: Take notes.
When you crave a RED or YELLOW food, what happens? Do you go for a GREEN food instead, or do you make a trip to the grocery? Or do you have a glass of water and realize you don’t need to eat anything at all because it’s too much work and you’re not even really hungry?
The bottom line is that your environment makes it harder—or easier—to make healthy choices. Always remember this: If a food is in your house, you or someone you love, is eventually going to eat it.
When you remove the foods that notoriously bring you down, this game becomes much easier to win.
Oh, and if you live with other people, like your family, let them know what you’re doing and why. If there are RED light foods they MUST have, make them hide them. You could also eliminate only a few at a time.
Feeling overwhelmed with anything that has to do with food, life, and you? Email me and we’ll find that first step to help you reach your goals!
“Simple is sustainable.”