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Life Performance Blog: Are You Overthinking Your Nutrition?

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

For best results, think LESS, not more

What do you do when you first get into your car?

Well, hopefully, you put your seatbelt on before you start driving.

You know that if you were to hit something at 100 mph, you couldn't possibly brace yourself against the dashboard enough to save yourself. You're going too fast, and the force is too strong.

Without that seatbelt, you're probably going flying. So, no problem. You click the seatbelt and forget about it.

You go on your way, safely. Without worrying about having to suddenly bench press the dashboard.

The same idea applies to your eating.

Most of us live our lives at 100 mph (or more!), whizzing through decision after decision after decision.

We're busy. We're tired. We're rushed.

We're focused on other stuff — work, kids, school, traffic, that email from the boss... so many other things are grabbing our attention.

It's like the scenery zipping past our car as we navigate the madness of highway traffic. We're making decisions like crazy.

At the end of the day, our brains are exhausted.

This is often when we feel like we "lose control", or say "F@#k it" to a workout. Splat into the dashboard. It's OK. We get it. We've all been there.

For best results, think LESS

The answer isn't necessarily to think more. (Although that can sometimes be helpful.). The answer is often to think less... but to notice the obstacles in our path, and to put our seatbelt on. In other words, to create structures and systems around us that keep us safe... without us having to think about them.

Click the safety belt, and you're done.

Here's the first way you can use this concept.

Berardi’s First Law states:

• If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it.

The corollary of Berardi's First Law is:

• If a healthy food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it.

Use a trusted "safety system" In other words, don't rely only on "motivation" or "willpower" (there's that dashboard coming at you again!).

Instead, use a trusted "safety system": your surroundings.

Keep healthy stuff near you and convenient. Make your routines and environment support your journey.

Make it as easy and appealing as possible to get to the gym (or have a home workout or play a fun sport).

Keep unhealthy stuff away from you and inconvenient. Make it hard for unhealthy stuff to get to you. Make it inconvenient to skip workouts.

Click goes the safety belt. No more thinking. Something else is doing all the work for you — your environment. What a relief.

What to do today

1. Make life easier for yourself. Think less. You're a busy guy. You don't have the time or energy to make a zillion decisions about healthy eating and exercise. So instead of trying to think about or work hard on eating healthier and staying active, see if you can find some "safety belts" or trusted systems that will do the work of thinking for you.

2. Review Berardi's First Law. If food is around you, you'll probably eventually eat it. Simple as that. It has nothing to do with "willpower". It's just how humans are wired. That can be a problem. If unhealthy food is around you — and convenient — you'll eat it. On the other hand, if healthy food is around you — and convenient — you'll eat it.

3. Think about how to make Berardi's First Law work for you. How can you create a healthy environment that supports you and your journey? What do you need?

4. Keep paying attention to your environment today. How do the people, things, and daily routines around you affect your decisions? Notice and name what affect your choices.

No need to change anything today, just observe.

Chris, myHealthCoach

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