In the history of everything there has only been one instance I am aware of where someone literally held a gun to someones head and made them eat, it’s the scene from ‘Seven’, the Brad Pitt movie where an obese man is forced to eat until his stomach ruptures and he dies. The point is, no one has held a gun to your head and forced you to over eat last Friday night, that was all you!
Many times people throw their hands up in the air and just feel like they have no self control, giving in to their massive cravings but there are some simple things we can put in place to ensure that our true cravings are kept to a minimum. The first thing to keep in mind is that when we’re not prepared, we naturally will mirror the eating behaviors of those around us. That’s why a large percentage of people that have obese friends in their ‘circle of influence’ are many times more likely to be obese themselves. We literally mimic those around us, UNLESS we are conscious of our behavior.
- Have a plan!
After working with thousands of people over the years I can tell you that a large majority of the time, people give in to cravings and temptations because they went into the situation unprepared. If you’re going out and surrounded by finger food on an empty stomach then yes, you’ll likely give in. Plan it out! If you’re going out at 7pm, have a healthy, planned meal at 6:30pm. Don’t go out hungry. We know not to grocery shop hungry, why would we go to a house party or bar/club hungry? If you’re going out and know alcohol is going to be involved, create your game plan ahead of time. You know already that when you drink you’re much more likely to give in to all the food temptations so have a plan. Instead of ignoring it, set your limit. 1 drink? 2 drinks? Then it’s diet soda or water. Also right before you head out, remind yourself of your priorities, your goals, find a way to bring them to the forefront of your mind.
- Know what’s available and have a back up plan!
If you’re plans are to go to a restaurant, take 60 seconds and invest it into looking at the menu online. Choose your meal before you go out and make it your goal to not even look at the menu when you arrive. Don’t let your ignorance of the menu to tallow you to fall victim to your own lack of self control by ordering a unplanned cheat. Side note: Think back to all the great times you’ve had with friends and family. Food was likely involved but after it’s done, we reminisce on the laughter, the activities, the fellowship. We rarely put focus on the actual food we eat during those times. You can still enjoy the evening while consuming foods that will get you closer to your goals rather than further away from them.
We’ve all had those nights where we only planned to go out for three hours but ended up out for eight! In those situations we allow ourselves to grab whatever is convenient, the fast food drive-through, convenience store, rummaging through our friends fridge. That’s the precise time you could use a backup option! A protein shake or protein bar in the car. A pack of beef jerky, some nuts, a piece of fruit. Pack a healthy option and keep it in your purse, jacket or car. Have it available so it’s your healthy go-to when the night doesn’t go as planned.
- Have a accountability partner, even if they’re not there.
A simple comment to a friend you’re going out with, or a text message to your online coach or personal trainer can set you up for a successful night. Create check-in times to your accountability partner so that you know you must be held accountable for your actions. We always make different decisions when we think no one will find out or care but if we have someone to hold us accountable, we are way more likely to make sound decisions.
These suggestions above might seem silly or inconvenient right now but they will TRULY help you the next time you go out and remind yourself of the last time you got frustrated for your bad decisions when going out. Implementing these simple steps can really help keep you in line and in control over food rather than having food control you.
I invite you to write me on my Facebook page (facebook.com/JeremyReidFitness) and check-in with me if that would help the next time you go out.
At all times, Monday – Sunday we must be goal focused and realize that every day counts, every meal counts and we can still live our life and still get to our goals.
Your partner in health,