Make it Automatic Think of your waist management plan a little like the way youíd drive to work. Maybe the first day on a new job in a new city, you took the highway. But then you found out it was more clogged than Rapunzelís shower drain. So you experimented with a few back roads, shortcuts, and bypasses until you found the very best way to get to work. Now you donít need a map; you do it automatically, and you donít spend a single nanosecond worrying about what turn you take. Itís automatic-just the way your approach to eating should be. When youíre starting out on this plan, youíll experience with different routes, get stuck in a few traffic jams, maybe even gat a little lost along the way. But if you stick with it and find the right course, youíll automate your habits, regulate your chemicals, and make eating the easiest trip youíve ever made.
Nutritional Keep in your fridge a container of baby carrots, celery or any crisp vegetable of your choice, or a favorite apple type. Carrots and apples are perfect antistress foods because, one, they have just a tinge of sweetness to satisfy that craving, and, two, they give you something to crunch into at times when you really want to sink your teeth into your bossís neck. This will become your turn-to-food-that is, the food you turn to when you feel angry, frustrated, mad, sad, or upset-as well as the one that will help you feel better about the nutritional mistakes you may have just made. Many of us take the mental approach that the only way to ďdo a dietĒ is to do it perfectly. But thatís a setup for failure and shame, because it never works. Success comes with persistence-persistence to overcome challenges, persistence to see the big picture, persistence to work hard enough in the beginning of the plan so that good habits become automatic.
Physical Do a yoga pose. We suggest the downward dog pose, balancing your weight on your hands and feet with your butt hiked toward the ceiling in an inverted V. Not only will it help you refocus, give you a few moments to take deep breaths, and remind you of your goals, but it will also work because itís sort of difficult to eat when youíre upside down.
Mental Say the YOU-Turn mantra ten times. Let the mantra remind you that itís OK to stray occasionally, that you can take control of the situation and steer yourself back, and that the positive reinforcement and confidence that comes with overcoming challenges will give you the mental strength of a tank. Plus, the relaxing aspect of it will help influence your serotonin levels in your favor. And it will help distract you, which is what you need when youíre beelining toward the bonbons.
Plan to Fail-and Develop Contingency Plans for When You Do. We keep tires in our trunks in case one goes flat. We keep candles in our drawers in case the power goes out. We keep backups of files in case our computers crash (and some of us wish we backed them up more often). And thatís good; contingency plans give you the mental assurance that youíll be able to adapt to unexpected crises. But the one area where we donít make backup plans is in our diets. We eat broccoli, fish, and fruit for three days, then splurge on a double-fat burger with supersize fries on the fourth. For so many of us, thatís grounds for euthanizing the diet right away-putting us right back in touch with our three favorite food groups of chocolate, chips, and chocolate chips. Instead, start carrying a dietary contingency plan-a diet emergency pack for those times when you may experience a crash-causing blowout in one of your meals. Follow this three-step contingency plan to help you cope with occasional mishaps and potential catastrophes. Exercise it the moment you feel youíre deviating from your waist management plan.
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