Stack the fat loss odds in your favour

Your willpower won’t save you when cir­cum­stances get tricky. Pre­pare for dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions ahead of time, and you’ll stay lean later

Men's Fitness - - Fuel -

Sce­nario 01 THE MORN­ING RUSH

The alarm mis­fired – or never got set – and there’s no time for break­fast. You’re go­ing to have to grab on the go.

THE FIX “In a sce­nario like this, it pays to plan ahead,” says Myles Hop­per, Pre­ci­sion Nu­tri­tion coach and au­thor of Mind­ful Chef. “If you haven’t got an easy break­fast op­tion on hand, at least have an idea of which lo­cal cafés and cof­fee shops can do you some scram­bled eggs.”

Sce­nario 02 THE BIS­CUIT BAR­REL

Your of­fice has a gi­ant tin of bis­cuits promi­nently dis­played, and it’s ru­in­ing your will to eat bet­ter.

THE FIX Keep it out of sight, or at least fur­ther away. No­body’s go­ing to ob­ject if you shift the tin out of your eye­line – and in a study from Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity in the US, work­ers ate 125 fewer calo­ries when a dish of sweets was moved two me­tres fur­ther from them.

Sce­nario 03 THE TRICKY RESTAU­RANT

It’s an of­fice lunch, and at­ten­dance is strongly sug­gested… but the choice of burger bar isn’t ex­actly ideal.

THE FIX Use If-Then plan­ning. In­stead of vague goals, set con­crete ones ahead of time: if the dessert menu comes round, then I will or­der cof­fee, for ex­am­ple. In one study, this tech­nique helped 91 % of vol­un­teers stick to a fit­ness regime com­pared with 39% of those who didn’t have a plan.

Sce­nario 04 THE PRES­SURE COOKER

You’re stressed, un­der pres­sure and dead­lines are loom­ing, so you reach for the quick-fix su­gar hit.

THE FIX “If you know you eat when you’re stressed, make sure you’ve got health­ier op­tions on hand for those times,” says Hop­per. “Cel­ery works great as a spoon to eat peanut butter out of the jar, for in­stance.” Hon­estly, it’s bet­ter than it sounds.

Sce­nario 05 THE LONG­EST DAY

Work fin­ished late, cook­ing seems im­pos­si­ble, and the take­away menu’s beck­on­ing.

THE FIX Never say never. Use what psy­chol­ogy re­searcher Ni­cole Mead calls “post­pone­ment strat­egy”: in­stead of try­ing to stand firm, tell your­self you’ll have the pizza on Fri­day/next week/at the end of the month. You don’t have to stand firm for­ever – just one day at a time.

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