Sharing this post today because tomorrow, I head off to the Antarctica. Two weeks on a ship with poor internet access and lots of shipboard buffets. Could be a disaster. Definitely a true test of how much My Body Tutor has rewired my brain’s approach to food.
I’ve been enrolled in My Body Tutor for 3 months now. It is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Of course, I’m looking forward to the day when eating healthy comes as naturally to me as breathing (or going to the gym daily which I used to hate but now can’t live without)!
- Unfortunately, not quite there yet – but I see definite improvements e.g. the candy bar at Ludlow House no longer calls my name.
- If I do go off the rails and start a snacking binge, I no longer take that as permission to go all out and extend the bad behavior to everything in the fridge. I am able to stop myself before it gets totally out of hand e.g. digging into ice cream but NOT eating the whole pint!
- It’s also taught me to shop more precisely for dinner parties so there are fewer leftovers. And problematic leftovers e.g. that ice cream, are getting tossed immediately so they don’t keep luring me for days afterwards.
As Adam Gilbert, founder of MBT, says: progress, not perfection. Very powerful mantra.
What works especially well for me about MBT is the daily reporting/feedback loop.
As their website states: What gets reported gets managed. And what gets managed gets changed.
- 100% AGREE.
- It’s slowly but surely training me to think differently about what I am eating.
- Additionally, the feedback I get from my tutor (Haley Dyes) gives me the insight I need to understand WHY something is calling my name e.g. she’s helped me to uncover what needs (other than hunger) I am trying to satisfy with food.
Read on below for the 5 major changes I’ve made that have significantly decreased my overeating/drinking impulses.
#1: Plan ahead
For all meals, but especially when a new restaurant is involved (always check the menu online)
- Order a big green salad – or another healthy vegetable dish to start (even if it’s the most boring thing on the menu)
#2: Avoid buffets
This is where I always run into problems. Calories just pile on.
The only workable solution for me:
- Eat at home beforehand and then stay clear of the buffet table or the pass-around foods.
- Only drink sparkling water – no alcohol (the combination of so many tempting foods and alcohol is a recipe for disaster)
Note: Shareable plates at a sit-down dinner (another form of buffet) remain problematic and I haven’t found a good workaround yet.
#3: Decline free food
This includes bread on the table, a bowl of nuts or other munchies at a bar, a free glass of wine, free dessert: politely decline and send all back. This breaks my heart sometimes.
#4: Don’t drink at parties or other big social events
This has been one of the most successful ways of controlling what I eat.
- And waking up the next morning feeling great – not hungover or bloated – is the best reward and also an excellent incentive to keep doing this.
- I am even considering going dry on the Antarctica expedition. I’m approaching it as “my” big party. I want to meet as many people as possible and learn all about them. It’s going to be a fabulous 2 weeks and doing it without drinking might make it even more inspiring.
#5: Slow down, push back from the table, visualize the “Plate”
I’ve always been a fast eater so this is a hard adjustment but it works.
- I have to take a deep breath, put down the fork, push back from the table for a moment
Visualizing the plate is another challenge for me but I’m working on it.
- Even if I am at a small plates restaurant, I try to imagine each item on one plate and plan for 50% greens or vegetables, one quarter protein e.g. fish, chicken breast, and one-quarter healthy carbs (e.g. pasta, whole fruit).
Definitely seeing progress. And I have a lifetime of bad habits to break. My tutor, Haley, has been extraordinarily helpful in getting me to adjust my thinking about food, to place a value on certain items e.g. she always asks me “was this wine (or dessert or whatever thing I am overdoing) so good that you’ll think about it 3 months from now?”
The reason this program works for me is that they are not asking me to give up my favorite foods but to evaluate them for their worthiness. The power is always in my hands. I’m the decider!