Don’t Set Goals. Raise Your Standards

Don’t set goals.  Raise your standards

I was listening to a podcast recently with Ed Mylett where he talked about not always focusing on merely setting goals, but to raise the level of your standards.  Put in other words, the point he was making was if you want to raise your success levels in your life you need to raise your standards.  He went on to argue that the only thing that separates a successful person from a non-successful person is their standards.  

Think about that for a moment.  I had to hit pause on the podcast right there and realize a few things:

  1. In order to become the person I wanted to become, my standards needed to change.  
  2. My ultimate goal then is to have my identity (who I want to become) match up with my standards.  
  3. Ultimately, this might be something I chase for the rest of my life. As I catch up to a standard I will set a new one to chase. Then rinse and repeat…

Matthew McConoughey said it best in his 2014 Oscar winning speech:

“My hero, that is who I want to chase.  My hero is me in 10 years, and my hero is always 10 years away.  I am never going to be able to attain that, and that’s fine with me because he keeps me with something to keep on chasing.”  

You see, standards are meant to be chased, attained, and chased again.  I believe what McConoughey said that we are never going to reach or attain the “ultimate goal” of (fill in the blank) because in life, there is really never a finish line – there is no ceiling in our lives.  We should all look to raise our standards first, then set goals based on the new standards we are living in our lives.  

So, don’t merely set goals – set and raise your standards first

Answering the question “Who do I want to become in 10 years?” will help you start the process of setting some new standards in your life.  

I will start with an often used example in the gym with a client:

  • Clients goal:  “I want to lose 20 pounds to feel better and be able to play with my grandkids for the next 10 years.”
  • Clients standard:  “I will become a person who works out and moves intentionally every day.” 

Based on this new standard that is brought into their life of the “person they want to become” they are then able to define a new goal that will raise them up to that standard of living.  

  • New Goal: “I will workout and/or move intentionally 300 times this year.”

Now what happens to this person in a year?  Will they lose the 20 pounds?  If they raised their standard to move intentionally and workout almost every day over the course of a year, and track those 300 days, I would place a bet that the person they want to become (their identity) has shifted because of a new standard they set on themselves.

The ultimate goal is to have your identity of who you want to become match up as close as you can with your standard.  In using the same example from above, this person also wants to have the identity of a person who does not reach for the chocolate or sugary snack.  So, their standard now may be to drink a lot more water and eat foods that will be nutritious and help them reach their goal of 300 days of moving.  

I will give one more example in my own personal life.  About a month ago, my youngest son was asking me a question at the kitchen table, and I was so preoccupied with my phone that I completely missed his question.  He then asked me (as a curious 7 year old should), “Papa, what is so important on your phone that you are always on it?”  

Wow, now if that wasn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.  This was my wake up call to change my standard for when I am home with my kids and setting standards with my phone around them.  Here is the new standard I have implemented since then:

My kids will not see me on my phone, ever.    

I know, a pretty high standard.  But here’s the deal.  My identity of who I want to become, the father I want to become is much too important – even more important than that phone.  I never want either of my boys to take second place to a phone, or my preoccupations with it.  A couple things I have already implemented for this to happen is:

  • I lock my phone in my vehicle when I get home – out of sight, out of mind. 
  • I turn my phone off in the morning when I am at home.

These two action steps have made the past few weeks so much better for me, and I know that some of the quality time I have had I would not have had with my kids if I didn’t set a new standard.  

Takeaway

Ready to set standards in your life?  Here are 3 steps to start:

  1. See an area in your life you recognize that you want to make better and want to improve
  2. What is the standard that you will need to improve/set in your life that will align with that person you want to become?
  3. Answer the question “What would stop me from (insert new standard)?“

Step number three is probably the most crucial step.  Take the time to write out all the things that will get in your way from achieving your new standard.  For the person that is going to ultimately lose 20 pounds by becoming a person that works out more, willpower will be the hardest.  They may say, “this morning’s drive to the gym will be 10 minutes there, 10 minutes back, then I have to shower, I might hit a red light…”  So, having an action plan ahead of time could help this person overcome this willpower issue.  

Having their workout clothes set out next to the bed, setting the coffee the night before, their gym bag ready – all of these things could help overcome the time objection that they place in their minds.  

Things that would get in the way of me reaching my new standard of my kids never seeing me on my phone would actually be having my phone on me!  That is why I hold it hostage when I get home and lock it in my car until they are in bed.  That is why I shut it off in the morning (this has also allowed me to get so much more deep work done than any other time in the past, and maybe will be a great topic for another article!).  

Remember, if you want to raise your levels of success, raise your standards.  Also, remember that as you set standards and reach them daily, you can also reflect on what you have been able to accomplish and then set new standards.  The cool thing about this exercise is that your standards will constantly change as you move forward in life.  

Remember that the question to ask yourself is, “Who do I want to become in 10 years?”  Then make sure your standards are set up in a way that you can chase that person 10 years from now. 

You will soon realize that person is your true hero…that person is you. 

Join us for our next round of the Epic 21 Day Challenge where we will help you step by step raise your standards in your life to become the best possible version of yourself.  Act quickly, we have only 4 spots left! 
 
 



Should You Overhead Press?

 

Should I Overhead Press?

What’s up, Ben here with a couple quick assessments you can do from the comfort of your home to see if you should be overhead pressing, or if you should maybe start with a different pressing variation first – especially if you have any previous shoulder injuries or issues.

Assessment #1 – Overhead Reach – Keeping a straight, solid line with your body (including a neutral position with your back), reach over your head and draw a “Y” with your arms and thumbs driving back to the wall behind you.

Ideally you can do this with a mirror to your side, or with a person watching you. What you want to watch for is that your low back isn’t extending as you reach overhead. This is a big complensation pattern that can end up hurting your lower back over time. The second thing you want to be able to do here is to hide you ear with your arm and bicep. Doing this shows you have requisite shoulder mobility in flexion of the shoulder.

Assessment #2 – Grab Your Tag!  This second assessment is looking at shoulder flexion AND external rotation of the shoulder, and it is an even easier assessment than the first one.  Find your tag on your shirt, and then grab onto your tag! Yes, that is it! Literally hold onto your tag on the back of your shirt, and ask yourself if you are comfortable reaching into that position.

If you are, you have the requisite shoulder flexion and external rotation to press overhead. If it is really difficult for you to grab that tag (or you wish you had a longer tag!) you may not be ready to overhead press! 

Would you like to have a coach and a team of experts write you a customized training plan, so you don’t have to do all of the guesswork anymore?  Good news!  We are only accepting 3 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

Learn More about the Epic 21 Day Challenge!  

 

Stronger Together – Chris G.

We are so excited to share Epic Fitness Rockstar member, Chris G’s story!  Chris has been a member for almost 5 years, and she is the wonderful example of someone who shows up every day for herself, and knows that her lifestyle and controlling her exercise is the best thing she can do as a cancer survivor.  

Check out her entire story below! 

Are you ready to take your health into your own hands?  We are only accepting 5 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

Learn More about the Epic 21 Day Challenge!  

The Magic Pill is not Magic at all

The “Magic Pill” is not magic at all

  

As we have all dived into a new year, with it has come a ton of marketers that are promising quick results in “half the time” this year. There are so many businesses and companies out there that are spending millions and millions of dollars to buy your eyes and attention so you will purchase that next “quick fix” – the next “magic pill” that promises to get you to your health or wellness goals.
 
 
It almost sounds too good to be true… because it is.

The more money they spend on advertising the next pill, potion, supplement, or shot, the more money they make – AND the more people they lead down a path that is not sustainable.  After spending over 15 years in the health and fitness industry, and working with thousands of clients, I can confidently say there is NO magic pill.  There is no quick fix that will target that “stubborn belly fat” or that will magically improve your strength, endurance, sleep, or “fill-in-the-blank”.  What all of these amazing marketers are not telling you is that the real magic pill is having consistency over time and the discipline to stay the course.  

Actually, I have an equation for creating sustainable healthy change over the long term:

CONSISTENCY + DISCIPLINE + DESIRE = SUSTAINABLE RESULTS

My advice is this: stop throwing money away at the “next big thing” or some crazy supplement that your co-worker started to take and is telling you about.  Start investing in your daily healthy habits that will build consistency over time.  Have the discipline to do those few things every single day. 

Now, I will admit this equation above is simple, but not easy.  How do you start to build consistency?  By building small habits (Check out my article here all about how to make an “implementation intention” and to start to build consistency).  Small habits then start to lead to “routine” and this is really the secret sauce. 

The more unconscious we can make our habits then lead into a daily routine, the more success we will have.  The more habits we can “stack” upon each other, the more likely we will start to “run downhill” as I like to say (Check out the easiest way to “habit stack” here!).

Next in the equation is discipline.  Can you remember a time in your life when you had a specific goal that you were working towards, and you had to get a little uncomfortable to achieve that goal?  Maybe you had a goal to run a marathon and getting up every other morning to run a new distance got you a little uncomfortable, but you built the “discipline muscle” and did it every day because it was going to get you closer to your goal of running a marathon.  

Or maybe you were studying for an important final exam in school, and you knew you had to hit a certain grade to make the grade you wanted in that class.  So, what did you do?  You probably scheduled out time in your day (time you thought previously you didn’t even have) to study and work on the problems you knew were going to be on the test.  And then you succeeded.  

Discipline is a valuable character trait, and when combined with consistency, it can help you become unstoppable in accomplishing any goal you set in front of you.  

Lastly, but definitely not least is desire.  Desire is probably the strongest part of this equation.  If you don’t have a strong “Why” as we call it in the gym – a strong reason for WHY you are actually doing what you are doing, then it will be difficult to follow through with the consistency and discipline to get you there.  

Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help lead you to your “Why”:  

  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me?

  • Why now?

  • What would happen in my life if I made this change, and achieved my goal?

  • What would be the consequence in my life if I did nothing, and made no change?

These questions will help you dig deeper, peel the onion and understand just why it is so important for you to make a change in your life.  It is usually because the consequence of staying the same and doing nothing at all is more harmful to you than making the change.  

Build up your “desire” muscle strong enough that even when you do fall off the wagon, you can quickly jump back on. 

So next time you pull out your phone and see some fancy ad for a new fat loss strategy, or a new pill that is guaranteed to melt fat off your body, think back to all of the things that you have control over.  You have control over your consistency (your daily habits), your discipline, and your desire.  Nobody can take those character traits away from you! 

Are you ready to take your health into your own hands?  We are only accepting 5 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

Learn More about the Epic 21 Day Challenge!  

Habit Stacking

 

Habit Stacking

We are creatures of habit, this is true.  What else is true is the fact that we also create multiple “habit stacking” cycles during our days without even realizing it.  You decide what to do next in your day based on what you had just finished doing.  Here are a couple examples:

  • Going to the bathroom leads you to wash your hands
  • Washing your face at night leads you to brush your teeth, which leads you to flossing (hopefully!)

These are important habits that we all do every day.  It is also important to note that no behavior above happens in isolation.  Each action becomes a cue that triggers the next behavior.  This is the “secret sauce” behind habit stacking.  Using this connectedness of each behavior, it allows you to take advantage of what you already do and “stack” a new behavior on top of your current ones to help make them stick!  

The BEST way to do this is to identify a current habit you already do every day and then stack your new behavior on top.  This is what B.J. Fogg, author of “Tiny Habits” calls the “Tiny Habits recipe” which is essentially habit stacking.  

Habit stacking is a very special form of implementation intention (what we went over in part one of this blog, FOUND HERE!).  Instead of pairing your new habit with a time and location, you pair it with a current habit you already do every day.  

The habit stacking formula is: 

After [current habit] I will [new habit]

Here are a few examples:

  • Meditation – After I set my coffee to brew in the morning, I will meditate for one minute.
  • Exercise – After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes. 
  • Gratitude – After I sit down to dinner, I will share with my family one thing that I am grateful for that happened today in my life.

The real key here is to make sure you are attaching your new habit/behavior onto something you are already doing each day.  Once you get good at stacking one new behavior onto a current behavior, you can start to string together many small habits.  This may lead to a morning routine that looks like this: 

  1. After I set my coffee to brew in the morning, I will meditate for one minute. Then…
  2. After I meditate for one minute, I will write my to-do list for the day. Then…
  3. After I write my to-do list for the day, I will immediately begin my first and most important project for the day. 

See how stacking habits on top of what you already do (setting your coffee to brew) can actually turn into a positive new routines?!  

The best way to use this strategy is to select the right cue to kick things off in the right direction.  What is great about habit stacking is that it already has the time and location of the habit built in!  But when and where you choose to add a new behavior can make a big difference.  Let’s say, for the example above, that you add that you want to add meditation to your morning routine – but your kids are up then and your mornings can be chaotic – this would not be the best time to add this new habit.  

Don’t set yourself up for failure by asking yourself to add a new behavior when you are already occupied with something else during that time.  

Final Thoughts

The best way to figure out how to add a new behavior onto a current habit is to take note of all the things you do automatically and without fail.  Brainstorm all of these things and make a list.  Then from there, you can figure out the best place to layer in your new behavior.  

For example, if you know you brush your teeth twice a day without fail and you also want to journal in the morning and at night, you could habit stack that “after I brush my teeth, I will write one thing I am grateful for in my journal.”  

Like the saying goes, this may look “simple, but not easy.”  I challenge you to give this a shot by adding only ONE habit stack to your day.  What ONE behavior do you want to do on a daily basis that you may not be doing right now?  See how that goes for a couple of weeks – you might be surprised how  much the new habit “sticks!”  We can’t wait to hear how it goes!  

Ready to learn more about how we use the habit stacking with our members at Epic Fitness, and how to make this a part of your life?  You can apply NOW for one of 5 SPACES we have left for our New Year New You Challenge starting on Monday, January 25th!  Check it out below:

Learn More About The New Year New You Challenge!

Make Your Resolutions Stick!

By: Ben S. Fogel

“This year will be different” is what we told ourselves back in January 2020. 

“I will stick with my resolution through the entire year!”

“I will workout more.”

“I will eat healthier.” 

Do these statements sound familiar?  They may, and that is ok.  I am here to tell you that sticking with a New Year’s resolution (or even a new month’s resolution, or a new weeks goal) doesn’t need to be so hard.  What if I told you if you just implemented 2 simple steps, you would be more ahead for this new year than you have in any year in the past!  Would you keep reading?!  Well, I am here to tell you that it is that easy – but you HAVE to follow through with these 2 steps first.  Deal?  Ok, here we go! 

Let’s start with a quick study to highlight step #1: 

Back in 2001, researchers from Great Britain worked with 248 people to build better exercise habits over the course of 2 weeks.  The subjects were divided into 3 groups:

  • The first group was the control group. They were asked to simply track how often they exercised
  • The second group was the “motivation” group. They were asked not only to track their workouts but also to read some material on the benefits of exercise.  The researchers also took the time to explain to them the benefits of how exercise could reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disease and improve heart health. 
  • The third group received the same presentation as the second group, which ensured they had equal levels of motivation. However, they were also told to formulate a plan for when and where they would exercise over the following week.  More specifically, each member of the third group completed the following sentence: “I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME] in [PLACE].” 

Here were the results:

In the first and second groups, 35-38% of people exercised at least once per week.  (surprisingly, the motivational presentations given to the second group seemed to have no meaningful impact on their behavior.). But 91% of the third group exercised at least once per week – more than DOUBLE the normal rate. 

It was the sentence with the statement that they filled out that made the difference. 

This statement is what the researchers called an “implementation intention.”  This is defined as a plan you make beforehand about when and where you will act.  More specifically, it is how you intend to implement a specific habit. 

Why does this work? 

Well, there are many cues that can trigger a particular habit – like your phone buzzing in your pocket, your alarm going off in the morning – but the two most common cues that will help you implement a habit and help make it stick are time and location. 

There have actually been hundreds of studies of how the implementation intention works and how effective it is to help people stick with new habits and goals, whether it is writing down the exact time you will work out or recording the time you will go to your dentist appointment.

The evidence is clear – people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.  Many people make the wrong choice when they work on, say a new years resolution.  We end up telling ourselves “I will eat healthier” or “I will start to workout more” but this just leaves the habit up to chance, and when our motivation is high enough, then we will follow through. 

There IS a better way. 

You think you lack motivation, but what you truly lack is clarity.  It is not always obvious on when and where you should take action.  That is where the implementation intention comes into play. 

Follow your pre-determined plan by filling out this implementation intention statement for whatever habit/resolution/goal you would like to accomplish:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]

It is that simple.  The harder part – actually DOING IT! 

Here are some examples: 

Exercise – I will exercise at 6 am at my local gym.

Eating healthy – I will eat one serving of vegetables at lunchtime at my office.

Meditation – I will meditate for 2 minutes at 6am in my kitchen.

BONUS!!  The best time to start a new habit like this is usually the first day of a new week, month or year.  Congratulations, 2021 is right around the corner and you can start with ONE implementation intention statement to start your new year off right. 

Final Thoughts

The big goal here is to make the time and location of your new habit so obvious that with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time!  As writer Jason Zweig said, “Obviously you’re never going to just workout without conscious thought.  But like a dog salivating at a bell, maybe you start to get antsy around the time of day you normally work out.” 

There are so many ways to use implementation intentions in your life, and just starting with one area of your life and one statement can be a great start!  In the second part of this 2-part series we will talk about on of my favorite approaches to using the implementation intentions – HABIT STACKING!!  Stay tuned…

Ready to learn more about how we use the implementation intention at Epic Fitness, and how to make this a part of your weekly habit?  You can apply NOW for a few spaces we have left for our New Year New You Challenge starting on Monday, January 25th!  Check it out below:

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Stronger Together – Part 2

We are so excited to be sharing Ally’s amazing story.  Ally has been a part of our Epic community for almost 6 years now, and she lives our #1 value of getting 1% better every day!  Check out what really has made the difference for her during her journey.  (Click Play Below!)

Are you ready for the kickstart you have been looking for?!  We are looking for 8 more clients that are ready to put their health first in our upcoming “New Year New You” Challenge.  Check out more details below!

Learn More About The New Year New You Challenge!

Cleaning out your kitchen

“If food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually it eat.” – John Berardi

Take a good look in your fridge and your cupboards.  Does what you see in there align with the goals you may have for how you look, feel and perform?  Sometimes we just have to hit the “reset” button when it comes to the food we have on hand in our homes.  In doing this, you can not only help yourself, but also your family towards having better habits when it comes to nutrition.  
We have come up with a 3-step solution that will help you clean out your kitchen.  First, here are 3 guideline questions for starting – start with separating your foods into green, yellow and red light foods: 
  1. Green light foods: What are we going to KEEP?
  2. Red light foods: What are we going to DISCARD?
  3. Yellow light foods: What are we going to DISCUSS?

What we are going to KEEP:

  • Whole foods!
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats

What we are going to DISCARD:
  • Anything that doesn’t pass the “Eat Like an Adult” rule.  If your kids (or kids you know and love) would open up the cupboard and start chowing it down, then it does NOT pass this rule.  
  • Candy, desserts, pastries… are you seeing a theme here? 
  • Highly processed foods – ingredients you cannot pronounce or ingredient list is too long (ie: boxed mac n cheese, cereals)
  • Alcohol

(If your cupboard looks like this, that is ok.  Just decide if these items will help you get closer to reaching your goals or not)
What are we going to DISCUSS:
  • Foods you can keep around, and you KNOW you won’t eat the entire box/bag in one sitting.
  • Foods that are “healthy” but you know you may overindulge in (nut butters, bars, popcorn, dressings)
  • Ask yourself: “Is this worth it?”
Remember –  You may have resistance or an emotional response to getting rid of some of the red or yellow light food items – and that is OKAY!  Start this process and you will see how mentally strong it helps you become.  

Are you ready to kickstart 2021 off with a bang!  We have the perfect challenge for you to put your health first in our upcoming “New Year New You” Challenge.  Check out more details below!

Learn More About The New Year New You Challenge!

3 Holiday Hustle Tips

It is already December, and I bet you can already feel the stress of the holiday season (and all of 2020!!).

How do you keep your sanity during it all?  We want to help you simplify these next few weeks and going into the new year so you can keep your sanity and stay happy (and healthy) over the holidays!

Here are 3 quick tips to own the “holiday hustle!”

1.)  Schedule “Me” time!

 Yes, you heard that right! What would benefit you the most during the busiest time of year is to schedule “Me” time.

The best way to do this is to pull out your calendar (I prefer one I can write on, the old fashioned way!) and mark on your calendar every commitment you already know about – every party, event, meeting, etc. that are non-negotiable and that you can’t miss. Once you have those all scheduled, now schedule your “Me” time!  Now is not the time to skip workouts or just say “I am too busy and I am going to take the week off.”

Instead, schedule this very important time just like you would a doctor’s or dentist appointment.  Place it in your calendar and make sure you hold yourself accountable to it by either letting people know that are close to you (like your family) that you have appointments with yourself on these days and times.  Or even better, stay accountable to your coaches here at Epic Fitness by scheduling your coaching appointments and sticking to your plan.

2.)  Prioritize your day with the ONE thing that is non-negotiable to get done each day.

After diving into a ton of time-management books and the like, the biggest aha I got was after reading “The One Thing” by Gary Keller was this:

Time is the most valuable non-renewable resource that we all have the exact same amount of.  It is the way in which we use it that becomes the issue. 

What Keller recommends (and what I find super fascinating) is actually making a “to-do” list with just ONE thing on the list.  Yep, you heard me right – ONE THING!  This leads to what they call in the book the “focusing question”, which is:

 “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

This reflects back another important concept known as the Pareto Principle.  20% of your effort will produce 80% of your results.  So, instead of having a never ending to-do list that will leave you even more stressed at the end of the day when you don’t even have half of the items complete, find that ONE thing and focus intently on getting it done each day.

Whether it is a project at work, some cleaning you have been putting off at home, or anything in-between, the power of the ONE thing is real!

3.)  Say “No” more than you say “Yes”

As I just wrote that, I know this may be wildly unpopular.  I have been a “yes” man most all of my life, until I realized that respectfully saying “no” gave me freedom that I never thought I had the ability to have.

You will be asked by many people if you can do many, many things over the holidays.  This is where you should be hyper aware of the amount of commitments you are making and how it actually affects your life and your stress levels, especially during the holidays.

We have all been there – you just double booked yourself– and you really want to do both things!  Isn’t that one of the worst feelings?  Gracefully saying “No” can be hard, especially if you have said yes in the past to similar things.  But it also helps you avoid this awkward feeling.

One of the best ways to get your sanity back during the holidays is to not be afraid to say “no.”  Don’t even think that you have to give a reason why, it is ok to just say “thank you so much for the invite, but I will be unable to make it.”

One of the worst ways to respond is to say, “I will try to make it.”  The word “try” presupposes the likelihood of failure by about 110%!  Honestly, say it in any sentence and put yourself in the shoes of the receiver.  “I will TRY to make it to your party.”  Or, “I will try to pick you up from the airport.”  How would that make you feel if you were stuck at the airport and that is the line your friend pulled on you!  As Yoda famously said (make sure you recite this with the accent!):

“Do or do not.  There is no try.”

 I know this habit will be a tough one, but once you start to say “no” to little things, you will see the amount of freedom and time it brings back into your life!

Most importantly, enjoy this holiday season with your family and the people that mean the most to you and that lift you up!

Ready to own the holiday hustle and schedule more time for YOU?!  Click below to apply for our upcoming New Year New You Challenge, and how you can get started even earlier than next year with us!  

Learn More About The New Year New You Challenge!

The “5 D’s” for managing cravings

Did you know the average weight gain by American’s between the Thanksgiving holiday and New Years Day is a staggering 15 pounds!?  Yes, you heard that right.  
15 pounds of fat gained is just the “average.”  So, how do you not become the “average” American.  It is really about managing your cravings by having a simplistic way to combat them.
But, where the heck can you start?  We like to call it the “5 D’s” – using the 5 D’s in the order below will help you to make a really good decision if you are actually hungry or bored – sad, angry or happy – or actually hungry.  Check out the 5 D’s below and how you can start using them when you start to have a craving for your favorite holiday dessert.  

Using the 5 D’s Successfully:

Delay: Postpone eating for 10-15 minutes when you feel an urge.  Maybe even set an alarm for those 10-15 minutes. You’re not saying “no” – just stopping to think before you eat. You’re not ignoring the thought but dealing with it. While you’re delaying your decision, the next D makes it easier.
Distract: Try a non-food activity to give you something to. Often the wave of desire to eat disappears in a few minutes when you keep your hands busy without food. Organize a room in your house, call a friend, go for a walk, fold the laundry or even drink a glass of water.  The most important part is to remove yourself from the situation and do something else!
Distance: It’s important to keep your eating environment at arm’s length – maintaining a distance. Remove yourself from the kitchen: “out of sight, out of mind” can help. Stay out of the kitchen especially when a craving strikes. Use the kitchen only for food preparation and meal consumption. Avoid it as a place to hang out.
Determine: After waiting 10-15 minutes, determine whether you are physically hungry or just thirsty; these two are often confused.  More often than not, just drinking a glass of water can quench your thirst and help you realize you were more thirsty than hungry to begin with. Also consider whether you might have emotional or boredom hunger, what we call “head hunger.”  If we asked you if you could eat a ½ cup of broccoli, and the answer is yes, then you are actually hungry!  Avoid getting over-hungry, a main consequence of meal skipping. All of these situations can be helped with a structured eating schedule and pre-planned meals and snacks.
Decide: If you’ve made it through the first 4 Ds, it’s time to make a smart choice. Think before you eat and pre-plan what you are really looking for – sweet, creamy, salty, chewy – before you make a choice. If you decide that you are hungry, practice eating slowly!
We understand life is going to happen.  Using the 5 D’s can really help you to slow down and realize that so much of the time we attach our emotions to eating, instead of using the food as fuel to keep us alive and well!

Are you ready to kickstart 2021 off with a bang!  We have the perfect challenge for you if you are ready to put their health first in our upcoming “New Year New You” Challenge.  Check out more details below!

Learn More About The New Year New You Challenge!