Like many of us, Tara has been struggling to lose weight for over a decade. She’d tried lots of different strategies on and off over the years, and had made progress. But it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that two things really clicked into place.
First, she started the Mindful Meal Challenge to learn to eat mindfully, which helped her notice she was putting more food on her plate than she needed to feel satisfied. The second is that she started becoming more deliberate in her meal and exercise planning, which she calls her healthstyle planning.
Tara has a very busy and erratic schedule. She has an international team and has to attend virtual meetings at odd hours throughout the week. She also travels a lot and has events in the evening that often pull her away from home and out of her kitchen. More often than not these obstacles led her to rely on takeout and other convenience foods that were preventing her from reaching her goals.
To get around this, Tara spends a few minutes on Saturday mapping out her week and planning for the times she knows she’ll be able to eat at home and exercise. On Sundays she goes grocery shopping and does enough food prep to get her through the week, including some back up meals for the freezer for the inevitable night that gets away from her.
Simply cooking at home instead of relying on takeout can result in a huge difference in calorie intake that likely accounts for a large part of Tara successfully losing 12 lbs in two months (most of which, she noted, came off in the first month). Tara and I also discuss how the planning leads to better decisions after dinner as well, specifically regarding alcohol and desserts.
Tara has a great system of building healthstyle habits by tracking the way she feels after different behaviors, and letting that be the guide for her future actions. She uses this knowledge to manage her energy levels that she needs to maintain for her busy life, and make sure her treats and social engagements don’t undo all her hard work.
One of my favorite experiments she did was solve a mysterious headache issue by having a gin and tonic each night for a week.
Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.
The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt
Hyperbiotics Pro-15 probiotic
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