Out of Sight, Out of Mind

For Christmas, my stepmom buys me a subscription to Bottom Line Personal. If you haven’t heard of this little publication, you should check it out. It is actually one of my favorite presents to get. It is a news letter that has interesting little “secrets” like way companies trick us in to buying, the right way to test drive a car, and house plants that help clean indoor air (and that was just in the Jan 1, 2012 edition). I love the little tidbits in this publication.

In this edition, the cover article was “The Best Thing I Did in 2011 That You Can Do in 2012 – Inspiring Ideas from Bottom Line’s Experts”. They asked eight of their contributors for something they attempted in 2011 and what went well that they would recommend to the readers. The one that stood out for me was Dan Buettner’s. Dan Buettner is the founder and CEO of Blue Zones, a company that researches international health, longevity, and happiness practices; in addition he is the author of the book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Dan’s “Best Thing” was “banning red meat, sweets, and ‘white foods’ from [his] home but not [his] diet”. Mr Buettner allowed himself to eat these things if he was out to dinner, or at a friend’s house, but banned them from the house. By doing this, he lost 15 lbs with out feeling deprived.

I really loved Mr. Buetner’s strategy. How often have you set your mind to lose weight but have a pantry full of snacks that taunt you when your hungry? How can you hope to lose weight that way? I perfect example of this was this past weekend at my other sister’s house. We had just returned from a party and all had eaten plenty of food. She asked if anyone wanted anything else to eat and suggested putting out chips and salsa.  Everyone moved in to the family room so the kids could play with the Wii while we were still in the kitchen. I told her not to bother with the snacks; if they don’t have them in front of them they won’t eat them. Sure enough, she didn’t put them out and no one thought twice about it.

If you don’t have the temptations in front of you, you aren’t going to indulge in them. If you know your weakness is chips, don’t stock up on them. If you have a soft spot for ice cream (and I have a few soft, flabby, spots because of ice cream) keep it out of your freezer. Treat yourself to these items when you are out with friends, rather than in small daily intervals. If they are out of your sight, guarantee they will not be at top of mind.


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