“If It’s There, You Will Eat It!”
Maintaining a healthy weight seems illusive to many. Americans are heavier than ever before. Our kids are falling into the overweight category earlier and earlier. In fact, we in the United States are not alone. Increases in overweight and obesity have resulted in a world wide epidemic. (WHO, 2017)
Small changes in dietary and exercise practices significantly impact weight and overall health.
This blog is about providing direction for making small changes that make a difference. Keep in mind, doing “Just one thing”, every day, has a cumulative effect. Speaking from decades of experience, the impact of taking this and the following advice to heart may significantly determine which direction you’re weight takes, this week, this month and over the next year.
Suspend your opinions.
”IF It’s There, You Will Eat It”
You will eat food that is readily available. Whether you are unhappy with your weight, trying to lose weight, protecting your weight, no matter your intention, usually, when faced with especially sweets or salty snacks, “if it’s there, (immediately or eventually), you will eat it”.
This is not your fault, but perhaps a reality to be treated as a “Fact of Life”.
If you are open to making changes, measurable results await!
Look back on yesterday. Might you have found yourself eating a high fat food, perhaps a muffin at the office, just because it was there? At home, were you snacking on cookies or chips, high fat foods, telling yourself, “Just one more.” and unable to find the brake? Did you eat foods you wish you hadn’t? They seemed to simply appear?
If you are frustrated with yourself, wondering, “What is wrong with ME?”and find that relying on will power is not working, consider the following: we, as a species, did not evolve knowing how to manage our weight and health when given such food abundance. Coupled with little cultural demand for physical activity, we all are set up for life-long weight and health management challenges. (Of course there are exceptions, though fewer and fewer.)
Something additional is called for:
What Can I Do? (Starting Point)
Perhaps, your day might have looked different if fewer high fat foods were available. How about if the muffin was not “there”, if bananas and grapes were available instead?
Take that bag of chips, readily available in your kitchen, how about if the chips weren’t there and a large bowl of air popped popcorn was instead? Making one substitution can change the calorie outcome, entirely, making for a different and lower calorie day!
“Forget all the reasons it can’t work and consider one reason it can.”
Using “If It’s There, You Will Eat It” ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I willing to remove some/all high calorie items?
- Am I willing to speak to others and ask for support?
- Am I bringing a problem solving approach to my calorie situation(s)? See BOX
- Can I avoid this high calorie food situation? Am I willing?
- Are there lower calorie option(s) to order?
- Am I willing to make a different request to support managing my calorie intake?
- Am I planning ahead, bringing low calorie, satisfying substitutions?
- Am I letting others know this practice is important to me, to my health?
Answers to these questions suggest new “To Do’s” and may seem unusual. Welcome to the heart of skill development! “Common sense tells us that learning any new skill takes hard work at first and becomes progressively easier with practice.” says Altered Traits authors, Goleman and Davidson.
The rearrangement of food environments becomes a powerful skill set. Doing “Just One Thing” every day, puts my clients in the driver’s seat of their own weight and health management. Building these skills will make a difference to you, too.
This Is Crazy!
If you are finding yourself saying, “This is crazy, I can’t get rid of foods my family wants!” or “I can’t deal with this at work!”, or maybe you feel very strongly, you shouldn’t have to do anything differently, maybe “eventually will power will kick in”.
This is a normal response to an “abnormal” situation.
- 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight or obese. (JAMA Intern Med 2015:175:1412-1413)
Up to 57% of our nation's children and teens will be obese by age 35 if current trends continue. (USA Today, 11/29/17, Painter)
Up to 4 of every teen falls into this category and is unlikely to reverse. (2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)
Excess weight increases greatly, risk for major health problems. (Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2015: 3: 114-122)
These are stunning facts that perhaps point to the necessity of an “abnormal” set of solutions. In this blog, you have just read about one!
Remember, as with any skill, practice is the operative term. The more you practice, each day, doing “just one thing”, the stronger the skill. Perfection does not exist. Smartly setting up for Successful Calorie Intake vs Willpower is the game. Changing your food environments, one day at a time, doing “just one thing” at a time, one pound at a time, is a skill worth investing in.
Frig locker box….Maybe there is nothing too crazy if it works!