Favorite Tactics for Behavioural Change

What are some of my favorite tactics for behavioural and habit change as it relates to food and weight loss and sustaining that forever? I know you’re dying to know. Christopher Lawrence Change, no sorry. Christopher Lawrence, that’s my other company. Christopher Lawrence Healthy Transformations dot CA. I wanna share with you what my favorite tactics are for behavioural change or habit change. And you can learn more about these too from a research article that was done by Angela Duckworth, who is one of my absolute favorite researchers on earth. She wrote an article called Willpower.. Nope sorry haha I know that word wasn’t it. It’s called Beyond Willpower, Beyond Willpower, Strategies for Reducing Failures of Self Control. That’s what it’s called. Whew, that’s a mouthful! So, these three things come from her research article. These are my three favorites, for myself what work for me. But there’s 22, 23 different tactics that you can try. One is called fresh start framing.

So fresh start framing is where we look at the next day, we do this all the time. Fresh start framing is like, oh this is a fresh start. So then we lean into changing the habit. The more we do that, the more likely we are to be successful with changing our food related behaviors. This is why smokers, on average, they need to try quit smoking? I don’t know if that makes sense. The cessation of smoking takes usually seven different attempts. It’s seven attempts to quit smoking I think. Shit, somebody help me with this! It takes, on average, seven attempts to quit smoking. So on average, somebody who’s trying to quit smoking, it might take them seven times to stop smoking. The same could be said of food. I don’t know how many times it is with food and changing food behaviours. I think food is very complex because we’re quite wrapped up in it, mentally, emotionally, physically, sometimes even spiritually for people.

So I like fresh start framing. It’s a fresh start. You see this all the time. New Years’, the number one goal for people is weight loss at New Year’s. But only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolution for weight loss actually achieve it although on our program it’s much higher, significantly higher because we focus so much on behavioural change and correct science, that’s really important too. Fresh start framing can be the first of every month, it can be every Monday morning, it could be the next day. And guess what, It can even be just your next meal. So just because you started your day with a donut doesn’t mean the rest of the day is shot. We think that it is though, we fall off the rails. At lunch we’re having a bag of chips or maybe we’re eating a burger or whatever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a fresh start framing right now. One of my ways of doing that is actually by getting new stationary. I know it sounds really weird but I love really colorful pens. And I love new, oh I’m dropping them everywhere. Oh that light, if I lower myself it looks like I have a halo. Haaa-lelujah. Okay so, I love colorful pens and I love new notebooks and this kind of thing. I don’t know why, I just do. I don’t question it. So I use it to my advantage. So if I need a fresh start, I’ll go buy a new pen or a new notebook. And I’m compelled to use that notebook to track my progress. In a really weird way, stationary is a fresh start frame for me and it helps hold me accountable, which helps me lean into practicing that new habit of eating correctly.

Which leads into my second favorite tactic which is planning and tracking. I love planning and tracking. It works really well for me, for some of my goals not for all of my goals. But it does work really well for some of my goals. I keep it simple though, I think with food people over complicate what needs to be done for planning and tracking. And then it takes so much effort just to do the planning and tracking, it is not worth it. So I keep it super simple. I just kinda track, did I get my greens? Did I get my veggies? Did I get my protein? And did I get my fats? I kinda leave it at that. I don’t really make it more complex than that. They’re just simple check boxes, usually. I don’t write down everything I eat. Some people do and that works really well for them.

My third favorite tactic for behavioural modifications or changes as it relates to food is mindfulness. Using opportunities to actually taste my food, smell my food. If you ever eat out with me, or even here, you’ll often see me smell my food before I do it. It’s just a reminder that I’m about to eat something so I’m not just shoveling it into my mouth. Having been a little bit bigger, I think I had the mindset and behaviours that come with the over consumption of food. So I would eat without chewing a lot of the times. I really try to slow myself down and create a lot of awareness and mindfulness around my food so that I’m actually tasting it. I hope that’s super helpful. ‘Cause guess what, we’re all superstars! There’s a halo again, hey-lo. Hey, low. Check us out, Healthy Transformations dot CA. Remember to have fun with your food and keep it simple, keep it healthy, do not over complicate it. Talk to you soon, bye!

Angela Duckworth – Why We Can't Stick to Weight Loss

Hi folks, it’s Christopher Lawrence here without the transformations program. I wanted to share a really cool piece of research with you. This is called “Beyond willpower strategies for reducing failures of self control” “Beyond willpower strategies for reducing failures of self control” I wanted to read it twice just so that you could lock it in. So when we look at like weight loss or eating correctly, or exercising, or reducing inflammation in the body through adapting our food, why is it that we can’t seem to stay on track? With food there is a bit of a magic bullet. When you eat a certain way, you’ll produce certain results in the body. Certainly if you eat the healthy transformations way, you’re going to reduce inflammation, lose weight and beat the odds of having chronic illness but our behaviors there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet, we hear things like, well, if I have a fresh start, or if I have a plan, or you know, maybe if I go do some behavioral therapy, then that’ll be the thing that fixes it. And sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. So why is that? What’s the difference? The really key thing with this is that there is actually no bullet for behavioral change or for managing behavioral change. And the challenge that we continually run into is why is it that, you know, when I did say, goal setting as my tactic for exercise that worked really well and maybe I added planning and tracking into that as one of my tactics that worked really well. But then when I did correct eating, I use those same tactics and it didn’t work. Why is that? Why is it? And we can drive ourselves bonkers with this stuff.

I know even with me for years and years and years, I was like, why is it that this works for me and this doesn’t work for me, or it doesn’t work over here when it worked over here. And so it’s like, we’re just taking a shot gun and trying to pinpoint the center of a target. But what does a shotgun do? it just kind of blast the whole thing away and it’s not pinpointed enough to kind of get the results. Well, if you’re feeling frustrated, it’s actually a very common thing because we don’t know what’s actually gonna work. There is no magic bullet when it comes to behavioral change, habit shifting, or anything like that. And what I love about this piece of research is that Angela Duckworth and her team Katherine Milkman and David Laibson, I believe is how you say their name. They are from the University of Pennsylvania, they are researchers, they’re psychologists who are researchers. I think all of them are psychologists, research psychologists. In any case, they put together a list, a detailed list of 22 different tactics that they could identify that had been researched to some level. Some to great detail and some to not so great detail. So what that tells me is that there’s probably even more tactics out there, but these are the ones that they could find that had been researched, that had some effect. And what they’ve come to is that, not one tactic works for one person all of the time for whatever that goal or habit that they’re working on is, it could take a combination of tactics, a lot of trial and error.

So if it seems a little bit frustrating, a little bit overwhelming, a little bit confusing about why sometimes something works and why sometimes it doesn’t when we’re looking at behavioral change, it’s because of this because, we don’t actually know what the combination is gonna be for you that’s gonna make it work. What’s cool about it though, is that we have a whole bunch of different options that we can choose from, and what I like about this article is that they actually go right into and there’s a nice little cool diagram in here. They talk about self deployed versus other deployed, and situational versus cognitive. And so we have lots of options to choose from and so if this is something that you’re interested in, you should check us out healthytransformations.ca and you can learn more about this and how it applies to weight loss and you can reach out to us and attend one of our info sessions.