This past weekend we made some homemade baked goods. As I was making them I made Dave promise we would take the leftovers to the neighbors. He laughed and agreed. The next morning I reminded him that the deal was that he would take them out of the house, to which he jokingly replied “what no self control?”. I laughed and told him I was exercising self control by controlling my environment.
Is having something “off plan” ok? Yes.
Does it impact my ability to reach my goals? It can.
The question is- in order to exercise self control does it have to be sheer willpower? What happens when you just don’t have any more “willpower” left that day?
I have found most of the time it is best just not to start. Hyper palatable foods are designed to make it tough to stop eating (I bet you can’t eat just one– Lays potato chips). If I don’t have access to something that may be tempting, I am must less likely to track it down to fulfill my craving (use laziness to your advantage). Having the treats removed from the house was a way for me to stay one step ahead of what might tempt me (although not making them all together would have been another way). The key is to anticipate what might cause a problem and stay one step ahead of yourself. If you know a certain food or situation is a trigger lets anticipate and plan ahead.
What other things can we do to set ourselves up for success? Consider what possible obstacles you may encounter and plan around that road block.
Here are some examples:
- Obstacle: hungry, busy and no healthy food on hand
- Game plan to avoid obstacle: Any time you cook, triple or quadruple the recipe. Portion out the meals in pyrex containers for an easy meal.
- Also have a great back up meal that is “on plan”. Chipotle is my go to. Double meat, vegetables and guacamole (depending on how many fat macros I have left for the day).
- Obstacle: spending too much shopping for healthy food
- Game plan to avoid obstacle: buy large amounts of food from either Costco, the local farmers market, or purchase from the rancher directly (Clark Farm is a great local option).
- Obstacle: Friends or family that hassle you for your “obsessive healthy eating”
- Game plan to avoid obstacle: If you don’t call attention to your eating, they are less likely too. If you are eating out, check the menu at the restaurant ahead of time (and call the restaurant to ask questions if necessary). If you are eating at their house, offer to bring a dish to share.
What about you? What best practices have you established to keep yourself on target?