If you look around the places where you spend the most time what type of behavior do they promote? Are your home cupboards filled with temptation whose presence you justify as ‘for the kids’ or ‘for a treat’? Do you support workplace or school initiatives that indirectly promote obesity?
Most people say “yes but I should be able to control myself” or “why should everyone else suffer”. They rely on willpower. Willpower is just the ticket to get you started. It’s like a starter motor that roars the engine into action and then sits idle until the next turn of the key. Willpower does not have the long term drive of motivation, dedication or discipline – and relying on willpower for long term change is at the heart of those 95% of diets that fail.
Replace willpower with strategies. Do not place a recovering alcoholic in an apartment above a pub and ask him to rely on willpower. Set yourself up for success by creating a nurturing environment that feeds your new habits.
Cleanse your home and personal work space of all unhelpful foods and replace these with healthy and filling options.
To complete this stage make it as easy as possible to achieve your goals by eliminating or reducing risks in the places you spend the most time e.g. at work and home.
Take a stock of emergency food with you to work to store in the cupboard for those times when we don’t have time for lunch and the snack box seems all too tempting. Remove all temptations from the household cupboards, freeze the slices for kids lunch boxes, and give away 90% of those chocolates your neighbour gave you for looking after her cat. The goal here is not total elimination of life’s tasty treasures but control of how much you eat, when you eat and why.
Create strategies that allow you to cope privately with social functions or workplace shouts. By doing this in advance you will be prepared when the time comes rather than reacting on impulse by doing what is expected, what everyone else is doing or what you would normally do. Create your own ‘play book’ by completing the following table for situations that conflict with you reaching your goals.
Write down the locations that are the hardest to control your food choices and habits
Write down the habit the is hardest to overcome
Create a strategy that can help you improve in future (Use this template for your weight loss goal)