If you’ve caught onto the vibes around here, you know that MNML is all about doing less and gaining more. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by creating habits. Habits fascinate me and today is phase one of our deep dive into the world of habits.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we would talk about the habit of overeating but first, we need to have a quick #MNMLminilesson on the habit loop.
TAP into your Habits: Trigger/Action/Prize
Let's break down the habit loop:
YOUR TRIGGER: Triggers typically fall in one of 5 categories: location, time, emotional state, other people, or the immediately preceding action.
YOUR ACTION: The most obvious part of the habit loop or the behavior you want to change.
YOUR PRIZE: What do you gain from completing this reward? What craving does your action satisfy? Identifying this piece of the puzzle can be tricky because we are often not aware of our cravings.
In terms of Thanksgiving, I think it’s safe to say that most everyone’s “action” is eating. When I think of my family’s Thanksgiving, I can think of multiple triggers for that action in each of those 5 categories:
Location: My parents’ house, my grandma’s house
Time: 3:30pm (the time all family dinners take place), after dinner (dessert time)
Emotional state: stressed, goofy, happy
Other people: my family (there’s a lot of us)
Immediately preceding action: Lining up at the table for food, saying grace, havig just listened to someone comment how good the (insert typical holiday dish here) is this year, etc.
The prize? Quality time spent with family making memories and the comfort (sometimes even discomfort if we overdo it) of having a nice full belly. Not hearing, "What are you? Not eating this year?! Where's your stuffing?!" from certain family members...
Here's what I've learned by applying what I know about habits to holiday gatherings:
1) Our holidays are full of triggers! It’s no wonder we are tempted to overeat.
2) We have conditioned ourselves to allow this habit loop to take over our holiday gatherings.
3) If we never bring awareness to these habits, we can never adjust or change them if/when we want to.
So what do we do?
Let’s keep it smpl:
1) Challenge yourself to become more aware of what triggers cause you to overdo it on holiday eats.
2) Be kind to yourself! The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Don’t let feelings of guilt creep up on you just because you had a second piece of pie. One day of indulgence isn’t going ruin any progress you’ve made. Just wake up the next day and get back into your normal routine.
3) Here are my three biggest tips for getting through Thanksgiving without having to unbotton your jeans (you know you've been there):
- Take small samples of a little bit of everything. Even when th3 voice in your head is saying, "Really? That's nothing!" when you give yourself half a scoop of cheesy potatoes.
- Drink lots of water. Being properly hydrated will keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger and will also help with digestion.
- Give yourself a cut off time. Set a time for yourself where you will stick to water and stop snacking on the leftover crunchy corners of the cheesy potatoes.
Now, I can't end a post the day before Thanksgiving without talking about gratitude. Did you know that it's been clinically proven that folks who regularly express gratitude actually report feeling physically healthier? More on this Friday.
That's all for now, stay smpl.