Get Organized to Lose Weight
Organize Your Mind for Weight Loss Success
Strategize to Slenderize
Tame the Frenzy
Apply the Brakes
Connect the Dots
Video: Tips on how to make a healthy breakfast on-the-go
When you reflect on the discovery that you made—breakfast #1 bad, breakfast #2 good— you’re pulling information from your working memory, a mental workspace that holds the need-to-know-this-on-a-regular-basis info that helps you solve problems using observations and conclusions you’ve formed in the past. “Harnessing your working memory is really about having a menu of things that work for you at the front of your mind,” says Moore.
The key to mastering this strategy seems simple enough: Remember how you feel after you eat a meal or perform a workout and apply those findings later. But the reality is that we are often either too busy to do a gut check or don’t think to connect how our bodies feel with what we ate an hour or two earlier. We end up making the same mistakes, eating the wrong things and the scale doesn’t budge. To help begin collecting “data points” for your working memory to access, Moore suggests keeping a food and feeling journal. Carefully track what you eat like you would with a traditional food diary but also take note of how you feel a couple of hours afterward. Once you stock up your store of working memories you’ll be able to think creatively and make better, more healthful decisions on the fly. For example, if the salad bar is out of grilled chicken, you remember a satisfying lunch featuring a tuna sandwich and add tuna to your bowl instead of reaching for the crispy chicken, which you remember being greasy. Strategically committing these food-feeling outcomes makes it easy to guide future behavior.
More: 10 Food Improvements for Healthy Eaters