All you need is 24 hours before any family gathering. One day to spare you from the guilt and regret of overeating your favourite foods. So get ready and take these 3 tips along with you.
Why only 24 hours? It’s enough time for your brain to make the best decisions for you and what you eat. Why? Your brain, ahead of time, doesn’t make bad decisions (I call it the 24 hour brain). When you make a plan ahead of time, you’ll usually choose wisely.
It rarely says “gorge yourself into a food coma“. Instead, it would probably say one piece of sweets or 1 serving of meat or 2 glasses of wine.
Here’s how to use your 24 hour brain to your advantage:
- Write down exactly what you want to eat the day before. How many servings, how many drinks, how many sweets? Don’t skip this. I seriously want you to write it down on paper or on a digital note (like Notes on your smartphone). Keep it accessible.
- List the obstacles and an action for each one. You know them. When your aunt says you need another serving or seeing the table full of food or when your mind will come up with the “wasting food is bad” excuse. What are the words that you’ll say to your aunt? What will you do when you see the table full of food? What will you do when the excuses pop-up? (check out how to handle common obstacles)
- Be uncomfortable. This is a new thing for you, so, of course, it will feel uncomfortable. Don’t fight it. Let your body feel the anxiety, the withdrawal, deprivation, panic, etc. Tell yourself it’s ok, this is part of the plan I made. This is normal and nothing has gone wrong because it hasn’t. Your 24 hour brain is there along with your “impulsive” brain. And of course, there’s a battle, let them battle out. Know that it’s coming and you can watch it from afar without getting entangled in it.
Your two brains are always with you whether you know it or not. So, it stands to reason that having a plan will keep the “impulsive” brain in control. Even when it seems like your family and everything else is out of control.
No matter what obstacles you face, even when they’re unexpected, you have a plan on what you’ll eat. And that is where your control is. Stick to the plan, be uncomfortable and repeat.
Stick to the plan, be uncomfortable and repeat.