Are You a Well-Behaved Consumer?
Trying to lose fat? Stay away from any place or product that benefits from your bad choices... at least for now.
Meg Selig, author of the book, "Changepower!" uses the term, "habit profiteers." She says these are businesses, people, or organizations which profit from your bad habits (1). If you're not paying attention and guarding your efforts, then you'll do exactly what they want you to do...
You'll eat the popcorn in the theater; buy several boxes of cookies from the little girl down the street; go to a restaurant for the endless breadsticks; grab a candy bar while standing in the checkout line; or polish off a container of ice cream because a commercial told you that "you deserve it."
The average person will continue to do these things even when they're desperately wanting to lose fat. Why? Because they've been educated by these habit profiteers, and now they feel deprived whenever they try to go without. They're well-behaved consumers.
So if you want to be leaner than the average person, you have to anticipate which situations might cause you to fail and avoid them... just until you can control your behavior no matter what you're surrounded by.
No, don't avoid going to the store or waving at your Girl Scout neighbor, but do limit your exposure to things that will make it harder for you to resist temptation.
Of course, significant fat gain isn't caused by the rare splurge. It's caused by the chronic consumption of crap. But if the environment you find yourself in repeatedly profits from your failure, then you'll only make it harder on yourself to change the way you eat on a daily basis. You have to change the places you go and the things you're surrounded by.
And if your own kitchen is full of crap food, then you've brought the battle into your house and it'll be far more difficult for you (and your family) than it needs to be.
- Selig, Meg. Changepower!: 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success. Routledge, 2010.