The Traffic Light to Success
What If you had a way to tune out those cookies calling your name from the pantry?
What if you could quiet the ice cream beckoning from the freezer?
What if you could ease the reins on your willpower after a hard day at work and not worry about making a poor nutrition choice?
What if you could give your kids a fighting chance to not be fat and unhealthy like the majority of the population?
Well, it’s not that complicated, But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Environment affects motivation
Our brains are lazy.
They prefer shortcuts.
Rather than having to actively think about everything you need to do in a day,
Sometimes your brain just likes to kick back and let your habits and routines take over.
And what sets those habits and routines into action – triggers.
A trigger could be a TV show, a time of day, a stressful event and it can especially be the environment around you.
The first step in fighting back against a nasty, unhealthy habit is awareness.
So, step 1 is done, you’re now aware that environment is a trigger to making poor nutritional choices.
So, what do we do about it?
Shape the path
Last week, we introduced you to Berardi’s first law, which states:
“If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it”
And the corollary to the law:
“If a healthy food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it”
Willpower is much easier to exercise when ice cream, cookies, chips, and cake aren’t calling your name from the kitchen.
We make thousands of decisions everyday and those decisions are based much on upon the world around us.
Make the world around you conducive to:
Getting in shape,
Being a good role model to your kids,
And giving your kids a fighting chance to not be fat, diabetic and hypertensive.
Seriously, why test your willpower and gas it out every day trying to hold out on eating certain foods,
when you can just structure your environment to be conducive to the goals you have for yourself and for your family?
Don’t get me wrong, willpower can definitely be strengthened, but it can also be fatigued throughout the day.
When you have to hold back on telling your hubby to fix that broken baseboard on the stairs,
When you have to hold back on getting out of your car to beat up that dude in the corolla that cut you off in traffic,
When you have to hold back on yelling at your co-worker for filing the wrong form,
By the end of the day,
Sometimes you just zone out and let your habits and routines take over.
So, what’s one way to structure your environment in order to lose fat, get control of your eating and get back in shape?
The traffic light to success
Precision Nutrition uses the concept of a traffic light and we love it!
Think of the colours on that traffic light.
Red means stop.
Yellow means proceed with caution.
Green means go.
We can apply this concept to the foods we keep in our house.
Red light foods are a no-go.
They make you sick,
you can’t eat them slowly,
you can’t eat them to 80% full,
you feel out of control when eating them
or they are wicked easy to overeat.
Yellow light foods are okay at times,
but other times, forget about it.
Maybe eating Cheetos with your friends is okay,
you can control yourself and eat them slowly,
but if you are home alone, with the TV on, that whole bag is gone!
Again, yellow-light foods mean proceed with caution.
Green light foods are foods you can eat slowly and to 80% full.
They are nutritious,
you find them enjoyable,
and they make you feel good mentally and physically.
These are the foods we usually talk about on this blog.
Colourful fruits and veggies, lean protein, healthy fats and smart carbs are typical green-light foods.
You can probably see where we are going with this….
Lights, camera, action
The first action step is to create a list of your red-, yellow- and green-light foods.
It’s pretty straight-forward from there…
Get rid of red-light foods, get them out of reach and/or out of sight.
You can throw out or donate your them, we don’t care, just get them outta there!!
Next, Fill up your fridge, pantry and countertops with the green-light grub.
This make the green-light foods convenient and easy to grab.
And depending on what triggers your yellow-light foods to go red, either get rid of them or keep them in moderate amounts.
Tune in next time and we’ll use the stoplight concept to do a kitchen clean-out.
The world around us shapes many of the decisions we make.
You aren’t a failure, A loser, Or weak if you grab a piece of chocolate cake from the counter.
You’re actually quite normal.
When the world around you is filled with red-light foods that aren’t conducive to losing fat, it’s pretty easy to get off track.
When the world around you is full of foods you enjoy, are easy to eat slowly, are easy to eat until 80% full and make you feel good physically and mentally, then making the right choice is easy!
Tune in next week for more on how to “Shape the path”!