What should you do when you don't know what's for dinner? My clients always tell me they can't make a plan when they aren't in charge of the food at the event or they don't know what restaurant they are going to. This tool is the solution!
More from Well with Lisa:
More from Well with Lisa:
Welcome to Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well; the podcast for women who want to lose weight, but are tired of counting and calculating all the food. I'm your host, Lisa Salsbury. I'm a certified health and weight loss coach and life coach, and most importantly a recovered chronic dieter. I'll teach you to figure out why you are eating when you aren't hungry, instead of worrying so much about what you are eating. Hi. Welcome to episode five. Thank you for being here with me. If you haven't left a review yet, please consider doing that. And if you love me, a five star rating would be great. Send me a screenshot of that review either by email. that's going to be email@example.com. Or you can just DM it to me on Instagram and I'll send you a Starbucks gift card. I noticed the first couple of reviews I got did not send me a screenshot. So if that's you, please do so. And I will still send you your gift card, cause I'm not sure who you are just from your username. So also I'm starting a new promo this week. So if you share the podcast on any social media channel and either attack me in that story or post. Or send me a screenshot. If your account is private. You'll be entered in a drawing for a hundred dollar Amazon card. I will be drawing one every two weeks. And every share counts as an entry. So if you love every episode, you can share all of them. So this is episode five, so that's five entries, so fun, right? Okay, let's jump into today's episode. We are going to be talking about decisions ahead of time. This is a concept. I feel like I learned actually as a teenager. I remember one time I was in a church lesson and they were talking about not drinking alcohol. The advice was to make a decision, right. Then if we were going to drink or not, chances are, they didn't give us the, um, the option to drink, but that's how I kind of remember it because that's how I think about the tool now. So. Then they said, when you're at the party and someone offers you a drink, you don't have to make the decision in that moment it's already been made. And that's really the basis of this decisions ahead of time tool. You decide ahead. What you are going to do or not do so that when the time comes, you don't have to think through it and weigh your options. The reason this is very effective and helpful. Is because we have two parts of our brain. We have that prefrontal cortex, that higher human brain. And then we have our lower brain. Sometimes people call it the animal brain, primitive brain, all kinds of things that we call the two parts of the brain. When we are making decisions ahead of time, we are always using that higher human part of our brain. Animals are not able to make decisions ahead of time. They have instincts. So you'll see animals that say, like store food for the winter, but they're not making that decision as something. Like we do when we plan for the future, that's purely an instinct. So making decisions, deciding what you will do before you are in the moment. Always comes from the highest, most productive, most effective part of our brain. So that's really why we want to do this. as you know, from episode two, I have all my clients create practical plans for the day about what they are going to eat. So I recommend you listen to that episode. If you haven't already. But basically you write down in the morning or in the night, if you like the night before, if you're a night owl, you write down what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day. And then any snacks you might have and drinks, if it's other than water. So that works fine for my clients when they are home and making their own food. But they get thrown for a loop when they have out to dinner plans. When they've been invited to someone's house for a barbecue, or they're going to be traveling, their brains are like, Nope, there's no possible way to plan. Can't do it. Every time. Every time. So if your brain is like, yeah, I agree. There's no way to plan when you aren't in charge of making the food. This tool is for you. there are tons of things that can be decisions ahead of time. I think my favorite client, I taught this to was a vegetarian. She was telling me about challenges with what to order when she's out, because she doesn't know what she will feel like. She doesn't know what will be on the menu, et cetera. So she said, you know, there's. He just was like, there's no way for me to plan because I just won't know. And I said, okay, well, what would you do if the only thing on the menu was a hamburger? And she laughed and she said, well, of course, I'm not going to order that. There wasn't even a question in her mind. And I said, well, would you just go hungry then? And she was like, yeah, I totally would. She didn't even hesitate. That's the power of decisions ahead of time. Because really she can totally eat meat if she wanted to. It's a personal decision for her. It's not like a requirement from a disease that she has or whatnot. it's just like, I could totally drink alcohol. If I wanted to I'm an adult. I can go buy it or order it anytime I like. But she had decided for her own personal reasons that meat is not for her. And no amount of delicious descriptors on a menu. Or specials made by the chef. Or the lack of any other options was going to sway her. And I told her we can get there with other decisions about what you want to eat as well. She was not convinced at first, but the more we practice because she went out to eat and she traveled a lot. The better and better she got at it. And after her last out of town trip, she came back and was absolutely shocked at how much food she left behind because she had decided ahead she was going to pay attention to her hunger. that is one of the things we can decide ahead. So let's get into some of those things that we can decide, Because it's more than just the broad generalization of being a vegetarian or being a non-drinker. When you are writing your plan in the morning. You can write down your decisions ahead of time for that day, if you're going to eat out, or if you're traveling. You can also make master lists of decisions you're going to make. So I'm going to give you examples of both. Let's start with some of those master list. Types of decisions. So here's some ideas. Number one, I won't beat myself up for any reason, regardless of what I eat. Number two. I pay attention to my physical hunger and stop when I've just had enough. Number three, I drink a hundred ounces of water every day. Number four. I enjoy dessert when it's planned. these are some examples of decisions that will benefit you no matter where you are or what you're eating. These things can be done, whether you've made a practical plan, whether you're at home eating, whether you're traveling. But, let's just go through each one of these a little bit. number one, deciding you won't beat yourself up for any reason. This one keeps you from spiraling into might as well, eats, you know where you might as well eat that because you already ate this. And the thing is your bodies are already probably feeling pretty terrible if you've already overeaten. So let's not punch yourself in the face. With your thoughts as well, right? This only adds insult to injury, as they say. number two was paying attention to your hunger scale. This can be done anywhere, right? Remember that more bites of something after you are physically full will not make it tastes better. I promise. Often it stops tasting great at all when our bodies are uncomfortable anyway. So remember that you can always save it for later, order it again, someday, learn to make it yourself, ask for the recipe, all kinds of ways. You can have this food again, when you are physically hungry for it. let's see drinking a hundred ounces of water every day. This is a given for me. I made that decision so long ago that it feels weird if I don't, I feel dehydrated and off, and really nothing sends up false hunger signals, like being dehydrated. Well, except for maybe being. Being too tired, but that sleep episode is coming. So your body is screaming for liquid. And when you don't give it, it will send up a hunger signal because liquid can be gleaned from food as well. So that's the next best thing. So stay hydrated, make that decision that water is a priority, no matter where you are for the day. And let's see the last example was, oh, eating dessert when planned. So you can plan dessert as often as you like. But use your prefrontal cortex to decide when you eat dessert. And then process the craving for dessert at other times. You don't want to have the only time you eat dessert to be unplanned. Because then you never make the decision to eat it with your higher brain. It's always a reaction. So decide ahead that you will eat to cert when it's planned. And listen, when you are on a vacation, you might plan it every day. That's fine. But I'd rather you eat dessert every single day planned. Then every other day, unplanned. When you are eating it unplanned, you inevitably feel like you're cheating or like you shouldn't. And all that diet mentality language is going to come up in your brain. It becomes a much easier as well to process the craving for a dessert. When you know, you have it planned for tomorrow, or even for later that day. Okay. So what about some decisions that you might make on a day to day basis? Say you have a date night or a family dinner. You're going to. What can you decide if you aren't aware of the full menu? Here's some examples. You can decide if you're going to order an appetizer or not. You can decide if you're going to eat the free bread or chips and salsa, that's brought out. You can decide if you're going to order something fried or something fresh. Is it a night for fries or a night for salad you can decide if you're going to eat or order a dessert or not. Maybe you decide you will split with your partner. Something that sounds good to you. Both. You can decide if you're going to drink alcohol or not. And how many. Or if you already don't drink, you can decide if you're ordering soda or any other drinks. You can decide that half your plate will be vegetables. So if you're out of barbecue, you might fill your plate with the veggie tray and the salad. If you're at a restaurant, you look for something on the menu with the most vegetable forward description. Okay. So that's a lot. Do you see what I mean, though? You don't actually need to know the exact menu to make a ton of decisions ahead of time. I bet you're thinking of some of your own decisions right now. These decisions ahead are not to limit you. But to actually free your brain. So you, aren't having to argue with yourself at every function you attend and every restaurant you go to. Deciding head lets you pay more attention to the company you are with and to enjoy the experience rather than worrying and arguing with yourself about what to order, what to pick off the buffet. Decisions ahead of time. Also keeps you from using willpower. Using willpower is of course not advised in these situations because it's like a muscle in that it fatigues over time and over the day. It simply wears out. So when we're in some of these situations, which sometimes quite frankly are uncomfortable. If you're at a party and you don't know anyone. Or you're trained to make small talk. The first thing that's going to happen. Is your willpower is going to completely fall by the wayside. instead we rely on the decision made ahead of time with your higher brain, that prefrontal cortex. I keep talking about. It's a commitment, then you honor to yourself. Rather than trying to get better at willpower. Work on the relationship you have with yourself. In doing what you said you would do. Again, if you remember from episode two, about the practical plan, it's one of the reasons why we create a practical plan. It's to practice. Planning and then doing what we say we are going to do. It's making a decision and then following through. You know, you're the first person that you cancel on. So building this relationship and commitment as you honor, these commitments to yourself will go a long way. For this week, when you give this tool a try, just pick one or two things, maybe pick one decision you're going to make on your master list. Such as how much water you want to drink. And then if you have an event to go to maybe just make one decision about the food. If you're not sure. Where to start. I recommend you always start with a decision that you're going to honor your physical hunger. That's a great one to start with. I really do love helping people with this. So if you want help making your own decisions ahead of time master list. Or if you have an event coming up and you're just not sure how you're going to handle it. don't forget. I do free strategy sessions. Check my calendar, make an appointment to chat with me this week and I'll give you some personalized help. All right. Have a good one friends.
Thanks for listening today. If you're ready to get some personalized help from me, I'd encourage you to schedule a free strategy session. Visit www.wellwithlisa.as.me or find a link in the show notes. We'll talk about where you currently are with your weight loss goals, and I'll give you some actionable tools. You can start implementing right away. Before you go, make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can receive new episodes, right when they're released. And if you're learning something new, I'd love for you to leave me a review. Thanks again for joining me, Lisa Salsbury in this episode of Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well. I'll talk to you next time!