Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice

WANT TO LEARN HOW WILLPOWER REALLY WORKS?

 

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  Willpower is a limited resource, so try not to use it.  Instead, set up your environment so that healthy foods are super easy to come by.  | Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com
 
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JUST GET THE KEY POINTS...

HOW DO I GET MYSELF TO USE WILLPOWER TO MAKE BETTER FOOD CHOICES?

You actually need to stop relying on willpower to lose weight. Willpower is limited, so you can't rely on it for every food choice. Instead, use your willpower to make unhealthy food inconvenient and eating healthy very easy to do.

Here are Some Ideas to Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice.

  1. For breakfast, have healthy options like Greek yogurt, protein shakes, low sugar oatmeal cups, frozen egg frittatas, bags with frozen smoothie add-ins on hand.
  2. For lunch, try having leftovers, salads, or ready to eat soup.
  3. For snacks, keep a fruit bowl on the counter, cheese sticks, boiled eggs, Greek Yogurt, and a vegetable tray in the fridge, and small bags of nuts in the cupboard.  
  4. For dinner, start a crockpot before you leave for work, use a meal planning service like E-meals, or prep large amounts of protein and vegetables on the weekend. 
  Ideas to make Healthy foods the lazy Choice. Make a vegetable tray, put a fruit bowl on the counter, or make a large green salad. Willpower is a limited resource, so try not to use it.  Instead, set up your environment so that healthy foods are super easy to come by. | Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

Use the Try This Tip Today to make one or several small healthy, lazy choices today. 

This post contains affiliate links which provides a small income to this site at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love myself. Thanks for your support!


Now onto the Article...

They Say the Darndest Things

  Willpower is a limited resource, so try not to use it.  Instead, set up your environment so that healthy foods are super easy to come by. | Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

When my two oldest were young, I started a Mother's Journal to keep track of all the sweet, funny things they said.  (Unfortunately this lasted only a couple of years until I had my third kid. All attempts at having a clean home, doing crafts, and keeping mother's journals withered when my third was born.)

It's so fun to go back and see the fun, innocent things that came our of their mouths--like when my son was 8. He was watching the news when the newscaster started talking about the state of West Virginia. My son said, "Wow. I've never really thought about West Virginia before. I wonder what people in other states think about Alabama... Rockets, Space, Technology, Engineering?"

I chuckled and answered, "No, sweetie. I don't think that is what people think about Alabama."  

(In my son's defense, we live in the Huntsville, Al area--home to lots of engineers and NASA. Huntsville was named the 25th most educated city in America by Forbes magazine.)

Clients say the darndest things as well. I should keep a client journal because what they say is so awesome that I want to capture it.

For instance, one of my clients told me, "Making a weekly vegetable tray has changed my life." That's a strong statement for just a plate of vegetables.  But, sometimes it's the smallest habits that can make all the difference in our willpower and weight loss.  Let me explain...

 

What Motivates Your Brain

The biggest goal of Real Healthy Habits (RHH) is to help you to move the hard work of dieting to the sub-conscious Assistant brain. Remember that the Assistant is strong and can handle multiple things at once. She doesn’t require conscious thought, so she isn’t subject to attention, low willpower, or low motivation. The Assistant is key to losing weight without dieting and keeping it off.

  The sub-conscious part of your brain, the Assistant wants more pleasure, to avoid pain, and to be lazy. Willpower is a limited resource, so try not to use it.  Instead, set up your environment so that healthy foods are super easy to come by. | Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

The Assistant is strong, but like a teenager she is motivated by these three things:

  1. She wants pleasure.
  2. She wants to avoid pain.
  3. She wants to conserve energy (aka she is lazy). 

I've talked at length in other blog posts about how she wants pleasure ( here and here). We can't ignore her need for pleasure   and "willpower" our way through life. That's a recipe for failure.

Instead, I recommend eating lots of healthy foods you love and finding ways to exercise that you enjoy as well. 

 

The Assistant is Lazy

  The sub-conscious part of your brain, the Assistant wants to be lazy. Making healthy foods super accessible will help you to conserve willpower.| Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

In the past I've compared the Assistant to a teenager. I know of which I speak. My teenagers have lots of energy if they're motivated--like a friend calls them and says let's go out. But, if I ask them to do the dishes, they're sooo tired.

The sub-conscious part of the brain, the Assistant, is the same way. She has lots of energy to get stuff done if she wants to, but she's basically lazy. She'd rather lay on the couch.

This is very important to remember when it comes to weight loss. You can take advantage of the laziness of the Assistant by making eating healthy the easiest, most convenient choice. 

Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip Dilbert, talks about this concept in his book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

"I've learned to use my own laziness in a positive way. I'll always eat what is most convenient during the day, and if the only easy options are healthy, laziness takes me in the best direction. Laziness can be a powerful tool."

 

If you have prepped healthy food ready to eat, and you have to make a special trip to the store for junky foods, healthy will usually win. No willpower required. You’ll take advantage of your basic laziness.  

 

How a Vegetable Tray Changed Her Life

  A simple habit like making a vegetable tray can start a change reaction that changes your weight and your life. Making healthy foods super accessible will help you to conserve willpower.| Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

It's the small changes that can add up to a big difference--as my client who made a vegetable tray discovered. When she began prepping a large vegetable tray each weekend, this one habit started a chain reaction of goodness. The veggie tray allowed her to add vegetables quickly to her brown bag lunches. And, she was able to quickly throw together salads at dinner with already prepped vegetables.  

With vegetables always available, she was able to use the RHH meal template, fill half her plate with veggies, eat the veggies first, feel more satisfied, eat less carbs, and lose weight. Her energy increased, her health improved, and she felt better than she had in years--all from making a vegetable tray! 

I know it sounds dramatic, but remember, my client is the one who said the vegetable tray changed her life. Which small, healthy habit  will start a chain reaction of healthy weight loss for you? Use one of the suggestions from the Try This Tip Today graphic to try out a new habit to start moving the scale in the right direction.

 

  Ideas to make Healthy foods the lazy Choice. Make a vegetable tray, put a fruit bowl on the counter, or make a large green salad. Willpower is a limited resource, so try not to use it.  Instead, set up your environment so that healthy foods are super easy to come by. | Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice | www.realhealthyhabits.com

 

The Easy Choice is Usually Unhealthy

With fast food restaurants on almost every corner, it seems like the unhealthy choice is always the easiest.  

Unhealthy snack foods don't go bad and last forever in the cupboard.  In fact, a teacher at George Stevens University took a twinkie out of its wrapper, 40 years ago, and its still around.  It's easy to keep these options around.

But, the easy choice doesn't have to be the unhealthy choice. With a little planning, your fridge, freezer, and cupboards can help you make the best choice for your weight and health.

 

Make the Healthy Choice the Lazy Choice

Here are some of my favorite healthy, but lazy choices that I or my clients have made.

For breakfast, have healthy options like these on hand: Greek yogurt, yogurt parfaits, protein shakes, low sugar steel-cut oatmeal cups, frozen egg frittatas, bags with frozen smoothie add-ins, and hard-boiled eggs 

For lunch, try having dinner leftovers, salads, or boxed soup ready to eat. Bring lunch with you to work, have a veggie tray to grab from, pre-prep salads in mason jars, add roasted veggies and cooked chicken to salads, use tuna pouches, salmon cans, or sardines for quick protein options. 

For lazy snack options, have nuts, protein shakes, protein bars, a vegetable tray, cheese sticks, and hard-boiled eggs on hand.  Place  a fruit bowl on the counter.

For dinner, start a crockpot before you leave for work, use a meal planning service like E-meals, or prep large amounts of protein and vegetables on the weekend to make fast, throw together meals.

 

Being Lazy Helps You Not Use Up All Your Willpower

The key to  successful long term weight loss is using the least amount of willpower possible.  Scott Adams agrees,

 "The trick to eating right is to keep willpower out of the equation for your diet.  Laziness can make you choose healthy foods if you are clever enough to make those foods the most convenient in your house."

So let's be clever like Adams and make the healthy choice the lazy choice.  Pick one of the strategies above, and "change your life" one strategy (or vegetable tray) at a time.

 

 

Want More Real Healthy Habits?

Head on over to the Real Healthy Habits Facebook page to share your comments, to ask questions, or get support.

 Until next time,

 
 
 

This post contains affiliate links which provides a small income to this site at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love myself. Thanks for your support!

 

Green and Fruit Salad Icons on Try This Tip Today made by Freepik at www.flaticon.com

 

Hi, I’m Treva, your weight loss coach! I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who helps women who want to lose weight, but are done with the deprivation and disappointment of traditional dieting. I'll help you develop a weight loss habit plan that is personalized for your body, your preferences, and your lifestyle.

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