I have a love/hate relationship with the idea of hacks.
Most of them seem to say the same type of thing; they promise you a quick fix, a simple solution, a secret, that if only you learned it, would make you shredded, strong and sexy as fuck without any real effort at all.
All you have to do is send your hard earned money to KetoRippedFatBurningSnakeOil.com, and you’ll be all set.
Often-times when I read the bold claims they all make, I get douche chills.
You know what they are right?
That feeling you get when you see something so awful, so shameful that it manifests as an actual physical shiver up and down your spine?
Them’s the douche chills.
However, the point of this writing is not to get you up to speed on mid 90’s NYC street parlance. No, the goal of this writing is to get you to look at the big picture, the things that make the difference and what the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Dr. Steven Covey calls the “Big Rocks Theory.”
To illustrate the Big Rocks Theory, Dr. Covey uses a parable in which a teacher stands before a class and shows them an empty mason jar.
The teacher then takes several large rocks and puts them in the mason jar until she can’t fit in any more of them and then asks the students “is this jar full”?
The students, of course, say that “yes indeed, the jar is full.”
The teacher then reaches under the table and takes out a bucket of gravel, which she then proceeds to pour into the jar until once again, the pot appears to be full. This time the students had gotten wise to what as going on and when she asked “is the jar full”, the consensus was “No, teachers probably got another bucket stashed under that damn desk”.
And these were indeed some savvy students because then the teacher took out a bucket of sand and poured it into the jar.
A few shakes of the jar later and the sand had worked its way into the small cracks between the rocks and the gravel, and once again the question was asked “is the jar full,” and once again, the students responded with a “No.”
The teacher then took out a pitcher of water and poured it into the jar which all agreed was finally full.
The lesson is that, when it comes to pretty much anything in life, It pays to concentrate on the big rocks first. Only once those are in place, should you start focusing on the smaller stuff.
And the smaller stuff can make a big difference, but you have to put first things, first.
This post is a follow up to “The Art of Dieting without Dieting” which covers all of the big rocks of Habit Based Eating.
Once you have those dialed in, here are a few “hacks” that you may find useful.
As you can see, they don’t involve any magic pills or pixie dust.
They do, however, involve mindfulness and a little planning but that’s about it.
Applying these can could help you avoid a lot of the pitfalls us folks trying to eat a healthy diet often encounter.
1: Brush your teeth immediately after your last meal.
Resisiting the urge to snack post dinner is something a lot of people struggle with. In fact, for most people, it’s the time where they are most likely to take their diet off the rails in a big way.
Brushing your teeth immediately post-dinner is a great way to help curtail those urges and to use our inherent laziness for a positive purpose.
After all, who wants to brush their teeth twice in a night?
2. Keep the following items in your car:
1 X Shaker Cup
1 Tub of Meal Replacement Shake (I’m currently using Garden Of Life’s Raw Organic Meal Replacement.)
This way, if you find yourself in a bind, just buy a 1-liter bottle of water and use 3/4 to make your shake and the other 1/4 to rinse out the shaker cup for the next useage.
3. Have a few easy instant meal prep lunches or dinners on hand.
One of my favorites is:
Trader Joes Organic Power to the Greens
Trader Joes Organic Shredded Green & Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
Trader Joes Organic Broccoli Slaw
These bags, when used in combination, total up to 7 different vegetables.
Grab a handful of each and throw them in a bowl.
Mix in a healthy salad dressing of your choice (I use Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing, which is made with Avocado oil)
Add in a protein
And you have yourself a wonderful, healthy Anytime Plate whipped up in under 2 minutes.
4. If you are going out to a restaurant to eat, take a look at the menu online in advance and make your selections in advance.
The people who write menus are a devious and clever bunch.
They know exactly what words like “Molten”, “Creamy” and “Succulent” will do to us, especially when we are hungry.
(Don’t believe me? Check this out: https://www.posist.com/restaurant-times/resources/write-mouth-watering-menu-descriptions-tempt-customers-order.html)
By checking the menu in advance and making your choices then, you are a lot less likely to give in to those type of cravings that are sure to show up in the moment.
5. Get good at fasting.
Yes, although this is mentioned in the original Habit Based Eating post, it’s still a little more of a small rock than a big one.
All the fasting in the world won’t help you if your diet consists of Donuts and Big Gulps.
But assuming your diet is already 80% or more dialed in, developing this skill can be a real game changer.
So like I said, nothing magical or mystical about any of the above.
Just proven strategies that, if applied, will help keep you on the path to health without the need for you to swipe your credit card or take some type of