It’s February already. Are you still on your new year’s resolution diet? Probably not, hmm?
Well, good! Because I’ve just conducted a very scientific experiment on a new diet. The results are in and I had to share.
See, I’ve had a consistent problem my whole life with food. Namely, eating everything in sight.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE food.
I just have a slight discipline problem: I can’t say no to certain foods.
Do you have the same problem?
For me, the temptations generally come in pink boxes (aka donuts) or all things circular. Think cookies.
So, here’s what happened, and how I discovered the only “diet” that works.
I recently moved to my own place and proceeded to make my kitchen as comfy and welcoming as possible. As I shopped for my first batch of foods, I decided I better buy some fun stuff – just for my future guests.
That naturally included a couple cartons of ice cream and a few containers of cookies. And maybe some Toblerone. I’m going to be such a great host, I thought to myself.
So, um, like, three weeks later, these were all gone. And yet I had no guests.
The only thing uneaten was the dairy ice cream but that’s only because I’m lactose intolerant.
It was THE MOST junk food I’ve eaten since high school. And I’m a health coach?!
I almost beat myself up over it, but that’s not my style. There was too much pleasure indulging in coconut milk strawberry ice cream smothered with warm raspberries every night.
Instead, I studied my behaviors in search of a reason.
And I found it at the grocery store.
The decision to eat junk food happens at the grocery store, NOT at the moment you take a bite.
When you decide to buy something “bad” and bring it home, you’ve lost. The presence of food in your home means you have permission to eat it. Period.
But if you decide – at the store – that you won’t buy that tempting thing, it’s technically not available for you to eat.
I call this the “Out of Sight, Out of Mouth” diet.
It sounds obvious and childish. And you’re thinking, “I can get sweets anywhere, this will never work!” Except, try it. It works.
That moment in the store is the moment when you have the most willpower to make a good decision. If you can say no at that moment, and get home without the junkies, you’ve home free.
If something is NOT in your home, you will eat it less. It’s a law of physics.
But wait, woah! I’m not saying your kitchen should be devoid of all yummies. Noooo.
If you decide to bring home temptations, then hide them. Hide them well. Make them almost invisible and very difficult to get to.
I now keep all my goodies on a top shelf that requires a stool to reach. It means I have to go find a stool, lug it over, risk my life reaching for that high shelf, rummage past the obstacles I’ve placed in the way… just to get a cookie.
And this, coming from the girl who loves having a cookie jar on the kitchen counter.
Until she saw herself emptying out that jar every week, by herself.
This is not a deprivation strategy of any kind. This is a simple prevention strategy for those of us who have trouble resisting sweets.
I work with parents who complain that their kids always eat junk food. And then we’ll look in the pantry, and hmmm: chips, cookies, candy, pop tarts, sugary cereals.
If it’s in the home, it will be eaten.
If you want your kids to eat healthier, then fill your kitchen with only the good stuff. And don’t take them shopping with you. 😉
I’d love to know if you share my discipline problem and if this “diet” works for you!