Here we are, 10 days into the Whole 30. At this point, the newness of it is wearing down. We’re all starting to get into a routine, cooking more, eating more veggies – it all feels normal now. Hopefully you’re passed the Kill All the Things and headache/hangover phase, too. Now, that we freed up some space in our brain, it’s important to analyze our cravings, habits and routines we have around food.
What makes you want to cheat? What places/habits/routines get you into trouble? Here are a couple examples I’ve noticed in myself.
- Afternoon boredom
On some days I end up with this awkward time gap between coaching and I’ve got 45 minutes to kill before the evening crowd starts funneling in. When this happens, I convince myself that I need a snack. Without the break, I wouldn’t think about food at all. But that gap makes me want to shoot over to Cumberland Farms for some candy or trail mix (which, let’s be honest, is just candy).
Instead of just trying to fight off my craving, because, it’s not a craving, it’s a habit – I’ve trained myself that I need some food or a break or something to fill that void. I’ve been making sure to take Clem for a walk during this time or work on some mobility or make some phone calls. You can’t out will your habits, you need to replace them with better habits. (I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg if this sounds interesting.)
- Certain places trigger you
I’ve told some of you about my Diet Coke habit. I don’t drink it often, but I almost always drink it at my parent’s house. Why? Because I always have! It started out as a treat, “Yes! Diet Coke sounds great, I never have it!” Fast forward a few years later and I was having one every time I visited. This lead to eating pretzels while I’m there, because guess what, pretzels and Diet Coke pair together like a rib eye and a Malbec.
I’ve only visited once since starting the Whole 30, but the plan is stick to water, (thanks for stocking my favorite seltzer, mom), and to not raid the pantry like I normally do. I think that means I’m growing up.
- Friday/Saturday Night Planning
We always grocery shop on Sunday. That means, on Friday or Saturday night, dinner options are typically sparse. We’re good about eating leftovers and using what’s in the fridge, but that can get boring, especially when you’ve been eating the same thing all week. This means a spontaneous trip to the store to get something for dinner or instead, buying some chips and salsa to inhale or ready to eat BBQ wings from Market Basket.
During the week, we stick to a menu. I create the menu on Sunday and stay rigid to it all week. I never planned Friday night or Saturday night. The lack of a plan, however, always leads to eating something undesirable, or less than optimal for me.
Now, I’m planning out the Friday night meal ahead of time. Sure, that still means another trip to the store, but I go in with a plan or recipe instead of grabbing what I desire.
Those are the big things that I have taken away from these first 10 days. I knew about them of course, but until dialing everything in for the Whole 30, I didn’t pay enough attention to how these small habits and routines effect my day.
What sort of habits are you noticing for yourself? Are there any routines you have that trigger certain cravings? What are you going to do to keep yourself successful post Whole 30? I know 20 days seems like it’s so far off, but it’s going to be here before we know it!