Most people think that living a good life is a matter of lots of money, lots of free time and a strong will.
The truth is, it’s a matter of priorities and self-control.
In the beginning, the change in our life is easier with the help of a coach. But neither the coach nor we want this coach to be constantly present in our personal space.
And it’s not because it’s unpleasant for us – on the contrary, over time we literally love our coach.
A man is only real when he is completely free. And he is free when he makes his own choices and they are the right ones!
But how do we keep our motivation to keep our self-control intact and without a coach?
It’s not that hard. There are various ways that require neither means nor will. All it takes is desire and very little discipline. The rules are purely organizational, do not cost time and money, and everyone can choose what they like.
A basic principle in all the changes we make is that they should be pleasant and fun for us. Under this condition, it will not be difficult for us to observe them throughout our lives.
- To be engaged and motivated.
How? It is easiest to continue writing weekly goals and reporting their implementation. Everyone chooses when, how and where to record them, but it is important that they are recorded!
As true Bulgarians, it may not be enough to simply pursue some written goals. Until they “reach into our pocket”, we do nothing!
And there is a solution for this – bet (and put somewhere) a certain amount of money, which you will get back and spend at your discretion only if you meet your weekly goal. If you don’t fulfill it, it will go to something else (you choose what). Or you’ll collect it until you reach your ultimate goal and get rewarded for it.
- Turn your meal into a ritual
Rituals and traditions have proven their effectiveness over the millennia in various religions, ideologies and elsewhere, including family life. Almost all prominent athletes have rituals. Each of us has different rituals, more or less secret, which we are sure somehow protect us from failure.
And you have! Admit it!
Everyone has their own way of making their tea or coffee, celebrating certain life events, doing their daily activities.
Scientific research has established that, however useless or sometimes meaningless they may seem, for each person these rituals have a certain symbolic meaning, which makes them extremely powerful mental tools.
Rituals increase the pleasure of our every action.
Therefore, if we direct the power of rituals to right actions, they will resist with all their might to temptations.
You hardly thought about it, but rituals were used by our grandmothers to teach us how to eat. And we use them for our children. Is there anyone who didn’t have a snack train lined up on their plate as a little kid?
It is hardly appropriate to arrange a “train” on the plate at a formal dinner, but there are many other things that we could do and turn into a tradition and ritual.
I’ll just give a few examples and let you improvise.
Buy a book on “Good Manners” (if you don’t have one). Read the table setting section carefully. And do it every time, regardless of whether you care about it or not (in the beginning there will certainly be such moments).
Mandatory pour into a large glass of water in front of everyone at the table. Leave an extra jug, carafe or bottle of water on the table.
Even at home, dress decently without excuses.
Wait until everyone is at the table and only then start eating. It is allowed to drink water during this time.
Do not put harmful things on the table (carbonated and sweetened drinks and juices (including “natural”), fried and breaded things, margarine, sausages of unknown origin, fatty meats and cheeses, etc., which you learned about in the Health Academy)
Eat slowly. Try to chew slowly. Each time slower than usual. Even count at the beginning (in your mind, of course) to chew each bite no less than 30 times.
Don’t talk at all. If you have to say something, chew the current bite as much as you need, swallow, and then say.
Every time you need to say something or between several bites, put the knife and fork on the plate for a moment. If an action is repeated, always arrange your utensils well before doing it and then do it.
Do not watch TV or even less on tablet and phone screens.
Create some ritual of your own, even a secret one (don’t tell anyone about it, but do it every time you eat). It should be as simple as possible and unnoticeable to others. The thrill of it is to keep it a secret from everyone but you.
The purpose of the ritual meal is simple – to prolong the meal. According to science, it takes about 20 minutes for a signal from the stomach to reach the brain that it is already full. It’s understandable why fast food makes us prone to overeating, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid.
It has been proven worldwide that rituals in our behavior lead to a high degree of self-discipline and motivation.
Turn your meal into a ritual!
Of course, balance is needed in ritual eating as well. The limit of pleasure should not be overstepped. Both ours and those of our fellow diners. But applied conscientiously and carefully, rituals are a truly powerful tool for weight control and good nutrition.
- Serve the food in individual portions
Recently, more and more often our table at home is like a “block table” – everything on the table and everyone pours as much as they want. Maybe this “element of democracy” is important for someone, but I recommend that everyone has a separate portion. So everyone will know exactly how much they eat and will have control over it.
Try to make each portion 30% protein, 30% fat (good), 40% carbohydrates (including fiber) and always have a glass of clean water in front of everyone. At first glance it seems complicated, with time and experience it turns out to be elementary.
In addition, the hosts can put all their creative energy into the presentation of their dishes and pleasantly surprise the diners.
- Make full use of technology
During the meal itself, it is best if any technological marvels are even “forgotten” in some other room. I mean that they can be used to create a certain rhythm of eating, drinking water and exercising so that it adequately responds to the circadian cycle of our life with 5-6 meals, enough water and movement (more on the circadian cycle can learn at Academy of Health – Galanto).
- Follow the rules taught by the coach.
There are no two opinions here – the general rules learned by our coach, as well as the specific ones for us individually, synthesized during the weekly consultations, must be followed as much as possible and always. It’s about what to prefer, what to avoid, how much water to drink, how to exercise and everything else that before we met our trainer we weren’t doing properly. It is not desirable to take a step back, life is not a tango and there will be no second edition.
- Keep working on yourself.
Rituals are extremely helpful for self-cultivation. I will give a simple example. Our generation knows, for example, that in public transport you must make room for older and infirm people for some other reason.
There is immense satisfaction in this simple act of kindness for both parties.
And this satisfaction is a kind of recognition for the performed ritual, which in turn increases self-control tremendously.
(Although this example seems timeless to me, if it is incomprehensible to younger people, replace it with any good deed according to your criteria – for example, recycling waste or something.)
It’s the same when we try to observe our mealtime ritual – any extra step (for example, eating something sweet more than necessary) seems inherently unaccustomed to us, and sweets will no longer seem so tempting to us. Especially if we have eaten slowly enough and our brain already has information that the body is full.
Six simple rules that everyone can follow.
Six, because with them we will be excellent! 😉
You can learn much more about nutrition and an active lifestyle at Club Galanto.
Want to share thoughts or your own ritual? Do it as a comment! Thanks!