Four Words That Could Change Your Nutrition Regrets
The average person opens up the fridge or looks at the menu and says these four words: “what should I eat?”
How does THAT usually end?
It then leads to a downward spiral choice of another possible four words:
What’s the easiest choice?
What’s the quickest choice?
What’s the largest choice?
What’s is the tastiest choice?
Here’s the problem. These seemingly innocent and simple four words put you in reaction mode. You’re willpower is the absolute lowest in these moments and as a result, so are your food choices.
But what if you chose four words that were proactive and offered few to no regrets?
I want to challenge you to adopt another four words that you train yourself to ask every single time you have the opportunity to eat something, anything.
Four Words That Could Change Your Nutrition Regrets
Make The Healthiest Choice
There is one word that should absolutely jump off this page so let me write the statement again and see if you catch it:
Make the Healthiest Choice
What if you said those specific four words absolutely every time you were about to eat? How much different would the results be AFTER you eat whatever you chose to eat?
Here are Four Ways to Maximize the Use of the Four Words:
1. Plan Ahead
When we meal plan at home, it avoids opening the fridge and making a poor choice. If we do, we’re consciously choosing to not make a healthy choice and that’s a completely different conversation.
We can avoid what is easiest, quickest, etc. by simply planning our meals ahead of time.
If you’re going out to eat, again, plan ahead. This can be done in two ways:
- Offer to do intel if you’re going out to eat. Come back with a couple of choices that you know you’ll be fine with either way
- Look at the menu ahead of time. Almost every restaurant has their menu online or you can call in advance.
For example, I was out on business last week and taking a group out for dinner. I volunteered to look at the restaurant choices while I went out for a run and at dinner I knew in advance exactly what I would order at the two best restaurant choices.
By planning ahead, I was able to make the healthiest choice. This can be done, nutrition fans.
2. Let Someone Know Ahead of Time
If you’re going out to eat or over to someone’s house for dinner, simply let them know.
Most of the time we host people to our house so we can control what is prepared.
But other times we’re invited over to someone’s house or out for dinner. If they don’t ask us our preference, we voluntarily weigh in our choice to prefer something healthy.
Then we add a KEY detail: defining healthy to us!
You cannot assume others have the same definition of healthy as you.
This is critical for me on the road. Many of my meetings are over one of the three major meals. You have more say and influence than you realize but must speak out. This is on you ultimately.
Lastly, if you’re at a restaurant and have chosen to truly adopt these four words that could change your nutrition regrets, it’s okay to ask for the server to work with you.
I do NOT suggest just ripping the menu apart and leaving the server as your enemy.
I DO recommend saying something similar to this:
“Hey Lauren, would you be willing to work with me on the menu and what I order? I’m on a pretty restricted diet, and it would mean a lot to me if you would help me in this area.”
I’ve yet to have one server balk for a second on a question like this because I’m asking for their help. Often they go over and above and even go as far as asking the kitchen if they can alter off the menu for you. What a difference!
3. Be Ready for the Lesser of the Evils
Sometimes there are no true healthy choices. A lettuce-based salad with two vegetables (always one cucumber and two, count em, two grape tomatoes) with a piece of dried grilled chicken is your healthiest choice.
And this could easily allow you to justify going for broke and ordering whatever you want. Careful nutrition fans.
I struggle when there are limited options and I’m on the road because I do NOT like feeling hungry. And when I do, I’m far more likely to make a bad choice the next time because my only criteria becomes portion size! Holy Over-eating, Batman.
But if I know going in, it’s going to be slim pick ins on my choices, I refer back to #1 go in with a plan.
If I’ve done my intel and I’m prepared, it will allow me to either supplement on the front end or back end. This is what I mean.
I can choose to have a healthy snack before I go in to take the edge off or I can eat something healthy after the dinner. You have these choices and they will avoid an all too-often nutrition regret.
4. Get Past the Fear of Missing Out
This is a biggie for me especially charging the meal on a gracious corporate card.
I seem to have the self-control and willpower UNTIL I see the menu or here what someone else is going to order.
I just always seem to feel like I’m going to miss out on something good.
Here’s the problem. I’m looking at the NEAR term only. One hour after the meal never seems to be a consideration, but only in the moment.
If you go in with a different mindset of “make the healthiest choice” and your choice is choosing a better future than an “impulsive now”, you will be better off.
But this take practice and pre-decision. It cannot be done in the moment.
I’ve failed in this area more than any other because I started reacting and looking at only what I’m missing out on right now if I don’t indulge. Avoidable.
Warning: this is a process.
It takes determination and dedication to have these four words become natural before you eat each meal or even snack.
Chances are there will be times you will choose a different key word in the four words (easiest / quickest / largest / tastiest). But the key is what you do the exact next meal.
I’ve found that not continuing the pattern and making the 2nd mistake (excellent post by James Clear) is absolutely critical to getting back on the nutritional wagon.
Engrave “Make the Healthiest Choice” in your mind.
Write it down on a 3×5 card. Put it on a Post-It Note on your fridge.
Make small Post-It Notes with the acronym MTHC as reminders everywhere. Get serious!
Remember, only YOU control your nutrition, so take responsibility now and escape your average in this area.
Implement these four words with your very next meal. Then the next meal. Then the next…
What is your barrier to implementing the four words: Make the Healthiest Choice?