What causes you to overindulge on bad foods? To eat that whole tub of ice cream, that packet of cookies, not just one doughnut but two, three, or four? Whatever it is, it’s nothing logical. The purpose of this isn’t to tell you why you’ve been doing it, that would take much longer. Instead it’s to tell you about a simple trick learned through years of helping others, and delving in to some psychological research that can help you kick the habit.There’s nothing logical about why you’re over eating, just like there’s no logical reason why you press the snooze button for an extra 10-minutes every morning, or you can’t find 30 minutes in a day to workout. It just doesn’t make sense since the overall outcome is a negative one (10 minutes less to get ready for work because you’ve pressed the snooze, or missing the benefits of getting your workout in that day). There’s nothing logical about over eating, it might send your taste buds and pleasure receptors in your brain on fire at the time, but there’s no positive outcome from what you’re doing.
We can however engineer compliance to help form a new healthy habit, or ward us off from repeating the old unhealthy one.
There are four principles you can use to help engineer compliance.
- Make it conscious
- Make it a game
- Make it competitive
- And make the changes small and/or temporary
Not all principles need to be followed, but if you can tick off a couple of them you’re sure to be successful. And by the way these principles can be used for most habits, not just health or fitness related ones.
As coaches there are various ways we implement these principles within our high-level coaching programmes, without people even being aware of them.
The ones we like to focus on the most are:
- Making things conscious and increasing awareness and mindfulness of the act/habit.
- Making small changes and adaptations on the programme that are so small that you’ll hardly even notice them.
These are also some of the reasons why our high-level coaching programmes are so successful and compliance is so high.
To improve consciousness, we need to make ourselves aware of doing things in real time. Making yourself aware that you’re about to eat something you know is bad for you and having to share it with others is an extremely powerful tool.
How many times do you have to increase conscious awareness of a task for it to become a positive addictive habit…..
Do you have an apple watch or activity tracker…..
How many times did you have to use it to track your activity before it became an addiction?
Research from Nike+ found that it was five times. Just five times and the tracking of a positive habit became an addiction.
Here’s one trick we use that you can start implementing TODAY to improve consciousness and awareness of your eating habits. This method has been proven to be many times more effective than keeping a food diary for an extended period of time, and much-much quicker:
Step 1: Use your camera phone to take a picture of EVERYTHING you’re eating in a day. BEFORE you’re about to eat it.
Step 2: If you’re working with us you’d share it with us on social media, or the closed Facebook group. But for those that aren’t, you should either share it on your social media in whatever way you like, or have an accountability buddy and share it with them.
Step 3: Repeat, repeat, repeat. For 3-5 days over the course of 1-2 weeks.
Performing this habit is a powerful tool to help increase diet compliance by a significant amount, and form lasting habits through mindfulness and awareness of the foods you’re eating. You can thank us later for the money you’ll save from your late night snacking habits!