Day 29--All About Strategies

Welcome to Day 29!

It’s your first weekend at the Moon Training Center, and you’re ready to let your hair down. Well, only figuratively speaking—without gravity it floats in front of your eyes constantly.

You realize that your idea of a good time is not the same as your Mission Commanders. Ugh. Why do you even need to have meetings about relaxing? Oh well, I guess it will be worth it in the end.


INTRODUCTION

What is a Strategy?

A strategy is a set of rules, habits, and guidelines you use to keep moving towards your goals. Strategies are used to develop a plan when you have a reoccurring challenge that differs from your normal day-to-day plan. Some strategies my clients make are Weekend Strategy or Work Travel Strategy.

Strategies are made to help your Assistant know exactly what to do when she is confronted by obstacles, so she doesn’t resort to loopholes. Part of your strategy may also include setting up your environment to minimize temptation as well.

If a situation occurs once and is not likely to occur again, you won't need a formalized strategy. You might just come up with a strategy for that particular day. 

For instance, if your son is on a club swim team and travels once a month to 2-day meets, you should probably develop a formalized, written strategy for how you will keep to your health and weight loss habits and rules while traveling. 

If your daughter has made the gymnastics state finals one time, you could just wing it and come up with a strategy for that day. It doesn't need to be formalized (but you might want to create one in your head just in case).


Common Strategies

Some strategies seem to be universal—most people need these. Then other strategies are going to be unique to you (i.e. traveling for work, going to relatives’ house, etc.)

Common Strategies that Most People Make:

  • Holidays

  • Weekends

  • Vacations

Unique Strategies that People Might Make:

  • Traveling for Work

  • Going Out with Friends

  • Date Night

  • Work Luncheons/ Meetings

  • Kid Being in the Hospital for weeks (one I have)

  • Kids Traveling for Sports

  • I'm Sick Strategy

When You Should Make a Strategy

Can you Identify some common strategies or personalized strategies that you might want to make? 

You don't have to know all the strategies you'll need right now. You'll figure them out as you go through the program. 

When you notice a reoccurring challenge, then create a strategy that might be helpful to deal with it.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Which Strategies

Well, which strategies do you need to make?

Well, that's going to be a personal thing. What I like to do is have people think— Where are they struggling?

First of all, we like to get all of our habits in a row.

So, we've learned about the plate and how to do that. Then we look at where we're having problems. Is it on weekends, holidays, vacation?

Are we needing a strategy when it comes to exercise, maybe beverages, alcohol, coffee, soda—on vacations, holidays, weekends?

You can make a special rule for beverages or desserts in your strategies.

So, those are some of the ones that pretty much everybody has. What about ones that are unique to you?

personalized Strategies

So, there's a million different reasons you might need an individual strategy, but again it's going to go back to where you find yourself trying to rely on willpower or when you are trying to indulge on purpose.

So, some people have one when they go out of town. They need a going out of town strategy for work.

Other people have one maybe for when they're going out to bars with their friends.

Other people have strategies for things like going to relative's house

Or maybe even something so simple as, the weather has changed. Now it's wintertime and you can't do exercise like you used to.

So, there's lots of different reasons you may need an individual strategy.

So think right now about when you would like to indulge on purpose, whenever things are going to be different than your usual day-to-day regular habits.

And, we're going to list think of those things where you might need a strategy.

Below is a worksheet that will help you to do that. (Disregard the worksheet. I will include it later in the week. Look to the introduction of this lesson for this info.) There'll be all the common ones that people have, a few of the personalized ones that my clients have had, and then come up with some ideas of what strategies you might need. See you back tomorrow.

Mission Freedom!

Day 26--Planning to Be Successful

Welcome to Day 26!

Uh-Oh! You just heard a loud bang outside the lunar exploration rocket. There's some smoke. Now sirens are screeching and red lights are flashing.

But, your Astronaut Boot camp training kicks in. You know just what to do. Automatically you pull this switch and push that button. You've switched to an auxiliary engine, and you didn't miss a beat. Good thing you paid attention in class and spent all those hours in the simulator. A good plan and back-up plan has saved the mission, your life, and the lives of your fellow crew members. Great Job, Lieutenant.


INTRODUCTION

Today we're talking about how to plan your habits so you'll always be successful. 

We know somedays you'll feel lazy, and other days you're going to feel tempted. You need to stop being so optimistic. 

It's going to rain sometimes. Your spinach is going to turn slimy, and your kids are going to have soccer tournaments. 

You need to stack success in your favor by planning to be successful and make plan for your habits.

Make the Lazy Choice (the Healthy Choice)

You don't want to use willpower to accomplish your new habit every day. You want to make it as easy as possible for the Assistant to do the habit. Let's keep resistance down to a minimum. I call this "Make the Healthy Choice, The Lazy Choice" or the Make Things Easy Plan

By doing this, you set yourself up for success. If you do this right, the Assistant actually has to work hard to fail. What does that mean?

If your habit is to have a salad at lunch, make sure that you have a large salad prepped every week to dig into at lunch and no other options at home/ work. 

Don't expect the Assistant to make a salad every day. Make it so it's the easiest thing for her to grab at lunch time.

Make a Plan

Having a Weekly Plan is another key to successful planning. The Assistant knows just what to do.

By thinking about your week beforehand, you can think about what obstacles may come up and how to do your best despite them.

Do you see how making the habit easy to do and then having a plan can ensure your success? By having a Make Things Easy Plan and a Weekly Plan, you go from barely likely to succeed to success assured.

You may have already done this in your mind, but you may have to think about what you’d like your ideal day or week to be like first before doing your Weekly Plan. I have step-by-step instructions on this blog post.

Once you’ve planned your template day or week, then you can incorporate a specific Weekly Plan during your Weekly Review time. You don’t have to make plans for everything on the sheet like meals, exercise, steps, sleep, etc. Just make plans where you are at right now. So, if you’ve only been working on a lunch habit, then only plan out your lunches for the week.

One step at a time!

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Plan to Suceed

You know, the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Well, we're not about that here. We're going to plan to be successful. And, with that we're going to get our days on track.

So, it'd be great if every day we could just have the same habits and we'd just fall in line and everything would go perfect, right? But, that's not how real life is. You know, we have meetings that come up or maybe our kids have a soccer game, or we have a dentist appointment. Our day-to-day schedule is not the same. And, so we're going to plan ahead of time.

Weekly Plan

Ultimate Daily Schedule

The first thing that we're going to do is we're going to come up with a daily schedule. What it would be like if we had an ultimate day? This is a kind of template for our day—like when we would exercise and when we would eat our different meals?

But then things get tricky, right?

We never can keep just to that perfect day, but we're going to have a plan for that. Don't worry.

So think back last week when you did that personal meal plan, right? Your PMP, you kind of made a template for your meals. Well, for breakfast I'll eat this, lunch—I'll eat this, dinner—I'll eat this. And that's kind of what we're doing here. We're looking at our day and we're coming up with a template for our ultimate day.

So, here's when I do exercise. Here's when I go on a walk. Here's when I go to be. Here's when I have my different meals. That’s our ultimate day plan.

Ultimate Weekly Template

But now we're going to add something on to our weekly review. We're going to plan ahead.

So, once we have that ultimate day, we know every day is not going to be perfect. We're going to have changes from day-to-day. 

So, then I want you to come up with kind of a weekly template.

If you know every Sunday you go to church, then you're going to block that time out. That time will be church time. And then ideally you’d go for a walk after church, so pencil that in.

And, then maybe on Mondays you have a staff meeting at lunch time. So, you know that you need to plan lunch options ahead for that.

You put in all your weekly commitments that are the same from week to week.

Weekly Review and Planning Session

Once you have this template (or at least a good idea in your brain), we’re going to add a new piece to the weekly review.

When you're doing your weekly review, not only are you going to review how things went last week, you're also going to plan ahead.

There's a little box that you may have already noticed on that weekly review that talks about what you're going to do for the next week—how you're going to make it even better. Now, you're also going to have another sheet that talks about your weekly plan. You can actually plan stuff in there, so you can be successful next week. 

Your Weekly Plan

So you might have plan stuff like your dinner meals this week.

“Oh, I might be going out to dinner on Friday night. Let me make sure I have that scheduled.”

And, you look at things and you plan ahead. So that no matter what happens that week, you're in control, you're successful and you're meeting your goals.

If you have a meeting in the morning, then you figure out how you're going to go to the gym in the afternoon. You meet your goals no matter what.

Your Assignment

Go ahead, and start working on it. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just give yourself an opportunity to go through these steps.

They'll be on the worksheets below. You’ll figure out your ultimate day, your template for the week, and then you're going to start looking from week-to-week when you do that weekly review and planning for the week so that you can have success.

All right? Any questions? Just ask your coach.Your Assignment

Mission Freedom!

Click to Download Here:

Ultimate Day Planning Sheets

Here’s the Blog Article

Here’s the Ultimate Day/ Week Sheets

Weekly Planning

Here’s the Pages to help you Plan for the week

Day 25--Indulge on Purpose

Welcome to Day 25!

After a long harrowing week, your reward was a long video chat with your friends back on Earth. All week you could barely wait. And then it was amazing how much you enjoyed such a simple thing—connecting with your friends. No video chat you had on Earth was quite the same. It’s funny how precious they have become. You’re already anticipating your next one. Who knew?


INTRODUCTION

Be sure to plan when you will do today's assignment. This is one homework assignment you won’t want to miss. Continue working on the plate habit you made last week. 

Indulge on Purpose

Many of us only have experience trying to stay away from indulgences. We break down in moments of weakness and then indulge--either not noticing the treats we just ate or feeling guilty about it. Part of having a Dessert Rule (and next week --Holiday and Vacation Strategies) is learning to indulge on purpose and enjoy our treats.

How to Indulge on Purpose

One of the greatest pleasures in life is food. Let's be sure that in our haste to lose weight, we don't forget that. We want to enjoy treats, not only to keep the Assistant from rebelling, but because food is supposed to be enjoyed.  You're allowed to love food. Let's savor our planned indulgences!

There are four steps to Indulge on Purpose--have a plan, prioritize, limit, and savor your indulgences.

  1. Have a plan to indulge and anticipate your indulgence.--Research shows that a way that you can enjoy something even more is to anticipate the event. When I see stories about kids whose parents spring a trip to Disneyworld on them, I feel sad that the kids didn't get the chance to anticipate the adventure. Make sure that the Assistant knows a treat is coming, what it is, and has a chance to anticipate it. 

  2. Prioritize indulgences. Make sure that your indulgence is worth savoring. If your building some anticipation for a treat, make sure it's something worth anticipating. A store-bought cookie is not worthy of Dessert Day. Be a food snob and only treat yourself to something worth enjoying.

  3. Limit that indulgent food. Make sure that there aren't leftovers. When you make a huge pan of brownies and there's tons laying around calling to you for days afterwards, then the splurge is not quite as enjoyable. Guilt and willpower sneak in there. It becomes a power struggle between the Boss and the Assistant. Make it easy on yourself (and the scale) by buying small pans, halving recipes, or using small batch treat cookbooks like this onethis one, or this one. 

  4. Savor and take your time eating it. Take your time to eat it by using the smallest fork or spoon you can find. Make each bite last in your mouth. Talk about it while you eat it. What are the textures and tastes? Was it as good as you anticipated? Are you sad when you're all done?

Indulge on Purpose

Your assignment is this week or weekend to indulge on purpose. Use the four steps listed below and notice how Indulging on Purpose is different than your previous experiences with treats. Be sure to share your experience with your coach.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Indulge on Purpose


Today I wanna talk a little bit more about indulging on purpose. For many of us, we've really aren't familiar with that concept. The Assistant's been able to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. And, usually we're trying not to pay attention when we indulge.

Well, when we indulge or splurge on purpose, we want to make the most of that experience. It's okay to love food! It's a pleasurable experience. So let's actually enjoy it and let's make it easy for ourselves to enjoy it, so that we don't go overboard on the other side and regret it.

So how can we indulge on purpose?

Plan and Anticipate

The first thing we want do is make sure that we actually have a plan for indulging on purpose, and that we remember that that's what we're going to do. And we also anticipate it. One of the best ways to enjoy yourself is to have some anticipation going into it. 
So think about it beforehand.

That's all right. It's okay to be like, “Oh, Friday is my dessert day. I'm so excited. This is the food I'm going to have and it's going to taste awesome.”

So, go ahead and get some anticipation going. You'll enjoy it even more.

Make it Worth It

The next thing you want to do is make sure that you prioritize your indulgences. So you know if it's not something that's very good, if it's something that came out of a box, it might not be worth the indulgence.

So again, when you're thinking about it beforehand, make sure that it's something that's worth the indulgence. And, if you have several different things on your wish list for indulging, prioritize them. Go for the one that will have the biggest bang for the buck for you, the one that you will really enjoy the most. So prioritize those indulgences.

Limit the Amount Available

The next thing that you want to do is you want to limit the amount of that indulgent food on hand.

You don't want that treat to go on and on for days because you made a big batch or bought too much. So half the batch if you need to. Iff it's something that you make or get individual sizes, you don't have to make every single cupcake from a cake box. You don't need 24 cupcakes. So, throw some of that batter away. Get smaller size pans, whatever it is that you need to do, to make sure there's not too many leftovers hanging around after that indulgence.

Savor the Indulgence

Then, the last thing that I want you to do is to enjoy it when you actually splurge or indulge. That means take your time and talk about it while you're eating it. Notice the taste, smell it, and savor it. Make it a special occasion or a special, experience. Make it worth it.

Mission Freedom!

Day 24--Making a Dessert Rule

Welcome to Day 24!

Boy, are you glad they made that new rule about always having a buddy with you. Otherwise, you might not be on your way to the Freedom Galaxy in a few weeks. That was so scary when you were repositioning the solar panels, and your oxygen hose sprung a leak. Good thing, your friend, Raul was there to prevent a catastrophe. Phew. Rules can be a great thing.


INTRODUCTION

Be sure to start thinking about today's assignment. You will finish it with your coach. It will help make splurging on purpose a lot easier. Continue working on the plate habit you made last week. 

Everyone needs a Dessert Rule or a Favorite Snack Rule to keep the Assistant in line when it comes to a favorite treat.

Remember habits are for what you want the Assistant to DO. Rules are for what you DON'T want the Assistant to do. Because you don't want the Assistant to eat sugar every time you turn around, you’ll probably want to make a Dessert Rule.


Dessert Rule

Tired of all the whining and pleading for sugary sweets or other treats by your Assistant?

The simple strategy of a Dessert Day Rule (or a Potato Chip Day Rule) will teach your Assistant to stop asking for sugar, to appreciate and savor treats, and to learn that dessert is a "Sometimes Food."

This rule can keep you from having to use precious willpower stores to say "No" all the time and restore peace and quiet to your brain.


Splurge on Purpose

To make habits and rules for the long haul, you need a way to splurge on purpose. Having a Dessert Rule helps you to do that. The Assistant does not like to be told that she can never have chocolate again. If she knows that chocolate is sometime in her future (like this coming Friday night), she can relax and forgo all the random temptations that arise.

If you try and tell your Assistant to stop thinking of treats, you're bound to have a rebellion on your hand. The Assistant can't simply "stop thinking" of something. It's impossible. If she is to stop thinking of something, she has to be reminded not to think of it, which makes her think of it again. In fact, forbidding certain foods can lead to more thoughts of them and even more indulging/ bingeing. 

How to Make a Dessert Rule

There are many different ways to make a Dessert Rule or Favorite Snack Rule. This is an area where you get to Be a Scientist and personalize the rule for you (and even your family).

You'll want to take into account your weight loss and health goals and how much indulging will allow you to still get there.

The many different versions of the Dessert Rule that my clients make:

    • Eat only one dessert a week on Friday Nights.

    • Eat only one dessert a week on the day of my choosing.

    • Eat one dessert/ day only on days of the week that start with "S."

    • Eat dessert once per day, but only three bites.

    • Eat dessert only on special occasions or on holidays.

    • Eat a serving of Halo Top ice cream on dessert days except for on holidays or special occasions.

The key to making a Dessert Rule is to make it so your Assistant knows that dessert is coming soon, you can still lose weight and meet your health goals, but you aren't craving sweets all the time.

You may not get it right the first time. That's why you should be a Scientist. You may have to experiment, try a Rule, get the results, and then modify the rule again. 

Use the PDF below to record your Dessert Day Rule, and then share it with your coach in your next session.

Warning

When you have too many servings of the dessert/ treat available, it can be overwhelming to your Assistant. It takes too much willpower for her to stay in those Bright Lines. 

In order to be successful when you make a Dessert Day Rule or a Potato Chip Day Rule, be sure that you limit the servings of that food available. 

You can do this several ways:

  • Buy just enough single portion servings at the bakery or grocery store.

  • If you're making the dessert from scratch, make 1/2 or 1/4 of the original recipe. I've found that 1/2 a recipe of an 8 inch or 9 inch layer cake fits into 6 inch cake pans (perfect for my family of 6).

  • If it's just you and your significant other or your treats are just for you, there are several cookbooks for making desserts for 1 or 2 servings. Check them out hereherehereherehere, or here

If limiting portions won't work for you or you just forgot, check out my blog post on the Radioactive Food Containment strategy to prevent overeating.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Dessert Rule

So all week we've been talking about rules. One rule that I think everyone should have, it's a rule around sweets and treats. That's because the assistant is going to find any opportunity to get you to overindulge. And when you have a Bright Line Rule, it's going to keep her in line and keep her from making those rationalizations and loopholes to get you to overeat.

The Dessert Day Origin Story

When my kids were little, they started begging me to have dessert all the time. It wasn't just after dinner, it was starting to be after lunch and random snacks. Sometimes I'd say yes. And I’d have to think back when was the last time we had dessert.

But, I was starting to resent them asking me all the time, and it was starting to use, my decision making power, draining my willpower,—trying to figure out whether or not they should have dessert. 

And, then they would always whine if I said “No. I remembered my Swedish college roommate telling me that when she was little in Sweden, they had a rule that you could only have candy on Saturday mornings, Saturday mornings was Candy Day. I thought that that was such a great idea.

So, I decided to institute the rule of Desert Day. So what that meant is that I told my kids, “Okay, we only get dessert one time a week,” so it shut down all their whining and pleading.

At first, of course they tried and they'd be like, “Can we have dessert?”

But. I'd say, “Is it dessert day?”

And, they'd say “No.”

And then they knew the answer was no.

It made it easy on me, and it made it easy on them.

The Hidden Benefits of a Dessert Rule

There are several benefits of having some kind of dessert day, or sweet rule, or a potato chip rule,—whatever it is. 

When you set these kind of limits, it makes it easy. The Assistant steps begging and you're able to start indulging and splurging on purpose, and use it in a way that will help you to lose weight.

It's not done all the time. You're not getting all those extra calories.

The reason I think we should all indulge is “Hey, we're in this for the long term.”

We're not going to give up chocolate forever. And in fact, if you tell yourself not to think of chocolate, you actually think of it more.

Why?

Because the assistant can't just NOT think of chocolate. She has to remember, “Oh, I'm not supposed to think of chocolate.”

So, she has to keep remembering, not thinking about chocolate. So you end up thinking about it more and indulging more. When you have a very specific schedule of when you indulge, then the assistant can relax.

She knows, “Oh, I'm going to have chocolate.” Eventually she can stop thinking about it.

It keeps you from overindulging and splurging and bingeing when you know that there is still chocolate in your future, but it's done in a way that makes sense for you.

The other thing it does is it helps you raise your standards. My children started to become food snobs when I instituted Dessert Day.

Why?

Because if you only have dessert once a week, it better be good. Just any Keebler cookie won't do.

The good thing about becoming a food snob is that when you do have dessert, it's more satisfying because it's something delicious. But, also something delicious doesn't come along every day. You have to go out of your way to make it or buy it.

Warning

Now there's one thing I want you to think of when you are instituting dessert day—make sure that you only have enoughservings to go around for you or your family once. You don’t want a bunch left for accidental dessert the rest of the week.

So, make sure you make smaller portions. If you're making a cake mix, throw half the cake mix away. Make sure that there's only enough just for that dessert day.

Below you'll find some examples on making your own dessert day rule. Or maybe it's your own potato chip day rule, whatever it is.

Your dessert day can be more than one day a week if that fits within your weight loss goals. But, you can personalize it, figure out what works for you, make a dessert day rule. You’ll find the Assistant will finally stop her whining and begging.

Your Assignment

So, go ahead and check out the worksheet below to help you to come out with your dessert rule so that you get to splurge and enjoy your treats on purpose.

Mission Freedom!

Click to View and Fill-Out Here:

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Day 23--Making Rules

Welcome to Day 23!

Yesterday was a near disaster. Jennifer, your favorite classmate, almost floated out in space. It turns out that no one was there when she was doing her check around the perimeter of camp. Her tether came lose, and she was able to grab onto an overhead lamp light before she floated to her doom. Now there’s a new rule that everyone has to have a buddy when they’re outside. It makes doing chores a bit more complicated, but better safe than sorry!


INTRODUCTION

Be sure to start thinking about today's assignment. You will finish it with your coach. It will help make eating from day-to-day a lot easier—less willpower required. Continue working on your plate habit. 

What Rules are For

One of the ways that we can set up boundaries for the Assistant to stop the loopholes and excuses is coming up with rules. 

A rule is a boundary to keep the Assistant in line. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Rules are helpful if you're trying to NOT do something.

You can't make a habit to not eat food from the vending machine. Habits have to be something you actually do. But, you can make a Rule. A rule can help keep you from buying an afternoon candy bar.

There are two types of rules that I teach: Bright Line Rules and Jump Through Hoops Rules

Bright Line Rules

Bright Line Rules.png

When you are driving on a highway and the lane marker lines are faded and non-existent, there can be a lot of drifting around the road. But on a newly painted road, you know right where you should be driving.

In the Assistant’s case without bright line rules, there’s a lot of room for interpretation and a lot of room for loopholes. Once you paint some bright lines, it shuts down your Assistant’s excuses.

To make Bright Line Rules, you make simple, clear rules to keep your Assistant on track. 

For instance, you’ll come up with Bright Lines around your most common weight loss obstacles. Look at where you're using too much willpower, and you may need a rule there.

One of those areas that the Assistant needs bright line rules for is sweets. If you tell your Assistant, “Eat less sweets,” she will no doubt come up with a very generous interpretation of the word “less” and be pestering you with loopholes all day long. Instead you need to come up with a bright line rule for sweets.

These Bright Line Sweet Rules will differ from person-to-person depending on your individual goals and individual bodies. One of my clients may have a bright line rule that they eat dessert only on Fridays. Other clients have bright line rules to eat sweets only when they have company over. Other clients have rules that allow them to eat sweets once a day as long as they only eat 3 bites. Some clients have a rule to eat sweets only on Holidays.

It doesn’t matter which bright line sweet rule you adopt. The key is to make a bright line rule, and tell your Assistant that this is the way it’s going to be.

Jump-Through-Hoop Rules

Some people find that their Assistants are very uncooperative. Their Assistants might totally rebel if they make a Bright Line Rule and draw a line in the sand. So, they'd prefer to use a gentler approach.

That's when Jump-Through-Hoops (JTH) Rules come in handy. With a JTH Rule, you tell the Assistant that she can indulge, but she has to "jump through some hoops" first.

A JTH rule takes advantage of the lazy nature of the Assistant. It's all about putting some obstacles in front of the Assistant to decrease the frequency of indulgences. Your Assistant may decide to indulge anyway, but then again, it may be too much effort and not be worth it. 

Think of it as what you do when your teenagers want to go out with their friends, but you're not too excited about it.

"You want to go out with your friends tomorrow night? Sure, you just have to clean your room, mow the lawn, and clean the bathroom first."

Your teenager will either figure it's not worth it, or she'll get the chores done around the house. It’s a win-win.

So what are some examples of a JTH Rule? You can get a hamburger at the Fast Food Restaurant, but you have to have a side salad first.

Another one might be you can have seconds but only after you've done the dishes after dinner and put all the leftovers away.

Another JTH rule could be you can cut out on your workout early, but you have to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for five minutes first.

Preferably, if the hoop you are jumping through is something helpful that's even better (like eating a salad, cleaning up the kitchen, or walking for five minutes).

Ready to make some Bright Line Rules or Jump Through Hoops Rules? Check out the worksheet below to start working on your first rule.

Warning

When you make a rule, you want to figure out how to state it in a positive form. It turns out the Assistant part of your brain is not good at hearing the words no, don't, or not.

The Assistant may be more likely to do the exact thing you told her NOT to do. So when you make a rule instead of saying,"I don't eat between meals." You would phrase it as, "I only eat at scheduled meals and snacks."

Another example would be instead of making a rule, "I don't eat Christmas treats people bring me except at my Christmas party," you would make the rule, "I only eat Christmas treats when it's my Christmas Party time."

Rules May Take Practice

It may take a few times of reminding her of the new rules, but eventually, the Assistant will get the picture and stop asking.

She’ll walk right by the taste testers at Costco and not even bother the Boss about it. The loopholes have been shutdown.

The key to losing weight without dieting is to retrain the Assistant part of your brain to get on the same healthy habits page as the Boss part of the brain.

The Boss has set a weight loss goal. Now she needs to retrain the Assistant habit part of the brain. To do so, she has to help the Assistant make new habits, and turn off her loopholes by making rules to stop doing undesirable behaviors.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Rules


So when do we use rules?

Rules are very specific boundaries that we use when we're confronted with temptation over and over again. It's like we've got to put some boundaries.

I think of it kind of like a curfew that you give your teenager. You don't want them staying out all night. We want to keep them home, bring them home at by a certain time. Well, rules are the same way. They keep your assistant out of mischief.

Two Types of Rules

So there's two rules that you can make. The first one is called bright line rules. Interesting name, right?

So, let's say you're driving down a country road. The lines are all faded out. You can't see the lane markers, you kind of drift all around. Well, bright line rules is like someone came along and repainted those lines. They're very dark. You can see them, they stand out, they keep you where you need to be. 

And, bright line rules keep our assistant where she needs to be. They help her to know exactly what she needs to do.

So, think about a temptation that you've been facing in your life that you've been using way too much willpower on. That's a really good instance for you to make a bright line rule about it.

Examples of Bright Line Rules

So, when might you need a bright line rule?

I have a bright line rule that I don't eat unless it's a meal or a snack. My assistant loves to pick at foods while I'm preparing them or clearing up after them. So, I have a very specific bright line rule. Don't eat unless it's a meal or snack that's planned.

And what kinds of things have you been worrying about or been trying to use willpower for? Some people might have a bright line rule about never eating out of a vending machine. 

Other people might have a bright line rule about what kinds of things they'll buy at a fast food restaurant. Other people have bright line rules about what they order when they go to a coffee shop. It just depends where your temptation lies.

So, a bright line role is very specific about keeping you in the lines. And, I have a worksheet below that'll help you to make a bright line rule.

Jump-Through-Hoops Rule

Now what about a jump through hoops role? Jump-through-hoops rule means you make it hard for the Assistant to do whatever she's tempted to do.

So the assistant, she likes to be lazy and so jump-through-hoops means she's got to do some things if she wants to indulge.

So,usually when people use a jump-through-hoops rule, it's because they tried a bright line rule already or a bright line rule just seem too hard. They weren't able to follow through with the bright line rule. So, jump-through-hoops rule is kind of like a bright line rule—lite. It's kind of an easier version.

So, something you might have for a jump-through-hoops rule might be something like— “I can have soda but I have to drink one big glass of water in between each soda.” That would be a jump through hoops rule.

Or, it (the jump-through-hoops rule) might be something like— “I can have a treat, but I have to walk to the grocery store to get it. And that's the only thing I can buy when I do it.”

Another jump-through-hoops rule you might do would be something like, “Well, I can have an ice cream, but it's only for dessert day and I have to exercise all week long in order to earn it.”

Jump-through-hoops rules makes things harder. And, because the assistant is Lazy, she doesn't usually want to do it. So, it's just a way of making rules for those of you whose Assistants are a little bit of a rebel. She'll balk at rules and those bright line rules. But, Jump-through-hoops rules makes it a little bit easier and a little bit less stringent on her, so she won't rebel against you.

Your Assignment

So look down below at the worksheet. I'll help you make a jump through hoops role and a bright line rule so you can keep your Assistant reigned in. So, she’s not making all kinds of loopholes and rationalizations, and she'll keep you losing weight.

Mission Freedom!

Click to Read and Download Here:

Click to Read and Fill-Out

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Day 22--Why You Need Rules

Welcome to Day 22!

The Freedom Galaxy sounds wonderful, but all that freedom might be too much for some people. Look at Cadet Davis. That guy is always using your equipment and never cleans off the moondust off of his rover. He always has an excuse too! You wish he’d follow the rules like everyone else.


INTRODUCTION

What is a Loophole?

Because the Assistant (sub-conscious part of your brain) is lazy and wants more pleasure and to avoid pain, she will want to get out of the habits that you’ve worked hard to train.

Also, if there is a special occasion or something that throws off her normal routine, the Assistant is going to come up with justifications for "bad" behavior. 

Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book, Better Than Before, calls the rationalizations that the Assistant makes to get out of habits—loopholes. She defines loopholes as, “an argument for why we should be excused from following a good habit.”

The loophole is thrown out by the Assistant as a spur of the moment justification to get out of the habit (she wants to be lazy.) And in typical Assistant brain style, this justification “flits through your mind” just on the edge of your consciousness.


Ten Kinds of Loopholes

There are ten loopholes that your Assistant may try to use against you. Any (or all of them) sound familiar?

Some loopholes that I hear a lot around the Holidays are Concern for Others, False Choice, Moral Licensing, and This Doesn't Count loopholes.

  • Concern for Others--I should eat these cookies my neighbor brought by. She put a lot of time into making these.

  • False Choices--I can either eat what I want, or not enjoy Christmas at all.

  • Moral Licensing--I was so good because I didn't eat the Christmas cookies in the break room. I deserve to get this special holiday candy at the supermarket.

  • This Doesn't Count--This is a special snack that I make every Christmas. It doesn't count as a Dessert Day Food.


Set Boundaries to Stop the Loopholes

Because the Assistant uses loopholes to justify bad behavior, you have to make very clear rules for her—just like you would for your teenager. You can’t tell your teen, “Your curfew is 11:00,” and not really mean it. 

If you do, she’ll sense your weakness. Then all the loopholes will come out. “It was Jenny’s birthday, so I had to stay later. I lost track of time. We were helping Madison with her problems, etc.” 

You have to tell your teen, ”Your curfew is 11:00. You be home by then or no going out again for the next month.” Clear boundaries stop the arguments and stop the loopholes.

Use Rules for Boundaries

The way that we set boundaries for the Assistant to stop rationalizations and excuses is a rule. A rule is a set course of action that the Assistant should take. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

There are two types of rules that I teach: Bright Line Rules and Jump Through Hoops Rules. We'll learn what these rules are and how to make them tomorrow.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

How to NOT do Something

The past two weeks we've been focusing on habits. We've learned how to make our habits small, how to progress slowly with them, and how to make them positive and enjoyable.

And, now we're going to talk about what to do when habits don't work. Because how does don't work all the time. Habits don't work when we're trying NOT to do something. You can't make a habit to not do something.

The other time when habits don't work is when it's not something we do every day. You can't make a habit if it's something that just comes up occasionally. And, that's when we want to use our rules and strategies.

So what is a rule?

Got Loopholes?

Well, because our Assistant (sub-conscious brain) is kind of like a teenager, she needs boundaries. She needs rules or she comes up with a lot of rationalizations or loopholes as to why she needs more pleasure, less pain, and to be more lazy. She'll come up with things. And if you look below, I've got (a pdf with) 10 loopholes or rationalizations she tries to use on us.

One of them is called the concern for others. “Well, I need to eat this plate of Christmas cookies because I care about my friend, and she made them for me.” That could be a rationalization that she might throw out at you.

Another one is moral licensing. “Well, I was so good yesterday when I went to that party that I deserve this today.” Or, “I went on a run so I deserve a cookie.”

Those are different loopholes, and there's 10 listed below. Read them over and see if there's any that ring a bell for you. We want to keep the Assistant from rationalizing because we might not make any progress otherwise.

Rules and Strategies

One little rationalization. It's not a big deal, but your Asisstant will try as many as she can. So that's why we use our rules and strategies.

When do we use a rule? A rule is for when something happens just once here or there or we need to keep from doing something. That's when we use a rule.

There are two rules that I'm going to teach you to make. The first is called Bright Line Rules and the second one is called Jump Through Hoops roles. I know they sound intriguing. We'll talk about them tomorrow—what each one is and when to use them.

And then the other thing that we're going to learn another week is strategies. So, strategies are a little bit more complex. This is when you have to employ a couple of different habits and different rules—a couple of different ways to minimize temptations for things like holiday strategies or dessert strategies. 

We'll also talk about how to make other kinds of strategies like weekend strategies and holiday strategies. And then you might decide on specific one just for you that are personalized according to your circumstances in your life.

So, some of my clients in the past have had a Travel for Work Strategy. Other people have a Going to Grandma's House Strategy. I personally have one about hospitals because my youngest has been in the hospital quite a few times.

So, we get to personalize things and make them according to whatever needs are in our lives.

Your Assignment

So check over those Loopholes or rationalizations (below). See which ones that your Assistant has been throwing out at you. And, then tomorrow we'll talk about rules. And after that we'll talk about strategies. See you then.

Mission Freedom!

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Day 19--Making Your Own Personal Meal Plan

Welcome to Day 19!

The Freedom Galaxy is a big place. There’s room enough in it for everyone to find their own piece of freedom and paradise. Your commander just asked what you’re piece of heaven would be like—and then what habits you’d need to do to keep it. You had never thought about what comes after. Just getting there. Umh. This may take some thinking.


INTRODUCTION

Be sure to start thinking about today's assignment. You will finish it with your coach. It will help make eating from day to day a lot easier with less willpower required. Continue working on the plate habit you made last week. 

Today's lesson will help you make a Personal Meal Plan (PMP).

What’s a Personal Meal Plan (PMP)

A Personal Meal Plan (PMP) is an individualized guide/ pattern to help you plan your meals from day-to-day. A PMP helps the Assistant to know exactly what to eat. The PMP allows you to shut down rationalizations or loopholes, use less willpower and make less decisions, and help you control your hunger and lose more weight.

How a PMP Can Control Your Hunger

The Assistant starts building habits around your hunger and insulin release around meals. She starts realizing when you usually eat a meal and how much you usually eat. Then, she starts releasing the hormone insulin in anticipation of the carbohydrates you will eat at that meal. That's why some people can time lunch time by the growling of their stomachs.

By eating the same patterns of food, your Assistant gets good at anticipating the meal and your insulin release becomes more accurate. Also, your Assistant finds foods satisfying that have satisfied your hunger in the past. So, your trying to train your Assistant to know how much to prepare for in a meal, how much will make you full, and then also to know what to eat (no decisions).

PMP can help with Weight Control

Also, when you eat the same type of meals day-to-day, you can also learn better which foods help you to feel good and lose weight. Making the decisions before decreases the amount of temptation you feel in high-risk situations.

Create a PMP

To create a PMP, I want you to think of a menu. On a menu there are basic categories, and then specific menu items. For instance, there may be a soup category, and then there are several soups listed in the category: Chicken Noodle Soup, Taco Soup, and Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

You may want to put soup on your PMP for the lunch meal, but you don't have to spell out exactly which soup you can have. Creating a PMP does not mean you have to have the same foods everyday. Think more of broad categories rather than specific foods.

What type of breakfasts do you want to have from day-to-day to meet your health and weight goals? What about lunch? What about dinner? How about a snack?

My PMP

Let me share my PMP with you.

  • Breakfast--green smoothie or protein shake (on occassion I have other items like cottage cheese with fruit or egg with roasted veggies).

  • Lunch--Salad made with leftover veggies and meat from night before and fruit

  • Snack--nuts, protein shake, or piece of fruit and string cheese

  • Dinner--RHH Meal Template

One day a week, I have Dessert Day.

It may sound repetitive, but it doesn't take into account that my dinners are different every day, and I'm usually happy to eat the yummy leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Most people probably have an unofficial PMP that they've naturally fallen into, but I'm just asking you to make it official and write it down.

Remember to Be a Scientist. Once you've written it down and tried it out, go back and tweak it if necessary.

Download PMP Forms

There are several forms below that you can download and use for meal planning.

The first form can be used for your Personal Meal Plan if your 3 meals are the same from day-to-day. 

The second form can be used for your Personal Meal Plan if you have one type of meal on a weekday and different PMPs on the weekend. It can also be used if you give yourself three different breakfast options, three different lunch options, and/ or three different dinner options.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

A personal Meal Plan

Today we're going to talk about creating a personal meal plan or PMP. So, your personal meal plan or PMP is going to be a guide to help you to figure out what to eat from day-to-day.

Remember when we use habits are our Assistant (sub-conscious part of our brain) relaxes. She stops trying to throw out loopholes and get us to eat all kinds of stuff. So when our daily meals have kind of a rhythm or pattern to them, we don't have to use willpower. We know what to do right away, and also they (PMP) can help us to control our hunger and lose weight.

How PMP Helps with Hunger

Let me explain why. You see your body gets a certain pattern to it and knows that, “Hey, at 6 o'clock, I eat breakfast. At 12 o'clock I eat lunch, and 6 o'clock I eat dinner.” And your body starts releasing hormones to prepare for those meals in anticipation. 

When your body knows breakfast is at six o'clock, it will release insulin beforehand. Insulin is a hormone that helps you prepare for the sugar or the carbohydrates that you're going to eat. Insulin takes that blood sugar and helps bring it into the cells, helps you to use it. Your body releases that insulin. Now, insulin can also make you hungry. It makes you hungrier, but your body knows about how much you eat each day at each meal and it starts preparing a certain amount of insulin. It creates these patterns so it knows how hungry to make you by releasing that certain amount of insulin. And then also when you eat certain meals day after day, your body or your mind, know about how much and what kind of food will make you full. 

Your Body Learns By Experience

One of the ways that you know if you're going to be full is your experience with that food. Has it made you full in the past?

So, when you eat something new, you might not be as full as you typically would with the same kind of meal if it's something you've eaten before.

So going back to this idea, what we're trying to do is we're trying to train our body to know about how much to prepare for an a meal and how much will make us full. And, then also to know what to eat with no decisions (the Boss part of the brain). We're not using willpower, and we just know what to eat.

How to Make a PMP

Let me explain how to do this. Let's say we're talking about breakfast. You've watched the video on breakfast and you know that there's a couple of different kinds of patterns or meal templates that you can use for breakfast. 

You decide that maybe you're a one type of breakfast person. You only like to have one kind of breakfast. You have oatmeal every single day. Or, maybe you're someone who has, who has a little a rotation cycle that you like to use. Okay, one day you might have a eggs. Another day you might have a Omelette. Another day you might have yogurt with fruit. Another day you might have some cereal and fruit. So you know that, “Hey, that's going to be my breakfasts.” And so you're going to write that down.

I've got sheets below. You can download those and you're going to come up with, the different menu items that I have to choose from and here's how they fit in that pattern.

You might decide, okay, “On weekends I do something a little bit different, so here's my weekend template.” But, you want to have that written down so you know exactly what to eat. 



You Don’t Have to Eat the Same Thing Each Day

Now it doesn't have to be the same thing everyday like oatmeal. You can do a rotation, but basically you know what the options are.

Same thing with lunch. You decide, “Okay, well at lunch I typically have half a sandwich and a side salad or half a sandwich and a cup of soup or maybe a salad.” You know exactly what your options are and you go off that.

So do you have to have the same food every day? Of course not. There are tons of different kinds of salad. You could have a new one every day. Same thing with soup or with a sandwich. They can be different every day, but the idea is you know exactly what kinds of food to eat.

Same thing with dinner. You follow the plate template. “Okay, I'm going to have half a plate of vegetables, a quarter plate of starch and a quarter plate of protein,” and you follow that from day to day. 

Snacks

Now you might also want to come up with an idea for snacks. Maybe you have nuts, or a piece of fruit, or a string cheese. Something to make it really easy, so you know what your go-to is and also your body knows how to prepare for it. And, about how much insulin to release and when you're going to be full. Your assistant has learned that your snack will hold you over until dinner.

My PMP

For instance, let me give you an idea of what my Personal Meal Plan is. So, for breakfast, I have a green smoothie shake pretty much every single day. Now, can I do something different? Of course I can, but that's my standard where I don't have to think. Occasionally. I might have an avocado toast with an egg on it— something like that. But my go-to is to have some kind of smoothie or a protein shake. 

Then for lunch, I'm usually going to have a salad. Now that salad, it's going to change from day-to-day. Basically, I take the protein and the vegetable from the night before and mix it into my base of Greens and that's my lunch salad.

For dinner, I'm always going to have that half plate vegetable, a quarter plate protein, and a carb quarter plate protein. And, that's how my meals run.

For snack, I might have nuts, an apple or a cheese stick. Those army my usuals. Now can I go off of that? Yeah, I can do something different, but that's my standard. I don't have to think. I know that it keeps me at the weight that I want to be and best of all, I know that I enjoy it.

So you have to have food that you enjoy, that you love, that makes you feel energetic and helps you get to your goal weight.

Your Assignment

So, go ahead and check out the worksheets below the help you to come out with your personal meal plan (PMP), so that you're eating can go more on autopilot.

You'll still enjoy it, but you won't be using your willpower all the time, and using that boss part of your brain to figure out what to eat.

Mission Freedom!

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Day 18--Downsize Your Plate

Welcome to Day 18!

Today was your first day driving your moon buggy around the Moon. What a rush!

All your training mates were fighting over who got the biggest buggy. You didn’t want the drama, so you just took the smallest buggy, and took off to explore. Little did you know that—bigger isn’t always better!

Those bigger buggys were hard to steer and to keep them upright. Your buggy was agile and energetic—it was just enough buggy for you. You can’t wait for your next buggy trip.


INTRODUCTION

Using a Smaller Plate

Everyone knows that to lose weight, you have to eat less. But, your Assistant doesn't want to eat less. She hates being hungry. 

The strategies of using smaller plates trick the Assistant to eat less without noticing. When you use small plates, you eat less, but you'll feel as if you ate a bigger portion off a bigger plate.  

Downsize Everything

You'll want to downsize your plates, but don't stop there. Also, downsize your plates, bowls, silverware, cups, and serving ware.

By switching to petite versions of dinnerware, you'll be cued to eat less without using up any of your precious willpower. And, miraculously, you'll feel just as full as if you ate the jumbo sized meal.

Treva’s Axiom

It all boils down to Treva’s AXIOM— The smaller your dinnerware, the smaller the portion served. The smaller the portion, the less you will eat, but you'll still stay satisfied.

Trevas-Axiom.png

Whatever You’re Served, Is Right

People believe that whatever portion they’re served is the "right" portion size. Portion size is SO important because 92% of us will eat whatever portion we're served. And plate size is a visual cue that suggests what is a normal portion to eat. 

However, our standard dinner plate size is NOT what a typical portion should be. Over the past several decades, our dinner plates keep getting larger and larger.

When I surveyed Ebay to look at dinner plate sizes over the years, I saw this…In the 1930’s the plates were roughly 9”. In the 1950’s, plate size was 9 1/2"- 10”. In the 1980’s 10” -11” was pretty standard. Fast forward to the 2000’s and you will find plates that are 10 1/2" to 12”—Big enough to be serving platters on our grandmothers' tables.

When you are deciding how much to eat, your Assistant does some tricky mental gymnastics, looks at the food, determines how filling it is, and estimates how much to put on your plate to satisfy you. 

The Assistant is looking at the volume of the food--how much space it takes up to decide if that is enough food.

When your plate is small, a small amount of food looks like a lot more. Your brain is tricked, but so is your stomach. It’s an optical illusion, that if you don’t get right, you will eat more unknowingly and gain weight.

Dinner Plate Optical Illusion

Let’s do a comparison.

Here’s my dinner served on my 11 1/2” Lenox Dinner plate.

Monster-Plate.png

Dinner on a 10 1/4” Corelle Dinner plate.

Dinner Plate Large.png

Dinner on an 8 1/2” Corelle Lunch plate.

Lunch-Plate.png

Which one of these dinners would fill you up?

Remember the Assistant is deciding how much to eat based on what volume of this food she thinks would be satisfying.

Yep, you guessed it.

These plates have exactly the same amount of food!

But, the amount of food is not equal to your brain. And that is what matters. 

The Assistant decides what is going to fill it up even before your meal starts. So let’s help the Assistant be more satisfied with eating less by using smaller plates.

Cues to Eat

But, large dinner plates aren’t the only thing that cue us to eat more. Large silverware, large serving spoons, and even large serving bowls and platters serve as subconscious signals to eat more

In a research study pretending to be an ice cream party for graduate students, students were either given medium size bowls or extra large bowls.  Those who had jumbo bowls scooped up an extra 31% more ice cream. Some of the ice cream tubs had large ice cream scoops versus small ice cream scoops. The students who had large bowls and large scoops ended up with a whooping 57% more ice cream than those who had smaller bowls and smaller scoops.

So not only have I downsized my dinner plates, I bought smaller silverware in packs at Costco.

I use my large spoons for serving meals instead of serving spoons. 

I also encourage smaller portions at meals by putting a 1/3 cup in whatever starchy side I am serving at dinner.

I also have numerous small ramekins that I bought at World Market and thrift stores for serving ice cream, yogurt, or fruit. I try to match the actual serving size with the serving bowl.


You Can’t Just Serve Less

Don't think that now that you know about this, you can just use your same old plates and take less. Research shows that even if the Boss knows about your Assistant's tendency to eat more on big plates, you can't just eat less. She'll always take more on those big plates anyway.

What Will You Do?

What ideas do you have for ways you can downsize your plates, bowls, silverware, serving plates, and serving ware?

The cool thing is that once you move the small plates to the front of the cupboard and move the large plates to back of the cupboard, it's not an ongoing willpower thing. It's a fix-it once and forget-it option.

Check out the PDF below for more sneaky ideas on how to eat less, but still stay full at meals.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR READ IT HERE:

Eat Less Hack

In order to lose weight, we know we need to eat less—we need to get less calories. But that's the trick, right? We don't want to do that.

Our Assistant part of our brain doesn’t want to go hungry.

So we've talked in the past about how to eat according to the plate, that just by changing the proportions of foods and the order of the foods , you can still be full, but eat less.

Now I'm going to share another hack today. Another trick to eating less without even noticing it.

Trying to Eat Less Can Backfire

So, the assistant doesn’t like to go hungry, and she'll put up a fight if you try and eat less. We've all tried it.

I know we've tried to eat less, skip a meal here and there, and then I ended up on the other side, even eating more than I would have anyway. So, here's a way to eat less without the assistant having a fit about it.


How You Decide How Much to Eat

When it comes to how much to eat, The Assistant looks at the food and she figures out how filling it is.

Is it heavy?

Is it rich?

And then she looks at how much volume you have of the food, and she figures out whether that's enough to fill you up.

Well, one of the things that The Assistant uses as a guide to how much to serve is to how big your plate is or how big the serving spoon is or how big the serving bowl is.

Those are all visual cues for her to know whether something's going to be filling or not.

The Expanding Plate

Now back in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, our plate sizes were about 9-10 inches at the most. But over the years, our plate sizes have gotten bigger and bigger. 

I actually measured some of my dinner plates. They were 11 1/2 inches! That's a lot more food that your Assistant's going to eat on a big plate versus a little plate.

And I actually have a blog post with pictures that show you this. I'm going to put the link below (forget the link, I put it up into the introduction section). So, check it out.

But, just by changing to a smaller plate, you eat less, but The Assistant doesn't know you ate less.

You Fool Your Stomach

In research, people rate themselves as just as full with a smaller plate ,eating less—than they did with a big plate, eating a lot more.

And in some studies, people who got a large gigantic bowl with big serving spoons, ate 57% more than someone who had a small normal size bowl and a normal sized serving spoon.

The Assignment

It’s such an easy thing to do. Just change out your plates. Once you eat less, you stay satisfied. 

It's one of my favorite tricks and first things that I recommend to people to do to eat less and still stay full. So try it out.

What I did was I took my 10 1/2 inch dinner plates, moved them into the back of my cupboard. I've bought some 8 inch lunch plates and we all use those in my family at dinner.

Well, except my teenage son, he uses big size plates and get several servings of them.

But you know, for the rest of us humans, the eight inch plates work great. So try it out, see how you end up eating less and are still satisfied.


WANT MORE SNEAKY WAYS TO EAT LESS?

VIEW OR DOWNLOAD HERE:

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Day 17--Beverages--Drink Up

Welcome to Day 17!

The Moon is dusty—super dusty. Your training is going well, but you do miss the green and blue of Earth. You forgot how much water meant to you.

It’s funny how you’ve always taken water for granted, until it’s all gone. What you wouldn’t give to take a hot shower, jump into a refreshing pool, or just have one cool glass of water (that hadn’t been packaged and sterilized).

Oh well, this is what you signed up for.

Mission Freedom!


INTRODUCTION

Today's lesson is purely informational. Continue working on the plate habit you made last week. You don't need to create a new habit around beverages yet, but just keep this info in your "back pocket" until you need/ want to make a new habit.

You probably have some questions about what and how much you should be drinking, so today we're talking about beverages.

Water Does a Body Good

What should you be drinking? It's no surprise, but our main beverage should be water, and you want to be drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day. We take water for granted most of the time, but it’s amazing how awesome it is when we’re really thirsty.

Make it easy on the Assistant to get her 6-8 glasses per day. Carry a water bottle with you. Make sure your water is good tasting and refrigerated. 

Water tastes awesome and is super refreshing, but not in comparison to soda, juice, Crystal Light, coffee, margaritas, or wine.

Drink Up, Assistant

Your Assistant loves sugar or artificially sweetened beverages, caffeine, and alcohol so she will want to choose those type of drinks over water.

Make sure that the "Healthy Choice is the Lazy Choice." Make sure that water is easily accessible, good tasting, and cold, while other beverages you'd have to go to the store for.

So what about when you drink something other than water? There are two things to think about when choosing beverages other than water-- Calories and Crave-ability.

Calories

When you eat something, your Assistant says, "Oh, I just ate something with calories. I'm not as hungry anymore." 

But when it comes to beverages, your Assistant does not register the calories. You're just as hungry as before you drank all those calories. So, it's very easy to overdo the calories when you drink them. 

So keep caloric beverages to a minimum--only on special occasions. You don't want your weight loss to stall for something your body doesn't even register as food!

Crave-ability

The other factor to consider when it comes to beverages is crave-ability. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol all cause the dopamine centers in your brain to light up. The Assistant will often want more and more of these substances. Consuming them can be a slippery slope for some people.

There are documented health benefits of coffee and alcohol (absolutely no health benefits for soda), but don't start drinking them just for the health benefits.

Also, be honest with yourself. If your one glass of wine a night starts becoming 2-3, or your morning coffee goes from grande size to vent size, you may want to start setting some rules around beverages for the Assistant.  


You May Need a Rule or Strategy

Next week we will be talking about how to set up rules and strategies, so hang tight until next week if you need a beverage strategy.

Remember to be a scientist and be truthful with yourself about your beverage habits. Notice how they're affecting your cravings, your energy, your health, and your weight.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE

Beverages

What to do about beverages? So far we haven't really talked about beverages. Well, we're going to talk about them today.


Caloric Drinks

There are a couple of things we want to think of when it comes to beverages.

First of all, are they caloric vs non-caloric? So, you know we don't want to get a ton of extra calories through beverages. You’re trying to lose weight and get healthy after all.

Calories in beverages are tricky. And, the reason why is your body does not notice the calories in beverages.

So when it comes to food, if you eat something that has calories, your body body registers those calories. It says, “Oh, I had some food. I'm not as hungry.”

Well, unfortunately, the same thing does not happen with beverages. Your body doesn't register those calories (that you just drank) so it still stays hungry. So, we want to keep caloric beverages to a minimum, not too often just kind of a special treat.

Now what about the other thing to think of? 

Crave-ability

Well, the other thing we want to think about is craving versus non-craving beverages. There's plenty of crave-able beverages.

What I'm talking about here is drinks with sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. Those drinks can be great treats, but they aren’t drink all day kinds of drinks.

We need to know ourselves. When do those drinks start getting to be too much? Do we feel like The Assistant is taking things into her own hands and making us want those things more and more?

Well, then we might need to come up with a Bright Line Rule. I'm going to have a link below talking about how to make a Bright Line Rule, but you may need to come up with one when it comes to crave-able drinks (actually we talk about this next week, so hang tight).

So, maybe you have one coffee every morning or one tea in the afternoon. And that's it. Same thing with alcohol. Maybe you have a rule—one beer on Friday night.

Alcohol

You know that studies show that alcohol can be good in certain amounts for your health, but again, you really need to take into account what it's doing to The Assistant and whether you’re meeting your own personal health and weigh loss goals. Is the Assistant telling you “More and more” or “That would be great!”

Think about if alcohol is starting to wake you up in the middle of the night or make you go a little bit overboard when it comes to food. Those are all things you got to look for when you are drinking.

So, you might need to come up with some rules around alcohol. You might decide, “This is the way I'm going to do it. One mixed drink when I go out with friends. One glass of wine on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”

Again, it's going to be personal. So start thinking about what you’d like to do with beverages and we’ll come up with rules or habits together in the future.

If you need some help, put a question there (in the app), and I'll help you come up with your own guidelines.


Day 16--To Snack or Not to Snack

Welcome to Day 16!

You’ve arrived at your dorms on your new training station—The Moon. Although you want to get right to work, you keep being briefed on all the rules of your new training ground. It’s like the first day of school—lectures from all the teachers on the class rules.

But, now that you think about it, maybe it is good to rest, and not jump into more missions right away. It is hard work keeping up with what you’re already doing. You are a bit tired. Come to think about it. You have the rest of eternity to get this stuff down. Maybe your instructors know what they’re doing after all.

Mission Freedom!


INTRODUCTION

You probably have some questions about how to eat in other situations besides just lunch and dinner. So, that's what we're talking about this week--how to eat when it comes to breakfast, snacks, beverages, and plate size.

Today's lesson is purely informational. 

Continue working on the plate habit you made last week. You don't need to create a new habit around snacking, but just keep this info in your "back pocket" until you need it.

If you want to experiment with adding more protein and fiber to snack time, feel free, but it doesn't need to be a new habit yet.

Snacks

Today we'll be talking about snacks. I teach you to Eat on Purpose.

When it comes to snacks, I definitely want you to eat them on purpose or not at all. 

Snacks are one of those areas of food that the Assistant wants to take over. She knows that in the past the rules around snacks have been a little loose. And she's taken advantage of that. 

She likes pleasure, and snacking is an easy way for her to sneak in pleasurable foods when the Boss isn't looking. So we're going to train her as to what the rules around snacks and what a good snack food is.

To Snack or Not to Snack

The first question that people have when it comes to snacks is "Should I be snacking or not?"

In French culture it is "passe" to eat snacks. Only small children eat a snack between lunch and dinner. They want to save their hunger for dinner and enjoy each morsel. 

You don't need a snack. If you can go between lunch and dinner without needing/ wanting a snack, it won't mess up your metabolism to forgo it.

Many of my clients would like to go without a snack, but it doesn't work for them yet. Their Assistant takes things into her own hands and they end up picking and snacking on foods that they'd rather not eat. 

Snack on Purpose

So, if that's the case, then I encourage you to Snack on Purpose

When your dinner is later in the evening, a snack can tide you over until then. The purpose of the snack is to fuel you through the afternoon, help me you eat a little less at dinner, and keep you from bingeing on whatever your Assistant can find. But, make sure that it's planned ahead, not just a spur of the moment whim of the Assistant.

Should I Eat Six Small Meals a Day?

What about the "It's better to eat six small meals throughout the day" weight loss idea?

Science doesn't back up the idea that this is a better way to eat. Plus, for most people it's too hard to do. 

I have a handful of clients (out of 100s) that swear this works for them. If that's you, eat your small six meals a day. 

For the rest of us, we just don't want to be bothered to eat that often or we'd rather have bigger meals. Be a scientist and do what works for your body and your lifestyle knowing that there isn't a one-size-fits-all prescription.

What to Eat for a Snack

So if you've decided that it's better for you to have a snack, what should you eat?

Focus on foods that will keep you from feeling too hungry, but not cause cravings for more and more. You want to decrease hunger, but not get so full that when dinner comes around you don't want any. 

I recommend foods that are high in protein and/ or fiber. So think of your past experience with snacks...Any foods that stand out as snack winners for you?

Snack Food Favorites

  • Nuts

  • Cheese sticks

  • Piece of Fruit

  • Greek Yogurt

  • Veggie Tray with Hummus or Ranch Dip ( I make my own with Greek Yogurt and Dry Ranch Mix)

  • Microwave Popcorn

  • Cottage Cheese with Fruit

  • Lunch meat rolled around a cheese stick

  • Protein Shake

Remember to be a scientist as you experiment with different snack foods, to figure out which snack foods energize you without a crash, keep you from cravings, and help you control afternoon eating, and lose weight.

 

THE LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

To Snack or Not to Snack

A lot of people have questions about snacks— to snack or not to snack? That is the question, and the answer's going to be all up to you. This is going to be personalized.

What I’ve found is that if you go longer than five hours between lunch and dinner, you're probably going to need a snack to keep you going. Because, remember the assistant, she doesn't like to go hungry. If you get her too hungry, she's going to take matters into our own hands. So, we want to be intentional with our snacks.

Rule of Five

Remember Rule of Five if you're going longer than five hours between meals, then it may be time for a snack.

What to Eat

When it comes to snacks, we want to focus on fiber and protein. We don't want to just pick up something that's super tasty—that kicks up cravings. We don’t want to get even more hungry and then want to eat more and more. 

Some Hunger is Good

We're just trying to appease the assistant until dinner time. We actually want her to be a little bit hungry. I noticed for me that if I eat too big of a snack, I don't even want to make dinner. And, then my kids are whining because it's eight o'clock and I haven't even started making dinner.

So, we want to stay a little bit hungry. We want to make sure we're hungry for dinner, so that we enjoy it and that it becomes the big meal of the day or one of the big meals of the day. We don't want snacks to become a meal.

What to Eat

So focusing on protein and fiber, what that means is we're going to focus on eating fruit, or vegetables, or protein. Try and keep a lot of the other super tasty carbs out of the equation.

Some people like nuts (and they’re a superfood when it comes to your health). I personally like a protein shake with a lot of fiber. I put some fiber powder in there and that fills me up, but doesn’t fill me up too much.

Tight Rope

Again, there's kind of a tight rope walk here. We want to get rid of that aching hunger, but still leaves some hunger for dinner. I want you to go ahead and experiment with this.

Be a Scientist. Find out what your perfect spot is for snacks.

Good luck.

Day 15-Breakfast By the Plate

Welcome to Day 15!

Landing on the Moon took you a few tries. You wanted it to be perfect, but your ship didn’t land quite right. No catastrophes or anything. Just had to re-try the landing, and then you got it right. You got frustrated and thought you should have tried harder, but your Mission Commander said that that was normal . No one gets it perfectly right the first time.

Welcome to the Mission Freedom Moon Training Center!


INTRODUCTION

You've been working on your Plate habit for a few days now, and you'll continue to work on this same habit this coming week.

Habit Prototype

I call the first draft of a new habit—The Prototype—because the first week you find out what all the obstacles are. You never get it eactly right at first. You may need to tweak things. Then, the second week seems to go a lot more smoothly.

So, use this week to continue to practice this habit, and start noticing the benefits of eating according to the plate.

You probably have some questions about how to eat in other situations besides just lunch and dinner. So, that's what we'll talk about this week: how to eat when it comes to breakfast, snacks, beverages, and your plate size. 

There won't be a new habit to add this week. You will work with your coach on developing your Personal Meal Plan and continuing to work on your Plate Habit.

What to Eat for Breakfast

Today we'll be talking about all things breakfast. When it comes to breakfast, you can certainly follow the standard plate recommendation of 1/2 plate veggies, 1/4 plate protein, and 1/4 plate carbs.

But not everyone in America finds vegetables easy to prepare, eat, or digest in the morning. So, I like to give you options with several different breakfast plate templates to choose from.

No matter what breakfast plate template you follow, be sure to prioritize protein and fiber (while minimizing flour and sugar). Protein and fiber are the keys to feeling full and preventing blood sugar crashes later in the morning. 

Breakfast has been called the "most important meal of the day" because breakfast can set-up your energy and cravings (or lack of them) for the remainder of the day. 

Eat too lightly in the morning, and you may find yourself continually snacking in the afternoon. Eat too decadently in the AM, and you may find yourself snoozing by 10:00AM and craving sweets for a quick pick-me-up.

Use 3 of the 4 Quarters for Breakfast

For breakfast, get creative and use a modified version of the Four Quarter Plate. Choose any three of the four quarters (except always include protein) to make a breakfast that will be filling--but not too filling.

No matter how you eat at breakfast, make sure that you always get some protein at breakfast. Protein is important to help satiety, keeps cravings low, help lose fat instead of muscle, and costs more calories to metabolize than carbs or fat. 

My favorite breakfast protein ideas are eggs, turkey sausage, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and protein powder/ shakes.

Breakfast Template Combos

For the breakfast plate template, you're going to choose three of the four sections, being sure to always have some protein. That means you could have a menu combination of

  • Protein, Vegetable, and Starch 

  • Fruit, Protein, and Vegetable

  • Fruit, Protein, and Starch

Protein, Vegetable, and Starch

If you eat breakfast according to the traditional RHH meal template (protein, vegetable, and starch), there are three ways that people like to get veggies in:

  1. Smoothies--add greens or other veggies into a smoothie. Check out Pinterest for lots of smoothie ideas.

  2. Eggs--serve eggs on top of roasted or sauteed veggies. Add lots of veggies to an omelet.

  3. Leftovers--Who said you can't have dinner for breakfast? Just be sure to cut down your portions to keep it light enough to fuel your day.

Then add a starch like a whole grain piece of bread, quinoa, or sweet potatoes.

Protein, Vegetable, and Fruit

For this option, you can choose any of the menu items, and substitute a side of fruit for the starch.

Protein, Fruit, and Starch or just Protein and Fruit

What should you do if veggies aren't your breakfast thing? Try subbing fruit for veggies. Here's where a Greek yogurt parfait becomes a great option or cottage cheese with fruit.

Cereal

What about traditional breakfast foods like cereal? 

Be sure to get some additional protein than what is found in milk or try a milk like Fair Life that is higher in protein and lower in carbs. Then choose a cereal according to the 5-5-10 rule. The cereal should have at least 5 grams of fiber, at least 5 grams of protein, and no more than 10 grams of sugar.

Then, add some fruit for added fiber and satiety.


Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great food to fill you up, but choose less ground-up versions. Steel cut or Old fashioned oatmeal will keep your blood sugar more stable, keep you full, and prevent cravings better than instant or quick cook versions

Think about adding some protein powder/ shake to it while you cook it and then top it with fruit. I personally add collagen powder to mine. Use a natural sweetener like truvia or stevia to sweeten it.

Be a Scientist

Remember to Be a Scientist as you experiment with different breakfast foods and different plate combos, to figure out which breakfast foods energize you without a crash, fill you up, and help you control your appetite, get healthy, and lose weight.

 

The Lesson

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

breakfast by the plate

So you've been practicing with your personalized habit around the plate. I know by now you're starting to get some questions.

What do I do about this?

What happens with this?

Well, that's what we're going to focus on today. You're going to keep on doing your personalized habit, but we're going to talk about some of the things that might come up—some of those things that you have questions about.

So the first one that a lot of people have questions about is—breakfast.

What do I do about breakfast?

Most people here in America are not so used to eating vegetables with their breakfast. The idea of half a plate of vegetables at breakfast is a little bit overwhelming, so I have a few things that you can do to mix things up a little bit and make breakfast a little bit more palatable.

Veggies for Breakfast?

Now, can you eat vegetables at breakfast? 

Of course. There's two ways that my clients find it really easy to do. The first thing that they do is they might try a smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to hide a lot of vegetables. So Kale, spinach, greens, those are really easy to put in. If you've ever heard of green smoothies, you know what I'm talking about. The other thing people can do is put some cooked vegetables in. If you have some frozen vegetables, those work really great, but you want to make sure you have a really good blender to get those all nice and pureed.

Now another thing people like to do is they'd like to add some vegetables to eggs. So if you have some roasted vegetables from the night before or you want to saute some vegetables, put eggs on top or put them inside an omelet, that's another great way to do the plate at breakfast. 

Other Breakfast Options

But those of you who aren't fans of vegetables at breakfast, what do you do?

Well, I like to use the four quarters plate, the one that we use for our kids or for those people who are healthy weights. Now I like to use three out of the four quarters. You can just kind of pick and choose which ones you want to use.

Your breakfast template options are

  • fruit, protein, starch

  • vegetable, protein, starch

  • fruit, starch, vegetable

Just pick your favorites. But, don’t forget to experiment.

So make it about a three quarters plate with a quarter of each of those different things.

Personalize what works for you, and you'll have a breakfast that you'll love and will help you to lose weight. And, stay full at the same time.

Day 13 (or 14) --Weekly Review

You made it through your second week of the RHH Space Settlement Program!

Wondering what you got yourself into? Wanting to quit--maybe just a tiny bit?

Totally Normal!

Learning new things and building new habits takes your sub-conscious part of your brain, the Assistant, squarely out of her comfort zone. She's going to fight back. Remember she likes more pleasure, to avoid pain, and to be lazy. Making core changes to her habits and defense strategies are going to rock her world. Remember she's immature emotionally--kind of like a teenager, so there's going to be lots of grumbling and fighting going on in your brain.

What do you do when a teenager throws a fit? You can try and soothe her and let her know why you're doing something and tell her all the benefits. If that doesn't work, you just tell her that this is the way things are going to be and just ignore her.

Are you feeling a little behind? 

Totally Normal!

Life doesn't stop just so we can change our habits and lose weight. Kids still need to be clothed and fed. Soccer practice still needs to be attended. Jobs are still there. And, our spouse still wants some attention.

If you're a lesson or two behind, don't give up. That's one of the rationalizations your Assistant part of your brain will throw out at you.

She wants you to feel overwhelmed and to quit. She doesn't really like the whole RHH weight loss thing. She would rather keep everything the way it was.

Don't let the Assistant be in charge.

Remember to read your 5 Why summary statement and weigh yourself this morning. This is important. This is about so much more than a number on the scale.

You've got this and I'm here to help.

You'll have tomorrow off. Astronauts need time to recover after all. If you need to, you can use that time to get caught up.

Weekly Review

So today is your second Weekly Review.

Since we want to be scientists around here, we need to take some time to take our measurements (scale, body measurements—if applicable, and non scale victories), review what went well this week (so we can do more of that), and to learn from what could have gone better (we don't get mad at ourselves, we just get better).

The Weekly Review allows you to do just that. 

The Weekly Review is one of the most important pieces of the Real Healthy Habits Coaching Program. Most of what we do in life is ruled by the Assistant part of the brain. We aren't really aware of what's going on and why things went well (or not).

But taking a few minutes over the weekend to fill out the Weekly Review, allows you to notice what The Assistant has been up to and to make a (better) plan with The Boss.

The Weekly Review is also a time for questions and support. I will look at your Weekly Review Form and give you input, encouragement, and that all important accountability.

Make sure you take advantage of this feature of the program. Next to the 1-on-1 coaching, this is the best value and most helpful part of the whole program.

You will find the Weekly Review in your Healthie account.

This Week:

We have put 2 new habits in place.

  • Mental Contrasting and putting together the First Thing Morning Routine

  • Your New Plate Habit

Mental contrasting reminds you of where you are now, and where you want to be. This helps to light a fire of motivation with your First Thing Morning Routine to get you reenergized every morning.

And, you’ve set your first habit around the RHH meal template. The RHH meal template allows you to get full, eat healthy, but still eat some of your favorite foods, and eat less calories and lose weight.

You've put 3 very simple, but powerful habits in place in the previous week.

  • Reading your 5 Why Statement each morning

  • Getting on the Scale each morning

  • Logging your meals and snacks

The 5 Why Statement reminds both the Boss and the Assistant parts of your brain that weight loss is a priority today.

Weighing yourself daily reminds the Assistant that what you do today matters for your weigh-in tomorrow. Logging your meals helps you to eat on purpose.

You've also learned some very important concepts this week:

  • How to set up your plate to feel full and lose weight

  • Six Steps of Making a Habit

  • Use the Confidence Scale to ensure that your habits are right-sized

  • Make your plan fail-safe with a Make it Easy Plan and a Back-up Plan

And the previous weeks we talked about:

  • Logging your food helps you to eat on purpose

  • Photo logging helps you to pay attention to the meal before you eat it

  • Your Assistant can be conditioned to like logging meals by telling her good job each time she does it

  • BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes) are food eaten covertly. We don't even know we're doing it. Ee want to start logging BLTs, so we can catch the Assistant in the act.

  • Tell yourself, "I don't eat BLTs" not "I can't eat BLTs". Don't means you made the choice. Can't means you're being forced into it.

  • Long term weight loss depends on retraining the sub-conscious Assistant part of your brain

  • 5 Whys--Weight loss is not just about fitting in smaller jeans (although that's nice ;-)

  • Success with the Real Healthy Habits program can have a lot broader definition than just one number

  • The 15 shifts that you will make in the RHH program

Today's mission is to watch the video explaining the Weekly Review. Then, do the Weekly Review or schedule some time to do it this weekend.

This is the same Weekly Review video you’ve watched previously, so if you want, you can skip the video today. Just go ahead and fill out your Weekly Review Form in your Healthie app.

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

The Weekly Review

So today's the day—it's time for the weekly review.

Be a Scientist

So one of the big parts of the Real Healthy Habits approach is being a scientist.

When we talk about choosing your own adventure, we won't always get our habits, strategies, or rules right the first time. In fact, we don't usually get it right the first time.

We might get parts of it right—25%, 50%—But then we learn, and go back and tweak our habit a little bit. Maybe we get rid of some of the temptation by changing our environment so things go more smoothly. That's part of the process.

You're not going to get it right the first time right off. So be a scientist and learn from your mistakes. Remember that bad days give us good data. Be compassionate towards yourself. It's part of the process to learn, change things, and then try again.


Need to Capture Data and Evaluate

In order to use the magic of all that good data (from those bad days), we have to capture it and then make new steps for ourselves. We got to make a change to our environment or find new ways to put that good data into use. And, that's where the weekly review comes in.

So the weekly review helps us to look back at our habits, see where we did awesome, and where are we might've struggled a little bit. We also get to pinpoint where we are using too much willpower.

One of the big things that I like to talk about is— don't use willpower unless you have an emergency. We want to set up our habits, so we don't need to use willpower. Going back to look at that weekly review helps us to pinpoint where we're using willpower and where we need to change things up a little bit. 

The Assignment

Your assignment today is to fill out your weekly review in your app.

In the coming weeks, we will talk about Pain Points, so just ignore that block this week. You can also download and fill out the paper version if you’d like.

Click to Download & Fill Out

Double click to download and fill out

Double click to download and fill out

Day 12--Making Right-Sized Habits

Welcome to Day 12!

The view from space looking back on Earth is amazing. Hard to believe that your life on Earth was all you used to know.

The Freedom Galaxy may seem like a long way off, but you've left your old life behind. Once you know how to fly a spaceship, getting to the Freedom Galaxy is just jumping from one planet to the next. It may have felt like this day would never come, but now you've left the Earth's gravity. There's no stopping you. You're hopeful for your new life.


INTRODUCTION

Someday, your former health and weight loss habits will feel like a former life. That may still feel a long way off, but once you learn the process of making habits and strategies and being a scientist, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to your next habit. 

Build one habit and strategy on top of each other, and soon you'll be at your destination--automatic health and weight loss habits that keep you at your goal.

Today we're talking about a couple of tips and strategies that I use to coach you to right-sized habits. 

Be Specific

The first is to try and eliminate any decision making that you have to make with your new habit.

Decisions require the work of the Boss brain (which means you may be susceptible to willpower). So, don't make a habit to exercise just sometime during the day. That's not really a habit.

The Assistant needs the Boss brain's input about what she should actually do for exercise and when she should do it.

Be specific.

If you're making a habit about the plate, again make it specific and daily, so there are no decisions to make.

Don't make a habit to eat more vegetables. Instead, make a habit to "Eat leftover veggies at lunch everyday" or "Cut down starches from 1/2 plate to 1/4 plate at dinner everyday."

Make Habits Small Enough that You'll Be Successful

The second strategy is to make your habits small enough that you can achieve them everyday.

Motivation increases when you are successful. Also, if you make your habits too big to start with, the Assistant will rebel.

Watch the video and then ask yourself,

"How confident am I that I can do my new habit on a scale of 1-10?”

If you get less than an 8, then it's time to make your habit a little smaller.

If you get stuck making your habit smaller, pop on over to the chat area, and I'll help you out. 

Making your habits right-size is one of the most crucial steps to making habits. Unfortunately, most people don't know about it.

Most people want to revamp their whole lives on January 1st. We all want to,"Go big, or go home!" (At least at first…)

But if you go too big, The Assistant will "Go Home." Let's take our habits back a notch when we're first starting out with them and be sure to make them right-sized.

 

Making a Right Size Habit

Today, we're going to talk about some strategies and tips to making habits that are the right size.

A True Habit

One of the things that you need to know about making habits is that for something to be a true habit, you can't have any decisions to make around it. Your brain just has to go on autopilot—automatic.

What that means is we don't want to have to decide when we're going to do that habit or what time we're going to do that habit. It all needs to be on autopilot. And when it comes to habits, if we can do them on a daily basis, that helps it to be a true habit.

So what does that mean?

If you're trying to walk every day, you want to do it at the same time.

If you're trying to eat The Healthy Plate, you want to make it sure that it's easy for you to do every day. 

Now, when it comes to making your habits the right size, we need to make sure that it's small enough that your Assistant doesn't freak out.

So, she doesn't say, “Oh, there's no way I can do this.”

You want to make sure that you're going to be successful with it every day. That it isn’t too big of a stretch.

And the reason is when it comes to motivation, people think that they have to be motivated to reach a goal and then they'll get more motivated that way. But when it comes to motivation, we have to start, then be successful, and then we get more motivated.

So, we need to make sure that our habits are small enough that we can start. And that way, we're always going to be successful. So, we're going to have to make our habits smaller than we're comfortable doing.

Confidence Scale

Everybody wants to make big goals and get really big progress super fast. But your Assistant—she doesn't like that so much.

So, I'm going to teach you a trick to make sure that your habit is the right size. What you want to do is ask yourself, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident am I that I can do that goal?

So, if you have a goal to eat half a plate salad at lunch every day, you're going to ask yourself, “How confident am I that I can eat half a plate of salad at lunch every day?”

And, you're going to think of a scale from 1- 10. 1— is there's no way it's ever going to happen. 10—is you could do it in your sleep. 10 is like brushing your teeth in the morning— it's going to happen. So you want to figure out where you are on that scale. If you're below an 8, then you need to make the habit easier. 

So if you think, “Okay, I think I'm about an 8 on eating salad every day at lunch. I have always got salad in the refrigerator. I make it for dinner every night. I can eat it at lunch too. That's going to be an easy one—eight or nine.” Then you have a habit that’s right sized.

But if you're thinking, “Oh, well, I never have salad right now. Um, that's going to be a little bit harder for me.” Then, you might decide, “I'm like a five for that habit.” Well, then we need to bring that habit down a little bit—make it smaller and easier.

Instead, you might make a habit, “Okay, I'm going to eat it (salad) every weekend,” or “I'm going to make a habit to start making it at dinner, so that eventually I’ll eat it at lunch.”

Make the Habit Smaller and Easier if Below an 8

The habit needs to be somewhere where you're at a confidence level— eight or above—so make the habit smaller if you need to.

If you're trying to do something like walking and you're like, “I want to walk 30 minutes a day.” Well, that might be where you eventually end up. Because, when you think about your confidence level on that walking habit, you're about a 4. 

So, you’ll want to make it smaller.

How about you start with 10 minutes a day? At 10 minutes a day (walking)—that's an 8 confidence level. You know that you can do 10 minutes a day.

Small Habits are Placeholders for Bigger Habits

It seems like, for a lot of people, they don't want to do a habit that small. But, the thing is, when you make a habit, you're making a placeholder in your day (for the habit). You can always scale up—that's the easy part.

The hard part is making the time every day and getting it in your psyche—getting it into your Assistant’s agenda, so that it happens every day. Once it's there, it's easy to scale up. So remember, make your habits small enough that the Assistant’s on board. It needs to be a confidence level 8 or above.

Day 11--How to Make a Habit

Welcome to Day 11!

3,2,1 Blastoff!

This is the day that we leave Earth forever and start exploring planets unknown. The engines are blasting, the roar is deafening, and your dreams are exhilarating. This is your first step of that mission. First we go to the Moon for Off World Training. Eventually you will reach the Freedom Galaxy where you will build your own Brave New World.


INTRODUCTION

Yesterday we learned about the basic RHH Healthy Plate Template.

I like everyone to start there.

Why?

Because it works. 

Most people will find that if they're consistent with it—the plate decreases calories, increases protein, and decreases carbs enough for both The Boss and The Assistant to be satisfied (and as a bonus it helps you to get healthy too).

The Assistant doesn't want to go hungry, nor does she want to give up all carbs forever. She wants to eat tasty food, and the plate lets her do all that.

The Boss might want to lose weight faster and go more hard-core (Paleo, Vegan, Keto, No carbs, Count Macros, Count Points, Intermittent Fast, etc.), but I wouldn't advise it. Changing to The Healthy Plate is enough to kick start weight loss, make significant health changes, yet do it in a sustainable way for life.

Later as you get really experienced with The RHH Healthy Plate, you may want to kick it up a notch (or NOT!), and go carb-less at lunch occasionally, intermittent fast breakfast, decrease processed foods, increase clean and whole foods, or whatever— but I want you to start with the plate. 

Remember Minimum Amount of Changes (MAC)--there is no reason to make 20 super hard changes if 3 moderate changes will get you to your goal and let you do so sustainably!


How to Make a Habit

Today we're going to learn how to make a habit.

There are actually six key steps to making a habit. We're going to be working through the habit worksheet to make our first habit around the plate at lunch and/ or dinner (next week we'll talk about breakfast, snacks, desserts, and beverages.) Then, you can talk this new habit over with your coach at your next session.

The RHH Healthy Plate template is a visual-based system where you divide your food into different proportions.

Most people usually have vegetables, protein, and carb sides at their meal anyway. We're just changing up the proportions.

In the future, you may want to change the quality of the food. But, for now, I just want you to focus on changing the proportions of the foods you normally eat.

Yesterday, you were a scientist. Remember the ideas you came up with for ideas of how you could make your lunch and dinner look more like the plate?

We're going to put one of those ideas into practice with some help from your coach at your next coaching session.

Print off the How to Make a Habit Worksheet. Read through the first page, and then we'll start working through the following pages together.



 

Six Steps to Making a Habit

Here are the six steps to making a habit that will stick:

1) Identify the Habit

A habit has to be something actionable. It needs to be something that you can do on a daily basis—with no decisions involved. Decide what that habit will be.

2) Find the Reward

The Boss wants to know what the benefit of this habit will be in the grand scheme of things, and The Assistant wants pleasure. So, there needs to be a reward.

3) Make the Habit Small

We love to make habits too big. Decide what you think you could do, and then make it one step smaller.The key to motivation is success at achieving that goal every day. You may want to focus on just one part of the plate at one meal. For example, your habit is to get 1/2 plate vegetables at dinner.

4) Link the Habit

Habits work best if you link them to something that you already do. By linking your new habit, you don’t have to remember to do it. Your previous routine is a signal to do the new habit. 

For your plate habit, dishing up your food on your plate might be reminder enough of your new habit to get the recommended proportions.

5) Create a Solution Statement

We know that things won't go perfectly the first time around. By finding your biggest anticipated obstacles and coming up with a solution before they happen, you can keep The Assistant on task. She loves any excuse to get out of a new habit. But if we already have the solution laid out for her, she'll know exactly what to do.

6) Track the Habit

The Assistant loves gold stars. Every check on your Healthie Goal Log is a reward that will help to condition her to do the habit day-in and day-out.



DAY 11—LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

How to Make a Habit

Today we're going to talk about how to make a habit.

This is one of the most important things that you will learn here at Real Healthy Habits.

You need to know how to make a habit that's going to be big enough that you're going to see changes, but small enough that it's not going to make your assistant freak out (and be resistant and want to throw up your hands and give it all up.)

Steps to Making a Habit

There are actually some key steps that we need to take to make a habit.

Make it Small— the first thing we want to do is we want to make our habits small enough that The Assistant is not going to freak out.

So, no Biggest Loser type habits here. Exercising for seven hours (a day), eating a thousand calories—those just don't work long term. The Assistant will give up and say, “This is too hard. I'm not going to do it.” Let's make habits that are small enough that she's going to feel good about them.

Find the Reward— the other thing that we want to do when we are making that small habit is we want to also identify what that habit will do for us.

If we're working on a plate habit where we're getting more vegetables and less starches, we want to identify why that's important.

Remember, The Boss and The Assistant both need to be on board, so we're going to talk what would be the benefit to making that habit.

So, we want to look at the benefit and then we want to make the habits small enough that the Assistant isn't going to resist.

Link the New Habit—The next thing we need to do is we need to link it to an old habit or find a trigger. What that means is we can't do a habit until we have something that reminds the Assistant in our brain to actually do it. 

So, it works really well if you link that habit to something that you're already doing. For instance, if you already take some medicine in the morning, you might add a habit to take a vitamin. Your trigger is taking your medicine.

If you want to add a couple pushups in your day, you might have a trigger. Before I get in the shower, I'm going to do 10 pushups. You always take a shower, it becomes easy to do.

When it comes to your plate, your old habit that you link to would be grabbing your plate and putting your dinner on it. That's an old habit you already have.

So, your new habit would be changing the proportions on the plate.

So, you need a trigger or a link to an old habit that you already have.

Create a Solution Statement—The next thing we need to talk about when it comes to habits is keeping on the course. 

We don't want that Assistant to get derailed when there's an obstacle in your way—things are never going to be perfect. We're always going to have obstacles come up.

So, we want to identify the route or the habit that you want your Assistant to take, so she doesn't get derailed when the obstacle comes up.

So for instance, let's say that you are trying to make a habit to go walking every day. Well, you know, sometimes it's going to rain. Even in California, you might get some rain. So you need to have a backup plan for what you would do if it rained.

Same thing with your plate. Let's say you're making a habit to eat more vegetables. You might want to keep a bunch of bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer. So, then you can grab those in case you run out of fresh vegetables or you're all out of salad, or your husband took yours to work and he didn't let you know. So, you have a backup plan. 

Identify that beforehand and then your Assistant will know what to do.

Track it—The last thing you want to do when you make a habit, especially at first, is to track it. We need to make sure it actually becomes a habit, and so we want to keep track of it. We want to make sure we keep doing it.

Now you can use the form that I give you here. We'll also be tracking it on our daily goals, so choose either way or both. You can do both of those.

Now when we track, we want to give ourselves a real or virtual high five. Tell The Assistant, “Good job!”

Every time we make an X (or a check), that's a little reward to our brain. Our Assistant loves meeting goals, and that is a reward that she can get.

So we want to reward her, so she'll keep doing the habit day after day.

Your Assignment

Okay, let's get making our first habit as it comes to The Healthy Plate. The directions on how to do that will be below. Download the worksheet, work through it, and then discuss it with your coach before you implement it.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND FILL IT OUT:

Click here to download and fill it out

Click here to download and fill it out

Day 10--What to Eat

Welcome to Day 10!

5,4,3,2...

You've been promoted to Lieutenant, and you're on the final countdown to blasting off and leaving Earth. We’re on our way to our training camp on the Moon.


INTRODUCTION

Last week we turned the spotlight on the sub-conscious Assistant part of the brain to see what she was eating by meal logging. This week we are going to start changing what she eats.

I'm going to be answering the question, "What should I eat to lose weight?" this week. In coming weeks, I'll also answer the questions, "How much should I eat?" and "How should I eat it?"

Because we're putting the hard work of losing weight on the Assistant sub-conscious part of the brain, we have to make the "What to Eat to Lose Weight" system at RHH so simple that the Assistant can do it. That means no counting calories, counting points, or counting macros. Those things all take attention from the Boss part of the brain. You can't do math on auto-pilot. So we will be using a plate template system instead.

Using a plate system is simple for the Assistant to do. You always have a plate at every meal. You can use the plate system on holidays, vacations, at work, and when you eat out. You don't need anything special--no food scales or measuring cups. Nothing awkward. Just a plate.

It's a visual based system where you divide your food into different proportions. Most people usually have vegetables, protein, and carb sides at their meal. We're just changing up the proportions. 

In the future, you may want to change the quality of the vegetables, protein, or the carbs that you eat. But, for right now, I just want you to focus on changing the proportions of the foods you normally eat.

What's so great about the plate system? It helps you to eat less, feel full, and lose weight just by changing the proportions of what is (probably) already on your plate. 

The Assistant doesn't like to be hungry, so we're going to keep her satisfied with lots of protein and fiber. 

And we'll turn down the cravings that she gets for carbs by making them the last thing we eat in our meal. Eventually, we'll work on changing out the carbs we eat for less crave-able ones. Check out this blog post if you want more info.

Next week we'll talk about how to do breakfast, snacks, and beverages. This week we'll just be focusing on lunch and/ or dinner.

Today's mission is to look back over your meals from last week . Compare your plates to the Healthy Plate meal template.

You’ll work with your coach to go step-by-step to change your meals in a personalized fashion. Don't feel like you have to do it all at once.

But, now its time to be a scientist. Notice when your meals in your meal log look similar to the plate, and when it looks very different. Start thinking of ideas of how you could make your lunch and dinner look more like the Healthy Plate more often.


LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Your brain & what to eat

So, you've been logging your meals.

Now we're going to talk about what to actually put on your plate.

A lot of diets make this super complicated. You have to use higher math just to figure out how many macros, how many calories, or how many points to eat.

Now that's all work that The Boss (part of your brain) has to do. And it's hard to keep up with that. Your brain gets distracted when it's busy (and doesn’t want to do that work.)

The Assistant Needs to Be in Charge

So, we want to move the work of what to eat and how much to eat to The Assistant (part of your brain)— the habit part of the brain.

Now she's really fast, but she doesn't like math. So you need to keep how you eat simple.

We're going to use a visual meal template. What that means is we're just going to use proportions on our plate to help our brain know what to eat and to make it simple. 

The reason we use this visual method is it gives us the all the things we need to lose weight:

  • It helps us cut down on calories.

  • It helps us get our macronutrients closer to what they should be—less carbs and more protein.

  • It helps us to get more of the healthy stuff—fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

  • It helps us to cut down on low-quality, inflammatory processed foods.

But, the coolest thing of all is it's super simple.

Divide Your Plate

So the first thing we're gonna do is we're going to take our plate and we're going to divide it into different portions. Kind of like if you're cutting a pizza or cutting a pie,—we're going to cut it into fourths.

Plate for the Whole Family

Now I like to use use this version—the Quarter Plate—meal template for people who are already at their perfect weight, for people who don't have a lot of weight to lose, or for kids.

Quarter Plate—For Kids and People Who Want to Be Healthy

Quarter Plate—For Kids and People Who Want to Be Healthy

This is a great thing to teach the whole family—not just people who want to lose weight.

So, use the Quarter Plate for the whole family.



Plate for Weight Loss

For people that want to lose weight or get healthy, we're going to do things a bit differently. 

For the Healthy Plate, we're going to divide it into a top half and then quarters at the bottom of the plate.

Healthy Plate—For people who want to lose weight, get healthy fast, or have blood sugar issues

Healthy Plate—For people who want to lose weight, get healthy fast, or have blood sugar issues

Half Plate Vegetables

So, the half portion up at the top of the plate—that’s going to be vegetables.

The cool thing about the Healthy Plate is that most people already have these foods on their plate. We just need to work on the proportions of them that we eat.

So, most people have some vegetables on their plate. We're just going to work on getting half-plate vegetables.

The reason we want half-plate vegetables is:

  • High Fiber—Vegetables are high in fiber, so they fill us up. We're going to finally feel full.

  • Low Calorie—The other thing is they're lower in calories, so we're going to feel full, but we're going to get less calories which will help us to lose weight.

  • Antioxidants—The third thing is this is where all the antioxidants are. Antioxidants are like little paramedics that go around your blood and fix things.  They fix all those little cellular problems. So as we age, if we have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol, we get little cellular “dings” in our body. The paramedics, those antioxidants, go around and fix them. I don't know about you but that seems pretty good to me!

We want to get half plate vegetables. Getting a variety of different colored vegetables is helpful. But for now, we're not going to worry so much about that. We'll do that later, but right now we want to eat half-plate vegetables.

Starchy Vegetables are carbs

There is an important difference between non-starchy and starchy vegetables. There are only a few starchy vegetables, but unfortunately they’re everybody's favorite (and you don’t get 1/2 plate of them.)

So non-starchy vegetables are going to be:

  • Potatoes

  • Green Peas

  • Winter squash (butternut squash and acorn squash)

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Beans (kidney beans, black beans, and black-eyed peas)

Unfortunately, those starchy vegetables are actually going to go in the carbohydrate section of our plate.

So we're looking for non-starchy vegetables for that half plate at the top.

Protein—Quarter Plate

Then, the next quarter section of the plate that we're going to go to is protein. We want a quarter of our plate to be protein.

This is going to be meat, poultry, Greek yogurt, and fish. You get the picture.

Look at the palm of your hand, and that's about the size of the portion that they'll get.

Now you can always have more protein. And the reasons we want to have protein on our plates when we're losing weight are:

  • Protein helps you to lose fat rather than muscle.

  • The other thing that protein does is that it helps you to feel full. Protein, is one of those things like vegetables and fiber, that just make you feel full. 

So again, we're not going hungry here. Hunger is not a good weight loss method.

Quarter plate protein can be a good starting point. If you're still hungry, add more protein.

Another amazing thing about protein is that our body has to work harder to digest it. That means that about 20% of the calories in protein foods are used by our body to digest them. So, your body spends more calories to digest protein than it does carbohydrates or fat.

Can I Have More?

Now the vegetables—half the plate is a minimum. You can have more than that.

Same thing with protein—the quarter of the plate is a minimum. You can have more than that if you're still hungry.

But the last quarter of the plate—the carbohydrates—that's going to be a maximum. We don't want to go over that quarter of the plate in carbohydrates.

Plate Order Matters

The order that you eat your food matters. By starting with your vegetables and then eating your protein, you’ll be mostly full by the time you get to your carbohydrates. The thing about carbohydrates is that they don't make you full—you just want more and more. So, eating your plate in this order (veggies, protein, and then carbs) can help you eat less calories and keep your blood sugar lower.

Carbohydrates—Quarter Plate

The last quarter of your plate is going to be your carbohydrates and starchy foods. Carbohydrates activate the reward centers of your brain, so you're going to want more and more of them. For most people, they're the best part of the meal—and they've been eating too many of them.

So by starting with your vegetables, then eating your protein, and then finishing with your carbs, you're mostly full by the time you get there.

I like to use the example of when I order pizza for my family. If I start with a salad that has got some protein on it, then I eat a piece of pizza. I'll just have one slice.

If I don't have a salad, I'm going to have 2 or 3 pieces. So, we want to get mostly full by the time we get to our carbohydrates.

What are the Carbs?

Now, what are the carbohydrates?

Starchy Vegetables—This is the section that we already talked about that's going to have things like those starchy vegetables we talked about. The potato, the sweet potato, the beans, the peas, the winter squash—they're going to be there.

Grains—And then also anything with grains in them. They're going to be there (in the carb section) too. That would be foods like oatmeal, bread, pasta, tortillas, rice, cereal, quinoa, or anything like that. Thast will be there.

Fruit—And then the other thing that we'll be there, we'll also be fruit. Fruit is a carbohydrate. It's going to be there in that quarter section.

Pick Your Favorite Carb

Now, at most American meals, we tend to have several carbs or starches at our meals.

So, choose your very favorite.

For instance, I had a client one time who told me that he was going to have ribs for dinner.

So, I asked him, “Well, what are you going to have with your ribs?”

And he said, “Well, I usually have potatoes, I have a roll, and I have some corn.”

Now here's the problem. All those sides are starches.

So I said, “Okay, pick your very favorite.”

And he said, “Well, it wouldn't be ribs if I didn't have that baked potato.”

So I said, “Great, have the baked potato. But,you can't have a baked potato is big as your head. You're going to have to cut that potato so it fits in that quarter of the plate. “

Summary

That's how we're going to set up your plate. We're going to start with your vegetables, then go to a quarter of the plate protein, and then finish with the quarter of the plate carbohydrates.

This is going to help you feel full. It's going to help you lose weight, and it's going to help you to get all those important macronutrients, (like) the protein, and the fiber, and the antioxidants that you need.

And, it's going to be so simple because all you have to do is look at the proportions on the plate. 

Your Assignment

So for today, your assignment is going to be to go back and look at the meals in your meal logger (in the app).

Look at those photos and see where you're able to get those plate proportions—where you're pretty close and where you're off.

And, just kind of get a feel for what kind of proportions you’re at when it comes to your meals.

Now this plate template works very well for lunch and dinner. We might have to change it up a little bit for breakfast, and we'll talk about that next week.

So, today I want you to focus on lunch and dinner. Go back over the meals that you've already had over the last week in your meal logger, and just look at what kind of plate proportions you have.

When you meet with your coach, you will make a new Plate habit together.

Click Here to Download & Print:

Click Here to Download and Print

Click Here to Download and Print

FAQs About Logging Meals

Writing in your Star Log can get tricky sometimes. Your commander is here to answer all your questions, so you can get those Star Logs done right.


INTRODUCTION

Everyone has questions when it comes to logging their meals and snacks, and I bet you’re no exception. I’m going to answer the most frequently asked questions below, but don’t hesitate to ask me anything that I don’t cover. If logging every meal seems overwhelming to you, just let me know. We’ll develop a modified meal logging schedule to help you feel successful and to do what feels right for you.

LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some questions about logging your meals now that you've got some practice under your belt. So, today let’s talk about the most FAQs (frequently asked questions) that I get about logging your food.


How Long Do I Have to Do This?

The first question that people ask me is— Am I going to have to do this forever?

And, the answer is NO.

You don't have to do it forever. But, we're going to do it as long as you need to to put your eating on autopilot— where you don't need to go back and check it all the time. So you can talk to your coach about when that would be for you.

But for now, just keep doing it.


What If I Don’t Eat it All?

Another question that I get is—What if I don't eat my whole meal?

Well, that's okay. You've already taken a picture of it. Just in the notes below the picture write—I left a few bites .

Or, I left half of my plate. I wasn't as hungry as I thought I'd be.

That's fine.


What if I Ate More?

Now what if you go and get seconds?

Well, again, you would just put a note down there in the note section saying— Oh, I got another serving of this (because we don't always remember to take that picture).

And what happens if you're in an awkward place?

Like you're out to eat, or you're at a work meeting where you don't want to whip out your phone. Again, just write down what you had in the notes.

We're just trying to pay attention and get in that habit of paying attention to our meal before we eat it.


What Do I Do if I Forgot to Take a Picture?

Now what happens if you forgot?

Like I said, just put it in the notes section as to a good guess of what you had to eat.


How Do I Log Beverages?

Now another question I get is about beverages. Do I have to log every drink of water and every black coffee? 

What to do about that? Now if it has no calories like water, black coffee, or diet soda, you don't have to log it.

Except…

if that's one of your goals. If you want to get more water, then we're going to want to log it and take a picture of it. If you're trying to cut down on your caffeine intake, maybe you take pictures of that diet soda or that black coffee.

But any beverage with calories, you’ll want to take a picture of it.

And then if you're trying to work on that and trying to increase or decrease those beverages, you’ll want a picture of them.


What Do I Do if I Take a Little Taste?

Another question that I get is—What do I do about all those BLTs?

We're not talking sandwiches here. BLTS stand for— bites, licks and tastes.

If you occasionally take a little spoonful of spaghetti sauce when you're making dinner, you don't need to log it. 

But if bites, licks and tastes are something that you need to work on to get to your health goals, then we want to start logging them. We’ll want to take a picture of every single bite, lick and taste that you do.

I know for me, bites, licks and tastes are something that I've had to work on. Just knowing that I'm going to have to log them keeps me from doing it.

So bites, licks, and tastes— those BLTs— talk to your coach if this is something that you want to (or need to do). You can add it as habit that you do every time you take a BLT, because you know what? Once you start taking those pictures and you have to log the BLTs, you're going to stop doing it (because The Assistant is lazy).


your Assignment

All right. If you have any more questions about logging your meals, be sure to ask me. And, we'll come up with a plan for you.

Logging Your Meals

You better watch yourself. If you continue to do so well, you'll be promoted at the end of the week to Lieutenant Astronaut. And, then it will be time for lift-off. You and your fellow space settlers are getting close to leaving Earth for your training camp on the Moon.


INTRODUCTION

This week we'll be shining the spotlight on the sub-conscious Assistant part of the brain. She's kind of a secretive gal. She takes care of most of our eating, but she doesn't really let us know what she's up to.

To find out what she's up to and to keep tabs on her, we're going to start logging our food. I know, I know. Not another food journal, but this one is different.

It will be easy to do and work with your sub-conscious. It's photo based, so you actually log your meal before you eat it. Here’s why you’ll like it:

  • It helps you to be pro-active rather than reactive since you're paying attention before your meal.

  • Also, because is photo based, it takes a lot less time to do.

  • Pictures are worth a 1000 words, so you'll also get a lot better info about what the Assistant is putting into your mouth.


Start logging your meals and snacks by taking pictures of them. If you need to, set 3-4 alarms on your phone (breakfast, lunch, and dinner--snacks optional) to remind yourself to take photos and log your meals and snacks. Set the alarms for a few minutes before you typically eat your meals. You won't need these alarms forever--just until logging your meals is second nature for you. 

If logging your meals seems a lot, then you can implement it in stages.

Day 1--Set alarms on your phone and log one meal on the app

Day 2--Start logging your meals

Day 3--Continue logging your meals and snacks 

Day 4--Continue logging your meals and snacks, and log BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes) if needed.

All good astronauts keep logs, and you're no different.

There may be a lot of inner grumbling going on right now.

Why?

Your Assistant is mad. Remember she's like a teenager. So she just found out that you're going to start using an internet monitoring service to see what she is up to. Her days of Phantom Eating are over.

The idea behind food logging is to start paying attention to what the Assistant is doing when no one is watching. It's not about counting calories, but becoming mindful. It's about learning to eat on purpose, instead of accidental eating.

If you want an overview of how to do this in the app, check out the video at the end of the lesson (coming soon).

LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Food Logging Habit

Today we're going to talk about your new habit—logging your meals. You should see a video down below that's going to take you through all the steps of how to do that (coming soon).

Why Self-Monitoring Works

So probably every weight loss program you’ve been on has had you do some kind of food journal or food diary—maybe use an app to enter all the food that you eat.

And. the reason why they do that is that self monitoring works. It actually works, and it helps people to lose weight. The reason why this is—and this is where it gets interesting—the reason why it works is because the Assistant (part of your brain) is in charge of your meals pretty much from day-to-day.

Everything's on habit mode. We stop noticing what we're eating. And, because she likes pleasure, she'll eat too much or things that aren't going to help us reach our health goals. 

Put a Spotlight On

By doing a food journal or logging our meals, we start paying attention again. We put a spotlight on what we're doing— on The Assistant—and see what we're actually putting into our mouth.

So it's not about having the food police look at what we're doing. I am not the food police here.

What we're doing is we're just starting to pay attention. And what we're going to do in the future is:

  • Plan—We're going to plan our meals on purpose.

  • Assess—Then, we're going to see if we actually did what we meant to do.

  • Adjust—And, we're just going to get better and better at it.

Logging meals is going to help us do that.

Photo Logging

Now the way I do it is a little bit different than what you've probably done before. We're not going to use an app where we put in how much food weighs before the meal. That can take up to 10 minutes to enter per meal. 

And the other thing—that takes The Boss (part of your brain). It takes some work and some thinking. And, who has time for that? People don't keep up with that.

We're actually going to take a picture before we eat. And the reason why that's so helpful is:

  1. First of all, we're paying attention to before we eat, not after.

  2. The second thing is I will help you to make a, what I call a meal template, which is a visual system to decide how to eat and to set up your meals. Well, taking a picture is a visual system and logging it that way is visual. So, they're all going to work together to help you to do this automatically.

  3. Third, it will save you time without having to take a bunch of time to weigh things and measure things and count calories or count macros. This is all going to be very quick and it's going to be on that habit part of your brain.

food logging is For You

I just want to remind you that this is for you.

You don't have to worry about impressing me.

I'm not the food police.

You don't get a trophy for having the best plate out there.

Again, we're learning to pay attention to what we're eating, eat our meals on purpose, and then tweak and learn from anything for the future.

your Assignment

So, go ahead and start logging your meals. And, if you need help to figure out how to add things to your food log, then go ahead and look at the video down below (coming soon).

Day 9--First Thing Morning Routine

Astronauts don’t leave anything to chance. They always use a pre-flight checklist.


INTRODUCTION

Today we’re going to put all your morning habits together into a First Thing Morning Routine. It will include reading the Big Why, stepping on the scale, doing mental contrasting, and coming up with an action plan for the day.

Sometimes you’ll remember every step. Sometimes you won’t, and that’s why you want to use a checklist. Pilots use checklists just to be sure that they don’t forget any important steps.

Don’t leave your day to chance—use your First Thing Morning Routine Checklist to get those fires burning every morning. Be sure to download and print the checklist and hang it in your bathroom near your bathroom scale.


LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Putting it All Together

Today we're going to talk about the First Thing Morning Routine.This is is putting together all those pieces of habits that we've already made for the morning, like weighing yourself and reading your Big Why. All that gets put together, and this is going to be key to making some great progress with Real Healthy Habits.

Motivation is like a Campfire

Now what I want you to do for a second is to think about when you go camping. When you go camping, you make a campfire at night. It burns and gives you a lot of heat, but by the by the morning it's all out. Then, you have to make another campfire for the next day.

Well, that's kind of like our motivation. It can be pretty high and it gives off a lot of heat, and then it kind of goes out. We've got to start over the next day, and I want you to know that's just the way it is. There's nothing wrong with that. We just have to make sure we get a fire going every day, So we're motivated and we remember why it is we're making all these changes

First Thing Morning Routine is the Match

We can sit around and wait for a stroke of lightning to come along and get that fire going. Or, we can take matters into our own hands and get that campfire going with a match. And the match that we're going to use is our First Thing Morning Routine. It's going to get our fires burning, get us motivated, and get us on the right path every single morning.

Pieces of the First Thing Morning Routine

So think about the different pieces of the morning routine that we've already done. I'm going to tell you how they all go together.

Here's what's on your checklist:

  1. Big Why—The first thing is read over that Big Why.

  2. Scale—The second thing you're going to do is you're going to step on the scale. That's to remind you that yesterday's choices mattered and today's choices matter.

  3. Picture Future—Then, you're going to think of that picture in your mind, a view in the future where you've reached all your goals.

  4. Identify Obstacles—Then you're going to think, what things or what obstacles could get in my way today to throw me off that path?

  5. Solution Plan—And you're going to come up with a couple of ways that you can overcome those obstacles and make today an amazing day.

Okay?

Your Assignment

Go ahead, download this checklist and do your First Thing Morning Routine— all put together from now on.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your coach.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT IT :

Click Here to Download and Fill out or Print

Click Here to Download and Fill out or Print

Day 8--Mental Contrasting

It's important to stay the course as an Astronaut. Being off course, by a few degrees every day can end you up in the wrong solar system.


INTRODUCTION

Scientists have found that the idea of visualizing your goal is not powerful enough to help you reach it. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. Just visualizing the goal relaxes you too much. Your Assistant feels like you already reached the goal. Now she's ready to slack and enjoy the reward of reaching the goal.

But, there is something you can do to help you reach your goal. It's called Mental Contrasting. Mental contrasting is where you visualize your goal and then notice that you aren't there yet. There is a divide between your desired future and your current situation. And, then you notice that there are obstacles today that could keep you from ever reaching your weight loss goal. 

The “mental contrasting” of your goal and its benefits and then the obstacles you'll face creates a “necessity to act”—which is essential for actually achieving your goals. This exercise gets both the Boss and the Assistant fired up about your big goal, and puts them on the offensive and the defensive for the battle of the day. 

Just visualizing your goal relaxes you too much. The mental contrasting fires you up to act. 

Doing this simple, quick exercise every morning as part of your morning routine is a powerful way to address any obstacles and keep you from having to rely on willpower when faced with temptation. Making a plan beforehand turns down the heat, so the temptation doesn't feel so enticing. 

How to Do Mental Contrasting

1. Think of a goal you’d like to achieve (i.e. reaching your goal weight).

2. Imagine achieving it. (Get specific here. Maybe imagine seeing your doctor and she gives you the good news that you get to go off of medication.) 

3. Feel good about achieving your goal, but do NOT stop there.

4. Now, think about what might get in the way of you achieving that goal today (i.e. Ice cream in the freezer). 

5. Come up with a strategy to ensure you overcome today's obstacle (move leftover ice cream to the freezer in the garage. Make plans for your next dessert day.)

 

LESSON

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:

OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:

Addition to Your Morning Routine

You've been working on reading your Big Why and getting on the scale every morning. It's an important part of your routine. It's something very simple, but it brings great results. Isn't it surprising how such a little thing can make such a big difference?

Well, we’re going to add one small thing onto that routine. You're going to be surprised at how it kicks up that routine even more. It makes weight loss even bigger and more effective.

The Truth about Visualization

Researchers have found that when you visualize your future, when you think about how things are going to be when you've lost 20, 30, 40 pounds, it's actually demotivating.

What ?!?!

Surprising, right?

What they found is that that idea—that future that you envision—it's actually so rewarding that you're de-motivated. Your blood pressure goes down. You're relaxed. You feel like you've already reached that goal. And, that's actually not good news when it goes comes to moving forward and losing weight.


It's that idea that was popularized by the book, The Secret, where all you have to do is envision your future and it will happen. There is probably some truth (that it helps your goal) to know what you want— like we've been doing with the five whys. But, what researchers have found is really effective is to bring your future down to the “micro level” day-to-day. And, that's with a process experts call mental contrasting. And, here's how you do it.



Get a clear future picture

As part of this mental contrasting technique, we are going to create a picture of an experience that embodies that Big Why for us.

If you're a Big Why is about being able to play with your children or grandchildren, I want you to have a mental picture in your mind of actually doing that. Maybe taking them to a theme park or taking them to a park where you need all of that energy. 

Let's say that your Big Why is about being really confident at work and having the energy and the mental clarity to do that. Then, maybe you would see yourself in a big presentation where everyone claps because it was so amazing.

Or maybe it's just feeling confident from day-to-day so you have a picture of yourself enjoying a Caribbean cruise in whatever outfit you want.

Maybe it's that you want to be in shape and healthy when you're older. Let’s say you view yourself doing a 5Kk when you're 70!

Whatever it is, I want you to have a very clear mental picture.

Now, you don't have to replay this whole scene in your mind, but just have that clear picture.

Contrast and Identify Obstacles

Then, what you do is you take that clear picture, and you contrast it with where you are now. You're not quite there yet.

Then, you think of what obstacles will be in your way today.  What's going to keep you from getting there in the future?

Then you come up with a plan for those obstacles. If you're thinking, “Oh, I might not want to exercise today because I can't do it as soon as I wake up because I've got a meeting.”

Then you would think, “Okay, well what can I do to get around that?”

If you think, “Oh, today is Friday, it's donut day at work. What kind of plan am I going to put into place so I don't eat donuts?”

Plan a Solution

Whatever it might be, I want you to think of the obstacles you might face today and come up with one way you're going to get around that obstacle.

Again, this is that technique, mental contrasting technique . To do mental contrasting, you’re going to be contrasting side-by-side what you want for your future, where you are now, and what obstacles might get in the way today.

When your brain sees the difference between where you are now and where you want to go, this creates a tension that is very motivating to your brain to act. You're getting the Boss part of your brain involved— thinking about, What are the obstacles?” And, then you're giving a clear plan to the Assistant (subconscious part of your brain), so she knows exactly what to do.

When it comes to moving towards that future, it comes down to what we do in this moment—what we do today.

THE ASSIGNMENT

Add this one little piece (mental contrasting) to that morning routine that you already have. You're going to find you lose even more weight. And, you're going feel like you have a better control of what's happening today. So, go ahead and try it.

Day 6 (or 7) --Weekly Review

You made it through your first week of the RHH Space Settlement Program!

Wondering what you got yourself into? Wanting to quit--maybe just a tiny bit?

Totally Normal!

Learning new things and building new habits takes your sub-conscious part of your brain, the Assistant, squarely out of her comfort zone. She's going to fight back. Remember she likes more pleasure, to avoid pain, and to be lazy. Making core changes to her habits and defense strategies are going to rock her world. Remember she's immature emotionally--kind of like a teenager, so there's going to be lots of grumbling and fighting going on in your brain.

What do you do when a teenager throws a fit? You can try and soothe her and let her know why you're doing something and tell her all the benefits. If that doesn't work, you just tell her that this is the way things are going to be and just ignore her.

Are you feeling a little behind? 

Totally Normal!

Life doesn't stop just so we can change our habits and lose weight. Kids still need to be clothed and fed. Soccer practice still needs to be attended. Jobs are still there. And, our spouse still wants some attention.

If you're a lesson or two behind, don't give up. That's one of the rationalizations your Assistant part of your brain will throw out at you.

She wants you to feel overwhelmed and to quit. She doesn't really like the whole RHH weight loss thing. She would rather keep everything the way it was.

Don't let the Assistant be in charge.

Remember to read your 5 Why summary statement and weigh yourself this morning. This is important. This is about so much more than a number on the scale.

You've got this and I'm here to help.

You'll have tomorrow off. Astronauts need time to recover after all. If you need to, you can use that time to get caught up.

Weekly Review

So today is your first Weekly Review.

Since we want to be scientists around here, we need to take some time to take our measurements (scale, body measurements—if applicable, and non scale victories), review what went well this week (so we can do more of that), and to learn from what could have gone better (we don't get mad at ourselves, we just get better).

The Weekly Review allows you to do just that. 

The Weekly Review is one of the most important pieces of the Real Healthy Habits Coaching Program. Most of what we do in life is ruled by the Assistant part of the brain. We aren't really aware of what's going on and why things went well (or not).

But taking a few minutes over the weekend to fill out the Weekly Review, allows you to notice what The Assistant has been up to and to make a (better) plan with The Boss.

The Weekly Review is also a time for questions and support. I will look at your Weekly Review Form and give you input, encouragement, and that all important accountability.

Make sure you take advantage of this feature of the program. Next to the 1-on-1 coaching, this is the best value and most helpful part of the whole program.

You will find the Weekly Review in your Healthie account.

This Week:

We have put 2 very simple, but powerful habits in place.

  • Reading your 5 Why Statements each morning

  • Getting on the Scale each morning

The 5 Why Statement reminds both the Boss and the Assistant parts of your brain that weight loss is a priority today. Weighing yourself daily reminds the Assistant that what you do today matters for your weigh-in tomorrow.

We have also learned some very important concepts:

  • Long term weight loss depends on retraining the sub-conscious Assistant part of your brain

  • 5 Whys--Weight loss is not just about fitting in smaller jeans (although that's nice ;-)

  • Success with the Real Healthy Habits program can have a lot broader definition than just one number

  • The importance of weighing yourself daily

  • The 15 shifts that you will make in the RHH program

Today's mission is to watch the video explaining the Weekly Review. Then, do the Weekly Review or schedule some time to do it this weekend.

YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE:


OR YOU CAN READ IT HERE:


The Weekly Review

So today's the day—it's time for the weekly review.

Be a Scientist

So one of the big parts of the Real Healthy Habits approach is being a scientist.

When we talk about choosing your own adventure, we won't always get our habits, strategies, or rules right the first time. In fact, we don't usually get it right the first time.

We might get parts of it right—25%, 50%—But then we learn, and go back and tweak our habit a little bit. Maybe we get rid of some of the temptation by changing our environment so things go more smoothly. That's part of the process.

You're not going to get it right the first time right off. So be a scientist and learn from your mistakes. Remember that bad days give us good data. Be compassionate towards yourself. It's part of the process to learn, change things, and then try again.


Need to Capture Data and Evaluate

In order to use the magic of all that good data (from those bad days), we have to capture it and then make new steps for ourselves. We got to make a change to our environment or find new ways to put that good data into use. And, that's where the weekly review comes in.

So the weekly review helps us to look back at our habits, see where we did awesome, and where are we might've struggled a little bit. We also get to pinpoint where we are using too much willpower.

One of the big things that I like to talk about is— don't use willpower unless you have an emergency. We want to set up our habits, so we don't need to use willpower. Going back to look at that weekly review helps us to pinpoint where we're using willpower and where we need to change things up a little bit. 

The Assignment

Your assignment today is to fill out your weekly review. Next week we will talk about Pain Points, so just ignore that block this week.

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