So many decisions are made throughout our day. What to wear, what time to leave, do I have time to get that laundry started? According to a recent article in Health Magazine, the number of decisions we make throughout the day can be sabotaging our health. According to Judith Beck, PhD, and author, our decisions should be automatic. When we are faced with too many choices, our brains are overloaded with making decisions, creating decision fatigue. The result? Poor decisions. Making choices in advance will help us stay on track and eliminate the "Should I? Shouldn't I?" struggle. The article goes on to give us five ways to help with day-to-day decision making for staying on our nutrition track.
- FORGET YOUR FREE DAY--For many dieters, a "free day" means eat whatever you want. For some, weekends means no control until Monday morning, however, this type of splurging undermines all the hard work you've done. Getting on the scales and seeing your hard work become undone is often discouraging. Those people who allow "free day" are more likely to gain their weight back.
- TREAT YOURSELF EVERYDAY--How about a cookie or a piece of candy? Allow yourself a treat each day, but plan it out in advance. Keeping the calorie count in your day's allowance, you may decide to have a piece of candy after supper. If you have decide to have the cookie someone brought into the office, that' s okay too. Just plan it into tomorrow's calorie plan.
- SAY YES TO SOUP SUNDAY--Limiting choices makes it easy to stay on task. Soup on Sunday, Fish on Friday, Tacos on Wednesday, you get the point. Don't rely on the brain to make good choices last minute. Have a plan. Limit yourself to take the guess work out the menu.
- HAVE BACKUP MEALS HANDY--Sometimes life gets busy. Having a few quick meals can help you stay out of harms way and ward off pizza delivery. These can be foods you've doubled and put into the freezer, or maybe a prepackaged frozen meal. Either way, it's good to have a back up plan in case things go wrong.
- CUT YOURSELF OFF--It's easiest to overeat at night. Set yourself a time limit. No eating after 7:00 p.m. Floss and brush your teeth so you will be less likely to snack. When you tell yourself the kitchen is closed, you won't be as tempted to go looking. It will also help you get a better night's sleep. Plus a clearer mind will help you make better decisions tomorrow.
What strategies work for you? How do you stay on track?
Health-bite: make decisions in advance