JOURNAL PROMPT: Are there ways you already set yourself up for success in following through on certain habits? How can you use what’s working and apply it to your nutrition?
Our bodies are our gardens, our wills are our gardeners.
Two Tips For Setting Yourself Up For Success:
#1 Cheat Day
Once you make the decision (remember: our decisions determine our destiny) to start eating more intuitively and cleanly, we recommend you strive to be as consistent as possible for six days of the week. At first this will be hard and your mind and body will likely scream out for the unhealthy foods that may have become a habit. To help calm the mind and body, we recommend that during the week you create a mental list of all of the unhealthy foods that you’re not eating but really want to eat. Why? Because on day seven you get to eat them all!
Yes, we advocate that one day per week you have a cheat day to consume all of those things on your list. This cheat day does a few things to keep us on the right track. First, it is a psychological relief valve because as we go through the week of clean eating we have the cheat day to look forward to and we know we get to indulge in all of the foods we’ve been avoiding. In our experience the cheat day really seems to help because we know we’re not totally depriving ourselves.
Over time the cheat day also helps you connect more deeply with your body because you’ll have a direct, visceral experience of how the cheat day foods make you feel. Before the cheat day, when we consume those unhealthy foods consistently in our diet, we can’t distinctly feel how one way of eating compares to another. After a few weeks and months of this cheat day practice, notice how your body starts to react to the cheat day. Experience shows that the body will begin to reject the unhealthy foods and you’ll find yourself not wanting them anymore (not through willpower but instead through a more direct connection with your body). Eventually you may find that you cannot continue with the cheat day because of how badly it makes you feel.
#2 The Psychology of Placement
Let’s start with an example: if you make a commitment to exercise more frequently, you’re more likely to stick to that commitment if you make it easy to follow through by placing your exercise bag in a place that you physically can’t get by without noticing or touching it. Literally blocking your front door or on the seat of your car if necessary.
But does this work? Science shows that if we strategically place items in locations that are a part of our normal routine, we’re more likely to consistently follow through. This practice can have a wide array of applications to make habits more consistent. For example, putting your journal on top of your phone so that is the first thing you pick up in the morning, or putting your PurePower supplements on your bathroom counter next to your toothbrush. Since you’ll see these things in plain sight next to things that you already habitually do, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll follow through.
In regards to nutrition, this means meal planning, shopping for your healthy ingredients and having all the necessary items on hand. Make it easy by keeping healthy foods easily within reach. If you see them in your fridge, pantry, or on your counter next to your coffee pot, you’re less likely to ignore them. Also spending money on fresh healthy ingredients also gives us a monetary incentive to finish them and not waste the money you spent on them.
Conversely, we also recommend moving unhealthy foods and drinks out of your immediate reach. Make it hard by removing them altogether from your living space, or tuck them away in a place hard to reach.
We hope these two tips help set you up for success! Please let us know if you have questions or comments.